Written evidence from St John’s Road Baptiste Church [HAB0352]

Below are a couple of brief comments from St John’s Wood Road Baptist Church, London written by their minister, Scott Little, in response to the above Committee’s proposal.

We are not in favour of the proposal for many reasons but we will limit them to three for the sake of brevity and to receive a hearing.

1.     Marriage includes promises of a lifelong commitment to each other. It is on this basis that the law makes provision for a spouse should one of the parties to the marriage die. Cohabitees by the nature of their relationship do not make such promises and therefore these rights should not automatically be applied to them. If they desire to have them the options are there through marriage or civil partnership.

2.     Separation among cohabitation relationships are far greater than those in marriage. Statistics show that fifty per cent of the children from cohabiting parents will face the breakup and separation of their parents by the young age of five whereas for those from married parents the number is only fifteen per cent. Given the terrible state of mental health among our young people and the search for a solution to this growing pandemic any move to equate cohabiting with marriage relationships is bound to exacerbate the problem not alleviate it.

3.     Cohabiting couples already have channels open to them to deal with the difficulties that this proposal says should be overcome by amending the law – it is not an amendment that is required but greater promotion of these channels that already exist. For example, any difficulties with inheritance concerns can be dealt with by writing a will and specifying what should happen upon the unfortunate death of one party.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through our comments and noting our position which is not in favour of this proposal.

July 2021