Reader comments · Sociologist warns that equal marriage will lead to ‘decline’ and ‘instability’ of marriage · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Sociologist warns that equal marriage will lead to ‘decline’ and ‘instability’ of marriage

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Joker. But quick quick, Morgan, get yourself on the phone to the Prop 8 lawyers in California – that’s the claim they tried to make and failed because there is NO bloody evidence of it. I’m sure they’d be overjoyed to hear from you. Care to say it under penalty of perjury and prison? It has been properly peer reviewed, right?

  2. A quick Googling of this woman shows her to be very much a one-note bigot… marriage, and decline of same is all she cares about (e.g. her paper “Marriage-Lite”, published in 2000: ).

    Why is her opinion being taken into account?

    1. ChrisMorley 5 Mar 2013, 8:11pm

      I agree she’s ultra conservative – no surprise that she’s working on behalf of the (Roman Catholic) Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.

      In our democracy everyone can submit evidence to the Parliamentary committee considering any Bill.

      Best send yours here, and quickly, because the deadline is fast approaching

      All the evidence, for and against, is linked here (under “Associated memoranda”)

  3. Sorry, Ma’am, I call Bull Shit on this.
    Your inability to forgo attacks on ‘secularism’ was the final, if redundant, giveaway of where you’re coming from.
    If you’re really so concerned about straight people losing interest in marriage even as gays and lesbians want into it, check out something a bit more obvious – a half-century of increasing reproductive and economic autonomy for women who feel less and less need to validate themselves through an official connection to a man.

    1. I pressed the green but you have been given a red.? Anyway well said. I am sure increasing secularism (along with rationality) and unprecedented independence for women has much to do with any decline in marriage.

  4. Sean Reynolds PhD 5 Mar 2013, 6:13pm

    Never heard of her, can Pink News explain who she is and what academic qualification and training she received? As a sociologist here, I’m just alarmed to read about someone adopting an anti-gay stance which has no basis in fact.

    1. I’ll bet you didn’t know they gave doctorates in sociology with your McDonald’s Happy Meal, did you! because that’s obviously where she got hers.

      I find it frightening that people can get graduate and post grad degrees and still be complete idiots.

    2. ChrisMorley 5 Mar 2013, 8:18pm

      Google her.
      She’s written this for the (Roman Catholic) Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child and has a history of highly conservative publications supporting conventional marriage, and of opposing cohabitation and marriage equality.

  5. Ian Bower 5 Mar 2013, 6:14pm

    Scaremongering ‘expert’ says equality for LGBT people will result in decline of heterosexual privilege. (Well, that’s my interpretation.)

  6. Let me guess, she a religious freak. They should all be locked up for the safety of the public.

  7. She works with C4M’s founders “Christian Institute” and published a polemic against gay adoption called “Children as Trophies”

    1. ChrisMorley 5 Mar 2013, 8:20pm

      She’s written this for the (Roman Catholic) Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child

  8. It smells of a stinking pile of horse poop to me. But, pretending that there’s any validity to these claims at all… If something as small as same-sex couples getting married is enough to make heterosexuals decide marriage isn’t worth it anymore and not bother, marriage can’t have been all that important to them in the first place. Seriously, it just smacks of ‘my toy is no longer cool now everyone else can have one, I’m going to destroy it just to spite myself’.

  9. I’m a sociologist and I rebuke Ms Morgan’s absurd claims. Obviously she isn’t a very good sociologist otherwise she’d understand the concept of ‘Confirmation bias’.

  10. Denmark only got full marriage equality last year in June. So how dr. Morgan already have numbers showing that less heterosexuals are marrying there – needs to be examined.

    But googling her and her work shows she has a negative bias against gays and lesbians – and that she obviously gets published by christian extremist anti-gay fundies …

    1. ChrisMorley 5 Mar 2013, 8:21pm

      She’s written this for the (Roman Catholic) Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child

      1. Hahaha…very good point about Denmark!

  11. It’s the old my “marriage wrecks yours” gambit – utter bullshit. If prejudice stops you doing something, that’s your problem. It’s like blaming the victim for getting in the way of the bully’s fist.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Mar 2013, 6:53pm

    Why is it religious nutters are given plenty of space to air their views in the Committee hearings, but those who oppose them we seldom hear about? It’s always the bloody religious bigots dominating everything. I’d like her to come forward with factual evidence. Where is she getting this from I wonder?

    Has she received any official investigative reports from the eleven countries’ goverments where equal marriage is legal? If not, why not?

  13. Mike Homfray 5 Mar 2013, 6:57pm

    This woman is a fringe sociologist with far right conservative views who works for a right wing think tank. There is actually no evidence other than coincidence for her claims. The only way they could be sufficiently investigated is via qualitative research. There are many more convincing explanations for falling heterosexual marriage figures such as the recession and the general decline in marriage which has come later to Catholic majority countries

  14. Mike Homfray 5 Mar 2013, 6:58pm

    Incidentally I am also a sociologist….

  15. Just because there has been a downward trend amongst heterosexuals to get married, and to get married before reproduction, doesn’t mean you should keep denying others the right to marriage. What a non-argument. The amount of heterosexual marriages would have continued to decline ANYWAY.

