Whose marriages would Jesus ban?

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moroni.jpgOr indeed, whose marriages would Moroni (pictured left, blowing a trumpet) oppose? This year's successful California campaign to ban gay marriage apparently received $20m from Mormon organisations, half the total campaign fund. (NYT link, bypass registration here). 

The NYT notes "the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass [Proposition 8] with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers."

These volunteers met away from the church to avoid arousing suspicion, and were whipped up with a claim that "the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan". So same-sex couples with children aren't families, but polygamous groups are?

Update: on a related topic, this is my favourite comment so far on this blog. It was the Scottish isles reference which made me snort milk out of my nose.


Ooooh, now I’m getting real mad (however excited I may be at being the best commenter ever). Now the ‘big state bad’ Tories want state intervention in keeping marriages together.

Putting the human rights aspect of this aside, the desire to ‘support’ marriage is based on the disingenuous premise that "unmarried couples" are more likely to split up than "married couples".

It is basic scientific principle to compare like with like and yet the population groups of "unmarried couples" and "married couples" are hugely heterogeneous. Lets apply scientific method to relationship breakdown (I know, call me a romantic). The problem is that there is no way to standardise within the group of unmarried cohabitees.

Unmarried couples include everyone from the feckless to the politically anti-marriage. From the teenagers who run away from their way-uncool parents to the feminists who carried “Marriage is Legalised Prostitution” banners back in the 70s. From the gay couple in their 70s who see no point in civil partnerships to the couple that can’t afford a wedding/prioritise other expenditure. From those who move in together purely for financial reasons to the commitment-phobic. Etc, very much etc.

The data relating to unmarried cohabitees is not and cannot be standardised for age, religion, political persuasion, philosophical principles, reality, lifestyle choices, approach to relationships, cognitive function or aesthetic fanaticism. Therefore, we cannot conclude that it is the lack of marriage that has resulted in these people splitting up or that ‘encouraging/enforcing’ marriage will make any difference whatsoever.

Evidence-based social policy as far as is possible is a good thing but should be subjected to the same rigorous standardisation and quality control of investigative methods.

Disclaimer: Yes I studied epidemiology and the association of disease and marriage is purely coincidental.

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