In the Netherlands,” continues Dr Morgan [a sociologist specialising in family policy today], “to be equal they opened up civil partnerships to heterosexuals as well as to gays but then found that there were these three-in-a-bed relationships that were seeking legal recognition; I think it is all part of the cause. Once you break away from one man and one woman, what do you expect? Once you allow two men [to marry], where are your boundaries?” Precisely: you haven’t just effected a minor readjustment: you have torn down the walls protecting the institution itself: anything goes. “People say this won’t happen,” she continues, “but where does it stop? You are going to get polygamy from Muslims, aren’t you? People are simply shutting their eyes if they think that this is not going to happen.”
Dr Morgan (who I have written about before in this column) is one of the few sensible sociologists around, and she is a specialist on the family, and particularly on the dire consequences for children of families which are not based on two married parents (of opposite sex): her classic study Marriage-Lite: The Rise of Cohabitation and its Consequences is available from Civitas as a free download.
And she has surely put her finger on the whole point. Marriage is not simply there for the good of those involved. “Part of the problem,” she says, “is the modern view of marriage as a [private relationship] based on subjective definitions of ‘love’. This is to the exclusion of its wider purpose as a public contract serving the common good by supporting the procreation and education of future generations.”
(source Catholic Herald)