The biggest threat to family values isn’t same sex marriage …

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Conservatives, who bemoan same-sex marriage as a potential cause of family breakdown, are hardly in position to point fingers. The sad state of opposite-sex marriage, particularly among conservatives themselves has caused and continues to cause family breakdown, and, indeed, societal breakdown. If conservatives spent more time tending to their own marriages, and less worrying about other people’s marriages, children, families and society would be better off.

To listen to conservatives, religious and political, you’d think that same-sex marriage represents a significant threat to health, wealth and morals. To my knowledge approximately zero people have been harmed by same-sex marriage. I guess it’s easier to pontificate about a non-threat rather than to face the real threat, the breakdown of opposite-sex marriage. Illegitimacy, divorce and child abandonment harm hundreds of thousands of children, and many adults each and every year. That represents a major threat to health, wealth and morals.

The statistics on the breakdown of opposite-sex marriage are incontrovertible; divorce breaks up a large proportion of families, illegitimacy (failure to marry) is a major risk factor for child poverty, poor health, and criminal activity. Child abandonment (usually by the father) leaves many children, betrayed, bereft and poverty stricken.

Why do conservatives, religious and political, waste their time trying to destroy or prevent same-sex marriages when opposite-sex marriages are clearly a source of so much pain and suffering? Perhaps it’s because those very same conservatives are responsible for so much of the devastation.

Which states have the highest rates of divorce? Conservative states. Which states have the highest rates of illegitimacy? Conservative states. It’s not a coincidence that the first divorced president (Ronald Reagan) was a conservative or that the first presidential candidate to parade an unwed pregnant teen child on national television was also a staunch conservative (Sarah Palin).

When it comes to health, wealth and morals, the issues that conservatives claim undergird their opposition to same sex marriage, conservative states lead the way … to the bottom. Health: States with the highest rate of infant mortality? Conservative states. Wealth: States with the highest rate of child poverty? Most are conservative states. Morals: Many of the states with the highest rate of teen drug abuse are conservative states. An unbiased observer might be forced to conclude that it is the breakdown of opposite-sex marriage that threatens the well being of Americans, particularly American children.

It is a curious fact about American conservatives, political and religious, that they fail to recognize that they are the problem, not the solution. The values that they claim drive them to oppose same-marriage are being undermined by their behavior, not the behavior of others. Their party stalwarts are drug addicts (Rush Limbaugh), philanderers (Newt Gingrich), and people who found divorce both personally and financially convenient (Ronald Reagan, John McCain).

It is not a stretch to argue that the people who really support family values are the people who are trying to form families, same-sex couples, not the people who loudly and stridently promote “family values” while conspicuously failing to practice them.