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CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters

A crumbling foundation

  • June 4, 2015

As advocates of same-sex marriage celebrated Ireland’s recent referendum, supporters of traditional marriage were left to lament yet another defeat. Meanwhile, I attended the sacramental union of my beautiful sister Alexandra to her dashing husband Michael.

The wedding was an intimate affair and it marked the third generation of our family married in Toronto’s iconic St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church. It got me thinking: with all the focus on same-sex battles are the faithful losing the marriage war?

Alexandra and Michael are new members of a steadily contracting club. Across the globe, marriage is in a state of crisis. Canadian census data shows marriage in decades-long decline. In its place, a growing number of Canadians are living in common-law relationships, single-parent families or alone, and birth rates are in decline.

The situation is worse in the United States. Compared to 72 per cent in 1960, only half of Americans are tying the knot today. The number of American couples living together outside of marriage has grown 15 times since 1960. Across Europe, marriage rates are down nearly 40 per cent since 1970. Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and other industrialized nations have seen similar rates of knot-tying decline.

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