Written evidence from Victoria Bowman [HAB0106]

I would like to submit my opinions regarding this consultation on the rights of co-habiting couples.  I think that the strongest argument about people not having the same legal rights can easily be address through relationships education at secondary school.  It is important that children understand the difference between marriage and co-habitation as they are considering relationships, but a lack of awareness does not necessarily mean that something important and good should change. 

The effect of marriage is to give a stable foundation, not only for the couples themselves, but also for children.  Many more children experience their parents staying together if they are married.  The couples have made a lifelong commitment to one another, which can help to children to feel secure.  For those couples who split up, this actually causes distress to the children, and furthermore, causes much greater financial burdens to society.

There are many other reasons that I believe marriage is hugely beneficial for society and for the families involved, and therefore couples should actively be encouraged to take this step.  Rather than diminishing the benefits of marriage by making it equal to co-habitation, these benefits should be talked about and commended

I hope that the government will seek to better educate society rather than de-valuing an institution that is hugely beneficial to society.

July 2021