THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
People marry for many reasons, including one or more of the following: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, economic, spiritual, and religious. These might include arranged marriages, family obligations, the legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, the legal protection of children and public declaration of commitment. It is usually formalized at a wedding or marriage ceremony. The ceremony may be officiated either by a religious official, by a government official or by a state approved celebrant. In many European and some Latin American countries, any religious ceremony must be held separately from the required civil ceremony. Some countries – such as Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey – require that a civil ceremony take place before any religious one. In some countries – notably the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Spain – both ceremonies can be held together; the officiant at the religious and civil ceremony also serving as agent of the state to perform the civil ceremony. To avoid any implication that the state is "recognizing" a religious marriage (which is prohibited in some countries) – the "civil" ceremony is said to be taking place at the same time as the religious ceremony. Often this involves simply signing a register during the religious ceremony. If the civil element of the religious ceremony is omitted, the marriage is not recognized by government under the law.1 While some countries, such as Australia, permit marriages to be held in private and at any location, others, including England and Wales, require that the civil ceremony be conducted in a place open to the public and specially sanctioned by law. In England, the place of marriage need no longer be a church or register office, but could also be a hotel, historic building or other venue that has obtained the necessary license. An exception can be made in the case of marriage by special emergency license, which is normally granted only when one of the parties is terminally ill. Rules about where and when persons can marry vary from place to place. Some regulations require that one of the parties reside in the locality of the registry office.1 Marriage is an institution which can join together people's lives in a variety of emotional and economic ways. Married couple living together in the same home, often sharing the same bed, but in some other cultures this is not the tradition.1
Married couples create family. In Transcendent Reality, the family is the basic social unit, not the individual. Strong, functional, unified, two-parent families are to be supported and encouraged. Transcendent Reality holds that the probability of a child developing the highest degree of sociality is greatest in the nuclear two-parent family, and that probability progressively weakens if that nuclear family is weakened during the child’s development into an adult.2 In some cases, there have a broken family. A broken family may be a single-parent father and children, a single-parent mother and children, split families (some children with the mother and some with the father), mixed families (mother or father with children from another union), abandoned children with no parents, orphaned children, abandoned or orphaned children cared by surrogate parents, abandoned or orphaned children cared by institutions, and abandoned orphaned children on their own.2 Statistically valid studies of families infer that children with both biological parents involved in child rearing have a decided advantage over the children of the single-parent family - especially those with a single-parent mother. Children with little or no parental involvement in their rearing are at great risk to perish early, be dysfunctional in social settings, be targeted by homosexuals and pedophiles, and be disruptive to social harmony.2 The greater community of Transcendent...