Written evidence from Mr Alex Stewart, ACA Research [HAB0022]
SANCTITIY AND PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE – WHAT IS GOING TO BE UNDERMINED BY GIVING CO-HABITEES THE SAME RIGHTS AS MARRIED COUPLES
SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE
- Marriage is a commitment, intended for life. It is not a casual, or financial calculation, which this new law would encourage.
- It is common sense that without the rules, even social pressure, of maintaining marriage, the children of a partnership suffer. This is not acknowledged enough by legislators, but any reference to drug abuse, self-harming, criminal record, etc., will show that the majority are the result of broken homes, single families, painful divorce. This law will only worsen this state of affairs.
- The proposed law also adds to the ‘me-first’ culture – and goes against the responsibilities incurred in a formal, let alone hallowed, marriage. The results follow.
- The constant legislation to undermine the sanctity of marriage, and make divorce easier results in an almost pandemic of mental disorders, eating disorders, escape into drugs, and huge associated costs, which result in higher public costs and private grief. If legislators are in touch with their communities, their local schools, their own children even, they can only be insensitive, blind, or cynical about it. The less charitable might call them complicit.
- A law which encourages rather than hinders me-first at the same time undermines the more important message and focus there should be on lifetime commitment. With the loss of Christian leadership, the only communities which uphold lifetime commitment are the localised faith communities.
- At a practical level it could be a legal quagmire if ‘co-habitees’ decide they have rights over properties. How is this managed in law? Who is going to pay for their ‘divorce’ settlements?