Nicholas Wolfinger's "Let's endorse marriage" (Forum, Nov. 11), a reply to my op-ed, "Gay parenting: Sound science" (Opinion, Oct. 27), notes that "offspring raised by same-sex parents have more problems as adults because they experience less stable home lives, not because their parents are gay or lesbian." He suggests that if persons with same-sex attraction were granted the civil right to marry, these families would be more stable.
I am skeptical that marriage will make lesbian or gay relationships more stable. In Sweden, where same-sex couples have been allowed to marry for years and social acceptance is greater, divorce rates are much higher among same-sex couples (30 percent of female same-sex marriages and 20 percent of male marriages end in divorce within five years, compared to 13 percent of opposite-sex marriages).
These numbers confirm the common sense advice of many mothers and marriage counselors: If we are in a dating relationship that is unstable, we should not expect this problem to disappear once we walk down the aisle.
If same-sex couples and their families are unstable, let's take a hard look at why, help them address the underlying reasons, and leave marriage out of it.