Cameron and Miliband at odds over marriage

David Cameron and Ed Miliband clashed over marriage yesterday as they both claimed to be “pro-commitment”.

The Prime Minister said in a speech he believes marriage is a “wonderfully precious institution” while Mr Miliband said the institution is not necessarily the best foundation for a stable family.

David Cameron has previously made clear that he believes marriage can be defined as being between a same-sex couple as well as between a man and a woman.

Evidence

In a speech on the Big Society, which was pre-released online, the Prime Minister said he is “pro-commitment”, supports marriage, and thinks “families are immensely important”.

He also commented: “There’s a whole body of evidence that shows how a bad relationship between parents means a child is more likely to live in poverty, fail at school, end up in prison or be unemployed in later life.”

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Monday morning, Ed Miliband, who will marry his long-term partner Justine Thornton on Friday, said he was also “pro-commitment”.

But, he continued, “unlike David Cameron, I am not going to say that those families that aren’t married are automatically less stable than those families that are”.

Failed

Mr Miliband continued: “Marriage is a good institution, it is right for me and Justine, but the thing that really matters to people is stable families and they come in different forms.”

David Cameron has previously said as far as he is concerned ‘it does not matter’ whether marriage is “between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman”.

Earlier this month an influential think-tank hit out at the coalition Government, saying it had failed to support marriage and done “almost nothing” to address family breakdown.

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