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As it turns out, acceptance of gays and gender equality correlate

May 16, 2009

I talked about an argument presented by Valerie Hudson for being against gay marriage a while back. And in that article, I didn’t really go in depth on a lot of Hudson’s arguments, because…I was lazy. Yeah, let’s go with that one. But the basic gist of Hudson’s argument is that the telos of marriage is gender equality and teaching people how to do it right. So, coincidentally, she also attacked traditional marriage, which as advocated by some, can include gender inequal baggage.

J. Nelson Seawright at BCC questioned Hudson’s premise, and then pulled some research and statistics. And, as it turns out, societies and individuals that accept homosexuality just happen to also support gender equality, and the correlation remains even when results are checked against GDP, women in the workforce, education levels, democracy levels, etc.,

Of course, this isn’t saying that one causes the other: worldwide legalization of gay marriage and acceptance of homosexuality may not *cause* equality. But, as one commenter astutely noted:

My anecdotal impression is that people most opposed to acceptance of homosexuality also tend to be more sexist.

Right on Ziff.


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  1. When I first read Hudson’s article, I called it an exercise in self-delusion. After doing so I worried that I came off a little strong, but now I think I was right on. It’s highly debatable whether the LDS church teaches “equality” (whatever that is) in marriage, as Hudson asserts, and her premise just goes downhill from there.

    But even if we give the benefit of the doubt and assume that equality in marriage is the church’s goal, heterosexual marriage has been the standard for most cultures across the globe for most of human history. When has it ever led to gender equality? If heterosexual marriage is supposed to produce gender equality, it sure is taking its sweet time.

    In any case, I don’t see why the state should have to heed what the LDS church thinks heterosexual marriage should produce. Another church could come along and teach that the point of gay marriage is for men and women to be treated as equals. Why should the government listen to the LDS church’s teachings over that?

  2. Those were some of my thoughts too, Jack. I find it particularly funny/sad that Hudson has to cut down ‘traditional marriage’ to try to make her idea of marriage work out…but when she does this, she creates an idea of marriage that never has been advocated or tested or established as the popular institution. And you’re absolutely right in your last paragraph — because she makes her argument a uniquely LDS one (one that requires creative theological gymnastics at that), she loses the wherewithal to assert that society as a whole should accept this LDS idea.

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