  16. speaks for itself really….it’s all utter rubbish!

    Don’t know why she bothered really, no-one is going to take those arguments seriously.

    1. casparthegood 6 Mar 2013, 1:52pm

      With research skills like those demonstrated who else would hire her?

  17. The comment about the retreat of Christianity’s”moral authority” pretty much shows her hand. Religion’s “moral authority”? Sorry, love, I think that ship sailed some time ago.

  18. Do her comments take into account the falling rates a marriage in general? I’m guessing not.
    Her opinion is invalid.

  19. Why on earth have Pink News decided to run this story without providing ANY context as to the author’s affiliations, qualifications, or who commissioned her report. I was disappointed to see this same approach taken in the Telegraph but frankly thought that Pink News at least would have bothered instead of simply aping the T’s report.

    The submission to the Committee was made on behalf of the Society of the Protection of the Unborn Child.

  20. You can tell this woman calls herself a ‘Christian’.

    Just as she cherry-picks bits from the Bible o attack us, she’s using some pretty partial statistics in her argument. She ignores the proportionately greater downward drop in heterosexual marriage rates that were taking place years before same-sex marriage was even a twinkle in Peter Tachell’s eye.
    It’s a deeply flawed reading of statistics.
    She’s either deliberately choosing dodgy ctriteria – in which case she’s just making a somewhat witless propoganda point – or she genuinely believes she’s uncovered a truth – in which case she’s not bright enough to be testifying in front of a Parliamentary committee.

    1. Just to prove what I’m saying – and it’s very easy to disprove this woman’s argument – Google up the heterosexual marriage decline rates in any nation with same-sex marriage or equivalent civil partnerships.

      You’ll need to get the information in graph form.

      Then mark on that graph the date when same-sex marriage/civil partnership became legal to see if it is followed in a sharp decline of heterosexual marriage.

      Thius far, I haven’t found any sharp decreases in the countries that I’ve looked at. And just to be fair, I looked at the data from two years before and two years after marriage equality to see if there is any speeding up of the decline of marriage.

      I’ve only done a cursory bit of research, but I can’t see any correlation between this woman’s argument and the real world.

      It’s simple research – anyone can do it.

      Morgan is either really bad at her job or she’s deliberately presenting false data.

  21. Isn’t this the same Patricia Morgan who cited US Christian Right activist Paul Cameron as a ‘reliable’ source in her anti-adoption monograph “Children as Trophies” for the antigay “Christian Institute” back in 2002- despite the fact that Cameron’s methodology and research ethics led to his expulsion from the American Sociological and Psychological Associations? Well, yes.

  22. She is actually more of a sociotheologist I’d say.
    Yes, I made the word up just bas she made up her pathetic story.

    1. I got a rogue “b” in there, should be has not bas,

  23. I would have hoped she would be pressed to explain her theory as to exactly ‘how’ legalising gay marriage ’causes’ fewer straight people to marry…..The only mechanism (if that’s the word) I can think of is similar to that which might cause a racist to not join a golf club because it admits black members….Of course, if explained in these terms the blatant homophobia involved becomes obvious, hence people like this woman choose to remain coy on the matter… Although I suspect that on the whole they’re too thick to realise it anyway….

    1. Thanks for this and the other reference below, Wendy. They bring her vividly to horific life.

    2. I’m afraid she’s not the “right” Patricia Morgan.
      Rather see this page:

  24. GulliverUK 5 Mar 2013, 8:07pm

    All of the submissions so far as listed here;

    She’s right – there are some real f-wits in there, and also some very good submissions from advocates for equality. Her’s might appear by tomorrow – it seems to get updated about 24 hours after submissions.

    1. I thought the rules around submissions were that they couldn’t be made public before they actually appeared on the govt website so I don’t know how it got reported on the telegraph first!

  25. I skim read the article, but it didn’t seem like she made any reference to any “controls” in her analysis. If you want to prove causation you need to have a control. From what I can see she has included no controls therefore any number of factors outside of same-sex marriage could have easily caused such changes. Correlation does not imply causation. I know that and I’m probably not even going to pass my statistics module.

    1. See my reply and link below with comparison between Spain and Italy. As close as we can get to control on national scale.

    2. Quite. For instance, did you know that storks are holy birds that make people attend religious services in Holland and Spain? Ignore the impious who tell you that churches have lots of room for big nests on their roofs. That’s Godless talk.

  26. Phil Clements 5 Mar 2013, 8:10pm

    This woman isn’t a proper sociologist at all – as mentioned below, she wrote a book called ‘Marriage-Lite: The Rise of Cohabitation and its Consequences’. The book was published by Civitas. Civitas poses as ‘The Institute for the Study of Civil Society’ (if you ever heard anything so pompous.) Civitas declares as its aim: “Official Objects: To advance the study and understanding of religion and ethics in society and any other charitable purpose.” She’s not so much a sociologist as a religious lobbyist posing as an intellectual.

  27. It will strengthen it, actually. So be quiet.

  28. Sociopath more like.

  29. GulliverUK 5 Mar 2013, 8:20pm

    I’m not a sociologist but ….

    across Europe marriage rates have been declining for decades, long before we had any rights … at all.

