Marriage: union for the future or contract for the present

Document type
Scruton, Roger; Blond, Phillip
Date of publication
1 February 2013
Minority Groups, Families
Social welfare
Material type

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This paper argues that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill compromises both heterosexual marriage and homosexual union. The paper considers that the conjugal and the partnership model represent two competing ideas of marriage. The first, the traditional and conjugal, extends beyond the individuals who marry to the children they hope to create and the society they wish to shape. The second is more contractual and restricted to the two individuals involved. The authors argue in this paper that there is far more to marriage than just its name; any changes to its definition should therefore not be taken lightly. The authors believe that there is provision for a religious recognition of civil partnerships – something far more radically inclusive than any attempt at equal marriage. So the conclusions of the paper cut both ways: the authors aim to protect heterosexual marriage, but also to argue for religious recognition and celebration of homosexual union.

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