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Time to make a strong stand for marriage

Sir Paul Coleridge, a senior Family Court Judge, is to be commended for launching the Marriage Foundation. The organisation will promote marriage and campaign to reverse the appalling and costly impact of family breakdown.

The news comes on the first working day after the Christmas and new year break, which is known in legal circles as Divorce Day. As a former barrister, I too know the pains of working in the family justice system. Sir Paul has vastly more experience having spent over 40 years working in family law and is concerned for the 3.8m children caught up in the family justice system.

He wants to unashamedly advocate for marriage as the gold standard for couples where children are involved. Research has consistently shown that married people live longer, are healthier and happier. Only 48% of cohabiting couples are still together by their child's fifth birthday whereas 92% of married couples are.

It is time for an open debate on the benefits of marriage. Evangelical Alliance and its members have organised Marriage Week in Northern Ireland promoting practical pre- and post-marriage support. We must be prepared to positively articulate the benefits of this great public institution against those who would seek to redefine and undermine it, because marriage is more than a piece of paper.

PETER LYNAS

NI director

Evangelical Alliance

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