Over at Volokh, Maggie Gallagher makes the curious argument that society needs marriage because without marriage, people would be having children out of wedlock.
Marriage regulates people who aren’t married by the way, e.g. by making it clear when a baby is going to be born “out of wedlock” . . . . So marriage as a legal status is one of the ways we get young men and women to do any one of the hard things necessary to make sure they postpone babies until they are married. Marriage is a way of wrestling with the fact that, men and women attracted to the opposite sex can just make a baby, with no intention or forethought, under the grip of a pretty powerful passion to boot: One drink too many and 9 months later, boom there’s a baby.
In related news, law schools are important because without law schools, one couldn’t earn a law school diploma. Also, blogs are important because without them, the bloggernacle could not exist.
In the mean time, thank your stars that we’ve got marriage. If not for marriage, people everywhere would just be getting drunk and having lots of out-of-wedlock babies.