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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Marriage hits lowest rate since records began almost 150 ye

    Marriage hits lowest rate since records began almost 150 years ago
    Last updated at 03:07am on 27.03.08



    The number of Britons tying the knot has collapsed to a record low, it has emerged.

    The proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.

    And the number of weddings held in 2006 was the smallest since 1895, when the population was little more than half its present level.

    The evidence that marriage is withering away at an increasing pace was met with a furious response from critics of Labour's benefits system, which disregards the status of husbands and wives and pays parents extra to stay single.

    Shadow Home Secretary David Davis claimed the Government had "fuelled family breakdown" and researcher Patricia Morgan, who coined the phrase "marriage lite" to describe cohabitation, said Labour had succeeded in "eradicating" marriage.

    "This is what they have tried to achieve and they should be congratulating themselves," she added.

    "But it is a disaster for children, families and society."

    The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, said that in 2006, fewer than ten in every 1,000 single adults in England and Wales were married.

    Among men the rate was 22.8 in every 1,000, among women 20.5. When marriage-rates were first calculated in 1862 the level was 58.7 for men and 50 for women.

    Even during the world war years marriage rates for women never dropped below 40 in 1,000. They fell below 30 for the first time in 1995.

    The raw numbers of weddings in the figures for 2006 also tell the dramatic story.

    There were 236,980 marriages, the fewest since 228,204 were recorded in 1895, a year in which Oscar Wilde was sent to Reading jail, W.G. Grace scored his 100th century and Queen Victoria had still to celebrate her jubilee.

    In 1895, there were around 30 million people in England and Wales compared with more than 54 million now.

    The general decline of marriage has been under way since 1972 when there were 426,000 weddings and marriage rates were more than 78 in 1,000 for men and 60 for women.

    One in four single women under retirement age is thought to be living unmarried with a partner.

    Feeling the pinch even more is the Church - as two-thirds of all weddings in 2006 were civil ceremonies.

    Religious marriages numbered fewer than 80,000.

    Of the 157,490 civil weddings, 95,300 were held in "approved" premises - stately homes, hotels or even football ground hospitality suites which have been permitted to stage weddings since 1995.

    The age of first-time brides and bridegrooms is continuing to increase. Women are nearly 30 while the man is almost 32.

    One reason for the plunge in marriage numbers appears to be the crackdown on sham ceremonies undertaken by immigration authorities in 2005.

    The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that the restrictions on marriage for non-European citizens introduced in February that year were "one of the many factors that may have contributed to the fall in the number of marriages".

    Sham marriages may have been responsible for the blip in wedding figures that pushed the numbers up to more than 273,000 in 2004.

    But the tax and benefit system came under most fervent attack. Advantages for married couples have gradually been withdrawn, joint taxation-ended in the 1980s and Gordon Brown withdrew the last tax break for couples, the Married Couples Allowance, shortly after Labour came to power in 1997.

    Benefits such as tax credits now favour individuals living with children rather than couples and the bias against couples is thought to have contributed to the growing numbers "living apart together".

    Around a million couples are thought to consider themselves an item but to remain living in separate homes.

    Labour family policy has for a decade maintained that all kinds of families are equally valuable and ministers have campaigned for all references to marriage to be removed from state documents.

    The Tories promised they would provide incentives for couples to get and stay together.

    David Davis said: "This is a sad indictment of the Government's policies which have penalised families and fuelled family breakdown.

    "Stable families are the best formula for bringing up children and preventing delinquency, anti-social behaviour and crime.

    "So a failed family policy is itself a major cause of crime."

    He added: "Conservative policies will support the family by shifting the tax burden away from families and giving 1.8million families an extra £2,000 a year."

    Researcher and author Mrs Morgan said: "I have been reading the Children's Plan put out by Children's Secretary Ed Balls last year.

    "It does not mention marriage once.

    "This Government has removed the idea of marriage from research and public documents and from the tax and benefit system.

    "It has taken the last remaining benefits, like inheritance tax relief when a spouse dies, and given them to other groups like homosexuals in civil partnerships."

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/arti ... article.do
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  2. #2
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    Who gives a rats butt about marriage in Great Briton ?
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    Senior Member redpony353's Avatar
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    A MARRIAGE LICENSE IS REALLY JUST A PIECE OF PAPER. IT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE SUCCESS OF THE MARRIAGE. IF TWO PEOPLE ARE TRULY DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER THEN THEY WILL STAY TOGETHER WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE ACTUALLY MARRIED.

    AS FOR THE CHILDREN....IF THEIR PARENTS ARE NOT DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER THEN THE CHILDREN WILL SUFFER. IF THE PARENTS HAVE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP...MARRIED OR NOT....THEN THE KIDS WILL BE FINE. THE HEALTH OF A RELATIONSHIP IS IN THE COMMITMENT, NOT IN THE LEGAL STATUS.
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    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    redpony wrote:

    A MARRIAGE LICENSE IS REALLY JUST A PIECE OF PAPER.
    It's more than a piece of paper, it's a contract.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  5. #5
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redpony353
    A MARRIAGE LICENSE IS REALLY JUST A PIECE OF PAPER. IT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE SUCCESS OF THE MARRIAGE. IF TWO PEOPLE ARE TRULY DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER THEN THEY WILL STAY TOGETHER WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE ACTUALLY MARRIED.

    AS FOR THE CHILDREN....IF THEIR PARENTS ARE NOT DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER THEN THE CHILDREN WILL SUFFER. IF THE PARENTS HAVE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP...MARRIED OR NOT....THEN THE KIDS WILL BE FINE. THE HEALTH OF A RELATIONSHIP IS IN THE COMMITMENT, NOT IN THE LEGAL STATUS.
    Let's not forget to mention more welfare if there's no "man" of the house.
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    "

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