Baroness Deech has written a new entry on Lords of the Blog entitled “Love and Marriage” and on it argues that formal marriage is a more earnest affair than cohabitation, by virtue of the fact that the couple in question choose to declare their love conventionally and with outward displays of commitment, like the marriage ceremony itself.
My views do differ, but Baroness Deech is known for her strong pro-marriage views and so her blog post is not altogether surprising. I myself am pro-marriage (that is to say, I am not anti it) but by order of priority, pro-choice above and beyond anything else, as long as that choice does not harm others. In this way, I do not feel civil partnerships or co-habitation are less earnest but Baroness Deech is clearly highlighting the ever-increasing fluidity in family structure.
As for outward displays or public displays of togetherness being indicative of genuine commitment, as Baroness Deech suggests, I would modestly suggest that whilst they can insinuate intent to honour a relationship there are many ways to measure meaning and commitment.
Baroness Deech’s blog post is food for thought and the comments below it are interesting. Can we really blame conventional structures or the lack of them at any given time for perceived breakdowns? Is it a complicated mixture of structure, substance and environment or is ours a generation coming to grips with a new state of mind, as scientific discoveries urge us to review our perception of the human condition, on a fundamental level? I think this blog post challenges us to consider all these things. Worth a peek!