Written evidence from Mr Roger Kendall [HAB0030]



Evidence and opinion on giving cohabiting couples full marriage rights.


  1. My first concern is that of freedom. What right has government or society to force legal responsibilities on citizens which they clearly have not chosen. People have three choices,

legal marriage, civil partnerships, or cohabiting. Perhaps good publicity might encourage people to make a better choice, but it must be their choice.

  1. Marriage may still have some patriarchal connotations, but it was the essence of stable society for centuries. It is the only “true love.” The statement of commitment to “death us do part,” is a confirmation that I love you enough to stick by you, whatever happens. Love is a decision of care, not a romantic feeling or sexual desire. Marriage should be a partnership of equals. It does not need a fancy wedding!
  2. Giving cohabitees further rights will only undermine marriage further. It is better to celebrate marriage rather than undermine it by a partial replacement.
  3. It will be a nightmare to administer. What will it be based on? What if the couple lives together for a year, separates for two months, lives again together for another year, separates for another three months (as one has an affair), then one of them goes and works abroad for another year but the relationship has resumed and continues even while they are living separately. The endless possibilities of relationships will make this unworkable.
  4. All statistics point to marriage giving greater security to children, financial stability, happiness, health and support in later life. It is time to trumpet its success, not undermine its use.
  5. My in-laws have been married for sixty-seven years this month, require no care home and are presently little burden on the state because of their support for each other. Neither are in good health, but they manage, and their love and companionship is of daily strength to them. Cohabitation leads to more lonely people living alone at the end of their lives and being more of a burden on the state.
  6. The government needs to have the courage to stand up for traditional values, not destroy them by undermining them.


These opinions are my own from observation, some informal counselling of others and personal life.


July 2021