...seems to be the Tory line of thinking.
Mr Willetts warned changes in attitudes to marriage were "extremely dangerous".
"The aspiration of marriage is becoming harder to achieve," he said.
"Instead of it becoming just what you do in your 20s, it has become like scaling Mount Everest, a sort of great moral endeavour - and something that requires a lot of time and money. We think we need to ease some of the pressures.
"There is quite a lot of evidence coming from America about how we are in danger of heading towards a society where middle-class people get married and people on low and erratic incomes don't get married, and that in turn leads to a divergence of a whole host of other outcomes.
"In my view it would be extremely dangerous if marriage became something only for the affluent elite and that is what will happen, unless we try to get some kind of policy that restores it as a more widespread institution as we had in the past."
Two words: 1/ Correllation. 2/ Causation. They are not the same thing.
There seems to be a deep rooted line of thinking going on here. Previous tory suggestions have centred on the idea that married folk should get tax breaks.
I'm not suggesting that there aren't statistics to suggest that kids fare better with two parents in a stable relationship. But I'm not convinced that these types of measures would be the inducements to 'do the right thing' that the Tories seem to think they are. They're getting things back to front.
A tax break here or there to encourage marriage ain't gonna encourage the 'underclass' to be more stable, or better their parenting skills. It'll merely be an opportunity for financial exploitation by unscrupulous folk.
Marriage in and of itself as a standalone concept or 'institution' does not create better societies. Better societies foster environments where more stable lifestyles are possible, and marriage is a possible follow-on from that.
Oh, and while we're at it, why can't straight couples have civil partnerships?
(Sorry if this comes across a bit CG/Georigegegegegegegegege, I've tried to put a point across in a measured way and I'm just wondering what other DiSers think)