Written evidence from Mr Edward Biggs [HAB0161]
In almost sixty years of marriage, including thirty years in professional practice, I have had contact with cohabiting couples as well as with many other married couples. From these contacts, and from observation of well-documented social trends over the years, the following facts have become clear:
These facts show incontrovertibly that marriages are immeasurably better for society than cohabitating relationships. So why not do all we can to encourage marriage? Any measure to give those cohabiting the same rights as married couples is bound to lead to more cohabiting and less marrying, with a consequential rise in the damaging trends outlined above.
If the government is concerned to improve the welfare and health (including mental health) of the nation’s children, and to reduce teenage lawlessness, it should abandon any attempt, however well-intentioned, to give greater legal rights to cohabiting couples.