Law Prof says Government plans will ‘unravel marriage’

Government plans to redefine marriage are “disingenuous” and marriage will “eventually unravel altogether”, a law professor has said.

Professor Julian Rivers, an editor-in-chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, said the Government was being “disingenuous” by falsely claiming a distinction between civil and religious marriage.

Prof Rivers said: “Marriage risks becoming any formalised domestic arrangement between any number of people for any length of time. On such a trajectory, marriage will eventually unravel altogether.”


He warned that this “is too high a price to pay for a proposal which fulfils no practical legal need”.

Prof Rivers, Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Bristol Law School, said: “Marriage affirms the equal value of men and women, and promotes the welfare of children.

“Moreover, the logic of equal recognition and radical choice means that the boundaries of any new definition will be far more vulnerable. Challenges to its exclusivity, its permanence and even its sexual nature will be unavoidable.”


He warned that the Government’s proposals seem “to rest on reasons of equality, stability and convenience” but that “on closer inspection” these reasons are “respectively incomplete, speculative and negligible”.

Prof Rivers’ comments came in a report for the Jubilee Centre’s Cambridge papers.

Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to introducing same-sex marriage by 2015. However, more than 600,000 people have signed a petition, by the Coalition for Marriage, calling for the divisive measures to be ditched.

Earlier this month homosexual Conservative MP Conor Burns said there was “no clamour” for redefining marriage within the homosexual community.

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