Traditional marriage vows would be better replaced by a fixed-term contract, an author and academic has claimed.
Jeanette Winterson entered a same-sex marriage in 2015, despite previously being “unsure about gay marriage”.
Writing in The Guardian, Professor Winterson claimed that a lifelong commitment is “too long for most of us” and “that needs to be recognised”.
“I want to stay with Susie, and I hope I can, but I would have preferred to sign up for 10 years because ‘for ever’ makes me panic”, she wrote.
Campaign group Coalition for Marriage said it had always warned that, “once marriage was redefined for same-sex couples, there would be further redefinitions down the line”.
We need to continue speaking out for the true definition of marriage.
“We need to continue speaking out for the true definition of marriage – the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.
“The concept of a ‘fixed-term marriage’ must be firmly resisted. Marriage requires total commitment, not temporary assent”, the group stated.
Under the headline: “Jeanette Winterson: we need to be more imaginative about modern marriage”, the professor also attacked organised religion.
“If we are to reform marriage, the first and most important step is to nullify the power of religion to dictate the rights of individuals over their own bodies. And over their own hearts.”
She added: “We are all living longer, and not all of us can stay with that same one person for ever. Marriage has always been a contract, so why not discuss fixed-term contracts?
“A fixed term might allow both parents to feel less pressure and more responsibility”, she said, questioning whether traditional vows amount to “liberation or a life sentence”.
Marriage best for children
In 2015, a columnist at The Herald newspaper praised marriage as best for children and individuals.
Colette Douglas Home said that the “social experiment” of raising children in different arrangements had shown that marriage is best for all.
God’s gift for the whole of society
We have lost confidence in marriage as a cornerstone of society, and so we retreat to the safety of talking about marriage as a personal commitment rather than a social institution with significance beyond the couple themselves.