By its nature marriage, even from pre-Christian times, has both civil and religious significance.
The marriage contract is based on the consent of the contracting parties to freely give themselves to each other and to accept joint responsibility for rearing their children.
Breaking a marriage contract adversely affects the family involved, particularly children. Also, the whole community usually has to bear some increased costs, in terms of extra effort and finance in supporting mothers and children.
So why is it most political parties in Ireland now ape British New Labour in supporting policies that weaken marriage by giving other 'family forms' many of the same rights as marriage?
This reduces the incentive to marry and stay married and ignores evidence that marriage is the best pro-child arrangement.
The family policies of most of our political parties are skewed towards adult autonomy than towards children and child welfare.
Brian Rooney, Downpatrick