    Most of those countries don’t even, yet, have any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. In Bulgaria their marriage rates have crashed and they don’t have any recognition, and that is mirrored in many other countries.

  30. Oh look, another promulgation of lies. This is the most author active set of stats:,_1960-2010_(per_1_000_inhabitants).png&filetimestamp=20111208133507

    It needs to be looked at as long term trends.

    Oh, look, the marriage rate in Catholic, Latin, Mediterranean Italy almost mirrors that in Spain, which has had equal marriage since 2009.

    Causation, correlation – she has no clue.

      1. Give up. You get the idea.

    1. Christine Beckett 6 Mar 2013, 11:58am

      Not sure that is the same person….

  31. So her husband was bishop of the church he founded (self-appointed one assumes) but ousted nonetheless. One gets the idea….

  32. I think “sociologist” needs to be in inverted commas here

  33. This is old junk from Stanley Kurtz from years ago, claiming that the decline in marriage rates in Scandinavia was due to same-sex marriage — before any of the Scandinavian countries had legalized same-sex marriage.

    She gives away the show when she starts talking about the linkage of marriage and parenthood — Catholic doctrine again.

  34. Keith Francis Farrell 5 Mar 2013, 10:23pm

    people like this make me angry, what have we got to do, marry someone of the oposite sex, like that is going to cure the problem. How many gay guys do you know who are going to be happy forced into a straight marriage, come to think of it, how many straight woman are going to be happy knowing their husbands are enjoying gay sex on the side, is that nt the real problem that aused AIDS to get into straight marriage in the first place?.
    I really think you need to apply for a refund of all that money you spent getting that dr. before your name, because they failed to teach you anything

  35. i think the article needs to be altered to give her opinion perspective since there is no link whatsoever between declining marriage rates among straight couples and equal marriage. why is her useless opinion given a whole article exactly?

  36. What a complete moron this “Dr” is (and I use that term extremely loosely!)

    Marriage is on the decline for several reasons.
    1. It’s often not necessary.
    2. The decline of an out-dated religious cult
    3. Affordability,
    4. Social acceptance of monogamy without marriage…

    I could go on.
    The idea that she concludes gay marriage is the cause of a decline exposes her as a homophobe with religious ideology spurring her on.

    Her opinions should be dismissed, as should she, from any position where she holds any decision-making capacity!

  37. CH Brighton 5 Mar 2013, 11:31pm

    She originally wrote this for SPUC whose Director, John Smeaton, is another religious gay basher.

  38. she is right, of course. We should all be like John Travolta and Tom Cruise. Tom loves women so much he has been married several times. A true contribution to the world’s marital stability.

  39. I wish we could see her data. Saying that marriage is in decline in countries where same-sex marriage was introduced is not quite the same as showing that the introduction of same-sex marriage has caused, as she says, or exacerbated such decline. But reading these people’s arguments, so devoid of any logic, one can’t help but wonder why their opinion is even considered or reported on.

    1. Val, the study she used doesn’t actually come to the same conclusion she says it does. Typical radical dominionist tactic and drivel.

  40. Common sense 6 Mar 2013, 2:08am

    Astonished that the telegraph would call her a “leading sociologist”

    she is professor of sociology at Buckingham University, a private university not known for its rigorous research base. Her special study is on the damage gay marriage does to just about everything imagineable. Oh and she is a dedicated lifelong Catholic traditionalist.

  41. The “sociologist” needs psychotherapy. She clearly has problems that need treated.

  42. i still don’t see how same sex marriage could diminish hetero marriage unless of course those who pretended to be hetero now had the courage to face who they are and marry their true same sex love…otherwise i don’t understand how same sex marriage diminishes hetero marriages? does anyone understand what the sociologist is talking about?

    1. if that is the case it is a good thing iniit that people are being real and who they are !

  43. Har Davids 6 Mar 2013, 7:36am

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone mention his or her marriage being influenced or even undermined by equal marriage and I live in the country that was the first to introduce it. Where did this ‘scientist’ graduate: Vatican University?

  44. Jock S. Trap 6 Mar 2013, 11:45am

    What absolute rubbish.

    So for the last thirty years marriage has been in decline. Suddenly in 2011/12/13… thirty years after the start of the decline marriage is debated to become equal and all that thirty years of decline is because of it?


    I didn’t realise so many people used crystal balls to see into the future and make such decisions. There again if they knew marriage Equality was coming why the nasty bigotry now?

  45. Marriage by it’s very nature is a betrayal, it is flawed, why do you need someone to ratify your marriage, why do you need to sign papers?

    If you love someone and you need that level of security, well then, you shouldn’t be together.

    1. nothing at all to do with gaining official recognitions and rights then?

  46. ...Paddyswurds 6 Mar 2013, 4:15pm

    Even if it could be proven that Marriage Equality is the cause of heteros abandoning Marriage (which it cannot) that is not a legitimate reason for denying equality to a large minority of British citizens who pay their taxes just like everyone else except that is the churches who try to deny democracy to people while paying no taxes toward that democracy…..

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.