Who will champion marriage?

Jun 10, 2024 by

by Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation:

It’s now a decade since any cabinet minister made a speech that included the importance of marriage. This public silence is at odds with their private behaviour. Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are both married, as are most of their respective cabinets. What do they know that we shouldn’t know?

The case for the state’s support for marriage is a strong one. Economists argue that the primary social function of marriage is to bond men to the mothers of their future children. The psychology behind the act of marriage is compelling. Married parents and their children tend to have better social outcomes than those who never marry, regardless of income.

Without strong parental bonds, society becomes chaotic. We see signs of this today. Falling marriage rates mean nearly half of today’s teenagers are not living with both natural parents. This is almost certainly the highest level of family breakdown in recorded history and is likely to get worse. We spend as much on supporting lone parents (quite rightly) as we do on defence.

So come on political parties. Champion marriage, make it attractive for couples to marry, and turn back the tide of family breakdown. State your support in your manifestos. You embrace marriage in your personal lives. So why not promote it in your public policies.

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