RedTracker| For many reasons, French couples are increasingly shunning traditional marriages, preferring to enter into a civil union instead. Astonishingly, perhaps, thre are now two civil unions for every three marriages in France.
France created its system of civil unions in 1999 as a positive step in the gay rights movement. It didn’t occur to officials that by 2009, the overwhelming majority of civil unions would be between straight couples.
Hallmark can’t sell many wedding cards in France, where the notion of eternal marriage is obsolete.
We’re stunned to read that the Roman atholic Church, which initially condemned the partnerships as a threat to marriage, has relented. The National Confederation of Catholic Family Associations now says civil unions do not pose “a real threat”, writes the NYTimes.
Wilfried Rault, a sociologist at the National Institute for Demographic Studies, says that marriage is viewed in France as a “heavy and invasive” institution with deep ties to Christianity.
“Marriage bears the traces of a religious imprint,” he said, often anathema in a country where secularism has long been treated as a sacred principle. “It’s really an ideological slant, saying, ‘No one is going to tell me what I have to do.’ ” via NYTimes
This chart gives you a good look at marriage trends in Europe and the US:
More reading about marriage trends