Written evidence from Mr Patrick Edwards [HAB0040]


I am married for 37 years with children & Grandchildren, and wish to herald the benefits of marriage, as it has kept us together making us stronger and giving a solid foundation for our children & Grandchildren.



Plain & simple Marriage has benefits & should have, because a long-term commitment is made. This provides the stability & security necessary for all members of a family especially children as well as society in general.


Statistics show that unmarried couples are more unstable than married couples, as over half of children who turn 5 will have experienced the separation of their cohabiting parents compared to only 15% of children from married parents.


Giving legal rights to cohabiting couples would further undermine the time & worldwide proven socially accepted construct of marriage. The commitment till death of marriage builds a deeper level of trust between partners, and as such, they are far more adept at dealing with the many issues & difficulties that life brings. Which in turn makes married couples far more likely to remain together through trying times. Thereby building a stronger more secure base for children & having a more positive impact on society as a whole. Not to mention the better health & lower addictions in marriage.


If partners wish to have the same legal rights as married couples, then they should simply marry. Otherwise Parliament has already provided an alternative in 'Civil Partnerships', which is available for all couples without the requirement of a life-long commitment. Any further concessions would only further alienate marriage and promote cohabitation, which I have already stressed has negative impacts on children & society, as well as the huge costs of family breakdowns to taxpayers which already runs into £50bn per-annum. 


If there is ambiguity in peoples perception of the legal rights of cohabitees being the same as in marriage, then perhaps implementing an awareness campaign would be the best way to inform those of the exact differences. Not a fundamental legal change that would further damage the widely accepted, long held & proven tradition of marriage.


Cohabiting couples have made a choice not to make a public life-long commitment to marry. Therefore there should remain a distinction between them and couples who 'have' made a till death do us part commitment.


July 2021