A high Court judge who said people wanting children should get married had his comments dismissed today as “patronising irrelevance”.
Labour MP Graham Stringer said the comments by Sir Paul Coleridge were not helpful for young people thinking about how to plan their lives.
His attack came after Sir Paul said people had “no right to have children” but only “responsibilities”.
The truth hurts, but it doesn’t do to shy away from it.
Mr Stringer said people should not automatically equate marriage with stability and added: “Telling young people whether they should marry or not doesn’t help — it’s patronising irrelevance.”
Granted, marriage isn’t a panacea, but the statistics speak for themselves. And whilst children can be successfully brought up in family units of all shapes and sizes, I think there’s still a lot to be said for the conventional structure.
But regardless of your views on marriage or how best to bring up children, anything which gets potential parents to stop and think for an extra second about all that’s entailed in parenthood can be no bad thing.
Sir Paul made his comments after the Marriage Foundation think-tank published research suggesting children born out of wedlock were twice as likely to suffer a family break-up.
And official figures show the proportion of children born to unmarried mothers in England and Wales reached a record 47.5 per cent last year.
Sir Paul was reported as saying: “There is this idea out there that it doesn’t make any difference whether you cohabit or marry. No it doesn’t — except that one tends to last and the other tends not to last.”
He went on: “If your relationship is not stable enough to cope with children you should not have them. You have a responsibility — you have no right to have children, you only have responsibilities if you have them.”
Well said that man.