AmerTchr: speed limits constitute duress as well
Speed limits exist for the good of society as a whole. Promises not to interfere with the indoctrination of children exist for the good of whom precisely?
As I said, you (and your friend) clearly do not understand what constitutes duress.
It requires threat (usually physical, but sometimes mental) or threat of another unlawful action as a consequence of not doing something.
Duress has two aspects. One is that it negates the person's consent to an act, such as sexual activity or the entering into a contract; or, secondly, as a possible legal defense or justification to an otherwise unlawful act. A defendant utilizing the duress defense admits to breaking the law, but claims that he/she is not liable because, even though the act broke the law, it was only performed because of extreme unlawful pressure. In criminal law, a duress defense is similar to a plea of guilty, admitting partial culpability, so that if the defense is not accepted then the criminal act is admitted.
Catholic society has their rules every bit as much as a community has traffic laws and when your buddy approached them (no threat) and asked for a church marriage (still no threat) they outlined what he had to do in order for that to happen. Unless the priest or the girl's family threatened him, then no, there is no duress.
The rules/laws of society and any religious group (which incidentally includes the Muslims) are the same, exactly. You elect whether you will accept them or not based upon what your desired outcome is.
By your interpretation, Meatloaf was held in duress by the girl's demand that he love her forever if he wanted to "go all the way" by the dashboard lights. He made his choice.
Don't like the church's rules, don't marry the girl at the church. Don't want to accept the speed limits on a highway, don't get a driver's license. Don't want the "home run" on the front seat of the car so bad, don't make promises that you can't keep.