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COLLAPSE OF FAMILIES IS A DISASTER.

Byline: Paul Routledge

MOST people are pretty blase about gay marriage. Opinion polls show a majority in favour, but it ranks nowhere in the scale of public concern.

People are a damn sight more anxious about jobs, prices, immigration and crime than about wedding rings and church services for homosexuals.

Gay marriage, whose time has come, is an issue affecting a tiny minority.

Of infinitely greater concern is the breakdown of conventional marriage. When I got wed in the 60s, only one in 50 adults cohabited. "Living in sin", it was called.

Today, that figure is one in six, and rising. And the rate of breakdown for these relationships is far higher than for those who marry.

The impact on children of this trend is plain for all to see: lower educational achievement and higher crime levels. Kids without fathers, casual parenthood.

It is a social disaster. The Tories crept into Downing Street by the back door, promising to be the party of the family.

They've done nothing to deliver on that pledge. In fact, the anti-family trend accelerated on their watch.

Civil partnerships for heterosexual men and women are not the answer. More, proper, well-founded and wellsupported marriage is.

Ed Miliband showed the way by marrying (eventually) the mother of his children.

He saved gay marriage from the massed parliamentary ranks of the nasty party.

He should now offer voters a marriage and family-friendly policy that makes Labour the party for fathers, mothers and children.
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Title Annotation:News; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 24, 2013
Words:246
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