Effect of Julie and Hillary Goodridge’s separation on same-sex debate

I don’t really have an answer or particularly care to take a side in this debate (if it even is one), but I figured that if I put it in IMHO it might get moved here anyway.

How do you think that Julie and Hillary Goodridge’s (for whom the MA same-sex marriage case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health was named) decision to separate will affect either the gay marriage debate or any forthcoming legal battles?

I personally think it will have little to no effect even if they are the poster women of the movement. Fifty percent will still probably be par for the course regardless of orientation.

It shows that gay marriages are simply marriages, to the small extent it has any effect at all.

The anti-marriage brigade will tout it as proof of something or other, but I doubt it will change anyone’s mind. The entire point of the gay marriage movement is to get people to recognize that gay relationships are the equal of straight relationships. And straight marriages fall apart all the time. The fact that this particular marriage became a political focal point in a national debate pretty much guaranteed that it would fail, anyway. Who could live under that sort of strain?

[shrug] Same-sex marriages are like those sick mixed different-sex marriages. Sometimes they just don’t work out.

While it’s unfortunate for the two women involved, I don’t think it’ll have much of an impact on the gay marriage debate, any more than the fact that the Roe in Roe v. Wade is now a pro-life advocate affects the abortion debate (and if anything, even less so, because as far as I know, both the Goodridges still support same sex marriage). The arguments on both sides remain the same, even if the people change.

It might not hurt much, but it sure as Hades won’t help the movement. Luckily for the pro gay marriage side, they’re not very famous poster women. Not many people remember Julie and Hillary. (I had actually forgotten about them and didn’t even know they had separated untill I read this thread.)

However, it’s still a bad thing for the movement. One of the arguments (and please don’t think it’s my position) against gay marriage is that homosexuals, especially gay males, are far more promiscuous than heterosexuals. This makes them less able to form lasting bonds. Therefore, if even the poster couple for the pro-gay marriage side can’t make it work, the anti-gay marriage side can use it as evidence for their argument that homosexuals. It’s all about the perception, or stereotyping if you prefer, of gay sexual habits.

And in any public debate, from the Iraq War to illegal immigration to local city council elections, people rely more on their perceptions than they do facts. It’s sad but true. “Poster figures” are an effective means to sway public opinion, even if those figures don’t mean a damn thing. Additionally, when they fall the backlash (which is what kjckjc is asking about) can have real impact.

Remember Cindy Sheehan? Great Poster Woman for the anti-war side… until she started getting chummy with the likes of Chavez and calling Bush a “terrorist”. For this reason the anti-war movement has distanced itself from her. But I’d still wager that that change in perception of the American people regarding Mrs. Sheehan increased support for the war.

So, to sum up: Julie and Hillary separating is a bad thing for the movement, but luckily for the movement, very few people noticed that they seperated, or even remember who the were in the first place.

I don’t doubt that many bigots will use the split to justify the homophobic position.

However, I remember reading the other day (no cite, though I can dig for it if somebody wants it) that this divorce is one of like 50 out of the 8000 same-sex marriages performed in MA over the last year and a half.

Does anybody have any information on the percentage of straight marriages that last that long?

Monkey With a Gun, get real. I don’t think even homophobes are dumb enough to grab onto this one, certainly not en masse, even if the couple were more well-known. They know how easily it can be turned on its ear. As a rhetorical point it’s useless for them.

Zero effect. Why should it? Not even the “homophobes” are stupid enough to make a big about this.

Just the first thing I found googling “massachusetts divorce rate” - maybe someone can find a newer statistic. But in any case, if your 50 in 8000 is correct, that’s 6.25 per 1,000. I’m not sure if I’m doing the numbers right. But let’s just assume that’s right, for now. Perhaps part of the motivation for marrying was the novelty factor. Since it suddenly became legal for couples to get married who couldn’t previously, some of them rushed out and did it immediately. As I recall, there were a whole bunch within the first week or so. Maybe the number will drop in a few more years.

Give me some credit. I know that. My post was more about a “what if a cause lost it’s poster figures?”. I was thinking about the mechanics of political PR.

I dunno, maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of The West Wing.

Woah there. That’s 2.4 per 1000 population per year. My figure was 6.25 per 1000 marriages per 2.5 years.

A bit of quick Googling turns up this:

So we’re looking at a divorce rate of 0.625% for same-sex couples in MA after two years or less. If the rates are linear out to ten years for both gays and straights, nationwide, straights (20%) should be getting divorced at a rate eight times greater than gays (2.5%).

Or at least, that’s how I read the numbers.

I think the biggest effect will be the number of divorce lawyers salivating at the potential new business rolling their way. :slight_smile:
Unfortunately, the low-brow types will try to play this as, “See! They keep asking to get married but there is no commitment. It’s all about sex for those perverts.”
Let them marry. Let them divorce. And when there are kids involved, it will get just as nasty and brutal as a “normal” divorce.

Exactly, and as my husband would say, let them pay the “marriage penatly” on their income tax, just like the rest of us poor married schlubs. :slight_smile:

As the great Kinky Friedman said “[T]hey have a right be just as miserable as the rest of us.”

Mission accomplished in MA, apparently!

And since it doesn’t really exist for the moment, even better.

On what basis do you assume that the rates are linear? That is likely to be a hugely incorrect assumption.

We know the rates for same sex marriages over one particular year and a half period of time. What is it for straights over that same period in the same place?

That still wouldn’t give us an accurate comparison, because many of the same-sex couples who’ve married have been together for many years beforehand. A lot of them are long past that 5 or 10 year window. It would be reasonable to expect that the current rate of same-sex divorces is lower than it will ultimately stabilize at.

Not, of course, that it makes a lick of difference where that is.

This is true. It will take years to finally know the truth.

I strongly agree with this as well.

Couldn’t you just limit the data used to couples who’ve been married since gay marriage laws have been passed? Surely a lot of opposite-sex couples have been married since then, too. Obviously there’s been a rush of same-sex marriages, but then opposite-sex couples are the majority. I think there’d be enough information there to draw some conclusions.