Written evidence from Professor Stephen Taylor [HAB0236]

As a Christian I am a strong believer in marriage. The evidence taken over many years clearly shows that public commitment of marriage promotes stability for society and for the upbringing of children. Successive governments have all indicted their support for marriage and marriage has particular legal status. However marriage is undermined if the same legal rights are given to those who have freely chosen not to be publicly committed to each other i.e. who are free to be married if they choose, but have freely chosen not to.

The facts show that cohabitation although it can be long term is statistically is much more unstable than marriage. So the children of co-habiting couples are more likely to experience their parent's separation - which in most cases is not optimal for them.

Giving legal rights to cohabitees will encourage cohabitation and will therefore result in more family breakdown.

Creating a second alternative to marriage is completely unnecessary and will profoundly undermine marriage. 

The difficulties experienced by cohabiting couples are being overstated and can already be addressed by other means.

June 2021