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Friday, June 02, 2006

Cohabiting couples in the UK may be on their way to receiving them same rights as married couples!

According to the BBC more than three-quarters of couples live together before marriage (me included – though not before marriage, that implies I actually want to get married), and one in four children is born to parents who are cohabiting.

If the new law is introduced (this won’t be until 2007, at least) cohabitees could make the same financial claims as divorcees and lawyers have suggested the entitlements should apply after couples have lived together for two years.

I hope that like me you’re thinking ‘Wow, a step in the right direction! Down with heteronormative marriage practices!’, if you are, you are about to roll your eyes and groan.

Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips told the BBC changing the law would undermine marriage.
She said: "This idea that society is changing and therefore the law has to change to keep up with it is wrong, in my view, historically the law has led the progressive dismemberment of marriage by stripping it progressively of meaning.”

So, is Melanie actually saying that the law shouldn’t be changed to keep up with changes in society? If this is the case, how widely does she want to apply this theory? I mean, back in the old days it was perfectly legal to kill a Welshman with a crossbow on a Sunday. Thankfully this is no longer the case, as of a year or two ago. I would imagine this is a positive law change reflecting a change in society – no?

Ok, that’s a little different, but isn’t the premise the same – refusing to adapt laws to a changing society is utterly ridiculous.

In summation – Cohabiting couples in the UK may be on their way to receiving them same rights as married couples. Can you see a day on the horizon when marriage is not the be all and end all of coupledom in our society – nay, of everything a girl is brought up to do in our society.


Laura said...

Hoorah! This is great news, screw the Daily Fascists, arghh they make me angry.

Andrea said...

This news comes at a good time for me, since now I've found out the MIL is kinda evil, we're facing all manner of weird legal arrangements to be regarded as next-of-kin without marriage.

sappho said...

That's amazing news for you all in the UK!!
Try being a lesbian living & dealing with Bush's war on gay marriage right about now!!
Got any extra room over in the UK for a US Dissenter?! ;)

TP said...

Any time ;o)

Winter said...

Hooray indeed. This might make life easier for a few heterosexual friends who don't want marriage and have very good reasons to prevent their families being named as "next of kin."

sappho said...

Likewise, TP...
That's if ya want to want to see the 'Divided States of Amercia'! ;)

Kaite said...

That would be wonderful - and not just because it's something I'm planning on doing in the near future.

other said...

This is just more tinkering. Instead the whole marriage idea needs to be ripped up and dicrimination removed from the choices people make about who to spend their time with, who to nominate as beneficiaries and so on. Some sort of civil legal agreement would do. And mostly keep the goverment and tax breaks and all the other mess out of it.

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