CARE believes that marriage between a man and a woman is good for the family and therefore good for society. Our faith tells us that marriage is a high calling that should be respected and honoured. The book of Hebrews states that;
“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure [i]”
The social science evidence strongly underlines this wisdom, demonstrating the overwhelming public policy benefits of marriage to both adults and children [ii]. It is also associated on average with much better outcomes than cohabitation [iii].
Governments cannot intervene and fix broken marriages but they can create a public policy framework that supports marriage and makes getting married no harder in this country than is the case across the developed world on average. This is done principally by recognising marriage in the tax system and through investing in marriage support services (i.e. marriage preparation, marriage enrichment and marriage guidance counselling).
Marriage Support Services
Statutory support was made available for marriage through Section 22 of the 1996 Family Law Act introduced by the Conservative Government of John Major. The wisdom of this was reviewed under the following Labour Government by Sir Graham Hart who concluded that investing in Marriage Support was a very good use of public monies. This was then extended to ‘marriage and relationship support’, although the commitment seemed to largely evaporate after 2004. The Coalition Government has invested more in the way of relationship support, including marriage.
Questions for Candidates
- Do you recognise that it is appropriate to use public monies to invest in marriage support services because of the significant benefits of marriage for both adults and children?
- Will you commit to openly investing in marriage support services and to increasing the amount of money invested in this crucial area?
- Will you commit to funding Christian service providers which support heterosexual marriage in a Christian ethos?
[i] Hebrews 13:4, the New International Version Bible.