Written evidence from Mrs Roz Owens [HAB0116]
Marriage needs to remain as a distinct relationship as compared to cohabiting. A cohabitee has not committed to their partner for life by vowing as such before witnesses, therefore they do not get the legal privileges that a married couple do.
Marriage is good for society, family and even mental health. In contrast, many more cohabiting couples split up than married couples divorce. More than half of children of cohabiting parents will experience their parents’ separation by the age of five, but this is only 15 per cent for children of married parents.
Rather than the government giving the same privileges to a cohabiting couple, they should instead ensure that society understands what marriage is and how it is beneficial. If cohabiting couples are treated the same as married couples this completely devalues marriage.
As a Christian I believe marriage is the God - given blueprint for the basis for a happy, secure family and consequently, a happy society. Marriage should be encouraged not devalued by changing current laws.