A study published by the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) on October 10, 2019, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS), illustrates a significant increase in PACS [civil unions] at the expense of marriage, which, although weakened, remains, for the time being, the norm in France.
It seems a long time ago since Christine Boutin crossed swords in the National Assembly, stigmatizing, at the end of a seemingly endless speech of more than five hours on November 3, 1999, “PACS as establishing homosexuality as normal.”
“Everything passes, everything flees,” wrote Victor Hugo rightly, and twenty years later, the PACS seems to have definitely returned to the customs of the French, to the point of competing with the institution of marriage.
In fact, according to the report published by INED on October 10, which is based on demographic statistics for the year 2018, 235,000 marriages – including 226,000 between different sexes – were concluded, with 194,000 PACS.
What INED does not mention is the number of religious marriages contracted in France within the Church: their number was 50,657 in 2017, compared to 122,580 around the start of the year 2000, a further proof, if it were necessary, of the religious indifferentism from which the eldest daughter of the Church suffers.
“Marriage, although weakened, is still the norm,” says Wilfried Rault, a sociologist at INED, who points out that 74% of people living in a relationship are married: something to temper the news is that these figures have included the generations before 1999, when PACS did not exist.
But if it has contributed considerably to trivializing homosexuality in peoples’ minds, was that not the goal mainly sought? PACS does not appeal to the majority of people of the same sex, far from it, thus in 2018, 96.2% of the civil unions were concluded between a man and a woman.
For Wilfried Rault, PACS is like the antechamber of marriage, “a first form of commitment, with marriage on the horizon in the future.” We should rather say it’s the umpteenth pale copy of marriage on a trial basis, which to the contrary repels any notion of commitment.
The financial, legal, fiscal or administrative motivations, are not for nothing in this rise of the PACS: “three quarters of the civil partnerships make reference to legal documents,” admits the INED sociologist.
Auri sacra fames, the “execrable thirst for gold” Virgil had already denounced during the time of Augustus.