dA Modest Marriage Proposal - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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A Modest Marriage Proposal

by Christopher Chantrill
June 12, 2007 at 4:48 pm

IN BRITAIN the Law Commission is worried about the rights of cohabiting couples, writes Libby Purves.  It thinks they should have all the rights of married couples.

Why bother, wonders Purves?  Anyone that wants the rights of married people can get married.  Even gays can obtain similar rights now that civil partnerships are recognized under the law in Britain.  It isn’t exactly a secret that marriage tightens the obligations of sexual partners.

Women – who traditionally get the short end of the stick – should be aware that marriage is a safer basis for scaling down work to raise a family, and that if they eschew it or are denied it, then they had better make arrangements.

But the idea of automatically formalizing cohabitation rights gives Purves an idea.  Why not declare that any couple that has a child together is automatically married?

If the Law Commission really wanted to put a spoke in the wheel of feckless and exploitative lovers, it could simply decree that the birth of a child creates, ipso facto, a marriage – with all the property and pension rights which that implies. Imagine the terror, imagine the caterwauling of complaint – not least when chaps found themselves “married” to multiple women, and instead of the weedy Child Support Agency were faced with complex crypto-divorce proceedings and settlements.

That would really change the terms of trade, wouldn’t it?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill