Fox News Report Blames Declining Marriage Rates On Same-sex Marriage

Fox News Special Report host Bret Baier, claims “traditional marriage” has faced a number of obstacles this year, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in Alaska, an idea which has been widely debunked.

Fox correspondent Shannon Bream cited the legalization of same-sex marriage in many states as one of the factors that could explain the decline in heterosexual marriage.

According to MediaMatters:

The idea that same-sex marriage somehow discourages heterosexual marriage has been embraced by extreme anti-LGBT rights groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, but has no basis in fact.

The Atlantic also pointed out that the link is unsubstantiated, because the decline in heterosexual marriage came before the rise of gay marriage:

Out-of-wedlock births and delayed marriage were already underway before the 1990s, when gay acceptance took off. This suggests that gay marriage isn’t leading to the decline of marriage. Rather, the “decline” of marriage happened to pique media interest at the same time that homophobia got smoked — in entertainment, in federal law, and in wedding chapels.

Researchers at Portland State University’s School of Community Health also concluded that same-sex marriage legalization does not affect heterosexual marriage rates:

A deleterious effect on rates of opposite sex marriage has been argued to be a motivating factor for both the withholding and the elimination of existing rights of same sex couples to marry by policy makers-including presiding justices of current litigation over the rights of same sex couples to legally marry. Such claims do not appear credible in the face of the existing evidence, and we conclude that rates of opposite sex marriages are not affected by legalization of same sex civil unions or same sex marriages.