Written evidence submitted by John King [HAB0081]
I am concerned that the proposed changes will further undermine the status of marriage as the best form of co habitation for individuals, couples, children of those couples and society in general. The collapse of marriage which is the bed rock of our society will have a devastating effect on each of us and must be avoided at all costs.
The following are some of the benefits of marriage :-
- The public commitment of marriage promotes stability for society and for the upbringing of children. That is why marriage has particular legal status. It greatly benefits adults and children and should be promoted.
- Cohabitation is much more unstable than marriage. By the time they turn five, 53% of children of cohabiting parents will have experienced their parents’ separation; for five-year-olds with married parents, this is 15%.
- Giving legal rights to cohabitees will encourage cohabitation, which is inherently unstable and so will escalate more family breakdown in society – already costing the public purse over £50bn each year.
- Married couples report healthier lifestyles and better health outcomes, with smoking and recreational drug usage much less common among married women than cohabitees. Married men have better cardiovascular health, better cancer survival rates, lower risk of depression and greater satisfaction in retirement.