(Photo: REUTERS / Jumana El Heloueh)
Marriage proponents acknowledged that divorces like reality television star Kim Kardashian's desecrates marriage but said the solution is not to redefine marriage.
Kardashian's divorce from New Jersey Nets player Kris Humphries after 72 days of marriage has rocked pop culture. Several people weighed in on the shocking split, including gay activists who feel that the speedy divorce is reason enough to reconsider the sanctity of traditional marriage.
Danielle and Aisha Moodie-Mills, the first lesbian couple to have their same-sex union featured in Essence Magazine, took to the Web to chide pro-family groups and advocate gay marriage.
"One can't help but notice the dead silence from groups like the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) whose sole mission is to 'preserve the sanctity of marriage' by blocking gays and lesbians from joining in it," the couple wrote. "Why aren't they outraged when these straight starlets stomp all over 'traditional marriage' in their Louboutins? Surely this match-made-for-media-fodder erodes the sanctity of all that marriage is supposed to be. So why aren't they attacking Kim's right to get married the way they do ours?"
In an email to The Christian Post, NOM Board Chairwoman Maggie Gallagher responded, "I'm reluctant to criticize any given individual who divorces because moral judgments are hard without more information that it is my business to know – and celebrity divorces are too common to warrant special notice. Hollywood in general and Kim Kardashian in particular support gay marriage. Perhaps that makes sense, if the speed of her divorce reflects a reduced commitment to the marriage.”
She further pointed out that the biggest supporters of gay marriage, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “are apparently not that interested in marrying the women they love.”
"Reality TV stars,” she added, “probably have a special difficulty in staying married ... so I don't want to pile on Kim Kardashian, personally."
Gallagher may be refraining from judgment but the homosexual community is not.
The National Organization for Marriage Equality posted a Kardashian wedding picture on Facebook featuring the words, "If you think gay marriage cheapens the institution, two words: Kim Kardashian."
Focus on the Family's Family Formation Studies Director Glenn Stanton agreed that divorce does erode the values of traditional marriage. To that end, Stanton told CP that FOTF has "long been involved and passionately involved in the fight to make divorce harder to get" and reduce the divorce rate.
However, he countered that same-sex couples are not immune to divorce.
Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the lesbian couple who fought for the Massachusetts government to redefine marriage and became the first lesbians to marry in the United States separated after two years of marriage. The couple eventually divorced in 2009.
A U.K. study, which analyzed same-sex couples, partnerships and marriages in Sweden and Norway, found that "divorce risks are higher in same-sex partnerships than in opposite sex partnerships."
Both Norway and Sweden offer same-sex couples "registered partnerships" rather than marriage.
Given that evidence, Stanton said the solution to fixing the eroding institution of marriage is not to redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage.
"If something is wrong with marriage ... you try to fix it. You don't say let's come in and invite other problems to marriage," he explained.
Kardashian, 31, and Humphries, 25, tied the knot on Aug. 20 in Montecito, Calif., before 450 guests. The two met and dated while Kardashian start on the E! reality show "Keeping up With the Kardashians." Their wedding was televised on Oct. 9 and 10 as a two-part special on the E! network, titled "Kim's Fairytale Wedding."
The Humphries’ family pastor, Joel Johnson, officiated the traditional Christian service. Humphries and Kardashian both said Christianity plays a big part in their lives. Yet there was little indication that the couple sought pre-marital counseling or spiritual guidance prior to the wedding.
Shortly after the wedding, rumors began to circulate that the newlyweds were having some trouble. On Oct. 30, Kardashian released a statement confirming the rumors and announcing that she would file divorce papers the following day.
During an Australia appearance, Kardashian was asked if she had sought marriage counseling and tried hard to make the marriage work. She replied, "I think when you know so deep in your heart, you just have to listen to your intuition and follow your heart."
This is Kardashian's second divorce. She was previously married to music producer Damon Thomas.