Crowing the Sun Up
Stan Kurtz's latest effort in his ongoing struggle to save America, motherhood, and apple pie from the ominous threat of gay families is an examination of the "effect" of registered partnerships on marriage in Scandinavia. The piece is yet another tour de force destined to transform the gay marriage debate. According to Stan Kurtz, anyway. Alas, nobody else seems to agree.
Andrew Sullivan, for instance, notes that Kurtz manages to refute his own thesis: After citing a slew of factors that make the Scandies less likely to wed, Kurtz pulls his conclusion—that these partnerships have "undermined" marriage—out of a top hat with a flourish, without bothering to explain why they, rather than his laundry list of other factors, are responsible.
Kurtz even cites as one of his key authorities a book by sociologist David Popenoe on the decline of marriage in Scandinavia—a book researched and written well before the extension of any partnership rights to same-sex couples. What do you call that fallacy? Pre hoc ergo propter hoc? Maybe this is that "quantum logic" we've been hearing so much about: The effect comes before the cause.