At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Madeleine Schwartz reviews new books including Melanie Heath’s One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America:
Research on the links between matrimony and economics, child welfare, and education began to emerge from secular research branches like the National Marriage Project, housed at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values. Marriage, according to one such report, “is an important social good, associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike.” Never mind that the basic questions of correlation and causation remain totally unquestioned; such research confidently presents marriage as a panacea for all social ills: “Married people” — for whatever reason — “are happier, healthier, and better off financially.”
Schwartz demures, concluding: “A fight for true marital equality cannot take the superiority of marriage to nonmarriage as its starting point. Otherwise, it is merely creating new impediments to the happiness of all.”
What do you think? Should those who advocate for legal same sex marriage also be willing to say that marriage, for all, is better than cohabitation?
And if you haven’t yet, take a look at “A Call for a New Marriage Conversation.”