Former judge: Support marriage, not cohabitation law

Jan 7, 2015

A former High Court judge says he no longer supports the idea of giving cohabitees the same legal rights as married couples.

Sir Paul Coleridge, who until last year was a family judge, described such legislation as “naïve” and “lawyer-driven”, and instead called for the Government to be “unequivocal” in supporting marriage.

The retired High Court judge set up the Marriage Foundation in 2012 to combat the family breakdown culture and has previously come under fire for supporting marriage.

In comments to the Daily Mail last month, he said: “I used to be quite in favour of some form of legal protection.

“But I have drawn away from a cohabitation law. It is a naïve, lawyer-driven idea, and some leadership is needed.”

“You have to look at the bigger picture”, he commented, adding that children of cohabiting relationships are “at a disadvantage because of that”.

“The Government should be unequivocal in its support for marriage”, he said.

Sir Paul concluded that the institution “is not helped by people like Nick Clegg and others who give the impression that marriage doesn’t matter and all relationships are the same”.

Ahead of the upcoming General Election, it is high time the leaders of all political parties spoke out in support of marriage between one man and one woman, and its benefits for children and adults alike.