The numbers for 2005 are in, and the Dutch out-of-wedlock birthrate has done it again, shooting up a striking 2.5 percentage points. That makes nine consecutive years of average two-percentage-point increases in the Dutch out-of-wedlock birthrate, a rise unmatched by any country in Western Europe during the same period. Ever since the Dutch passed registered partnerships in 1997, followed by formal same-sex marriage in 2000, their out-of-wedlock birthrate has been moving up at a striking clip. That fact has created a serious problem for advocates of same-sex marriage. (For a visual on this, see the chart in "Going Dutch?" and imagine two further years of two-percentage point increases in 2004 and 2005.
In the last decade, only Eastern Europe has seen an increase in out-of-wedlock birthrates comparable to the Netherlands (even there, only Bulgaria's rates are rising faster than the Netherlands'). Demographers explain the stunning increase in Eastern Europe's out-of-wedlock birthrates by pointing to the economic and cultural traumas set off by the collapse of Communism. How striking that a prosperous country like the Netherlands should experience a spike in out-of-wedlock birthrates matched only by a region recovering from the collapse of its entire social system.
In several previous pieces ("Going Dutch?" "No Explanation," "Dutch Debate," and "Standing Out") I've argued that the Dutch example provides us with a best-case scenario for isolating the negative causal impact of same-sex marriage on marriage itself. Increasingly, same-sex marriage advocates are running out of ways to explain the Dutch data away.
Read the entire article on the National Review website (new window will open).