Written evidence from Mr Ian Anderson [HAB0232]
Marriage is a commitment which brings both rights and responsibilities. Those who cohabit have, whether knowingly or not, decided not to embrace those. Rather than give them more rights, more effort should be put into making the difference between marriage and cohabitation better known.
Otherwise it will devalue the benefits of marriage which are many. To name but 2 - cohabiting couples are far more likely than married couples to split up, with the financial and social consequences which follow that; marriage brings better physical and mental health.
So the Government should be doing more to promote marriage rather than create a separate status for cohabiting couples – which not all of them would want anyway, as they may not wish to cohabit permanently.