CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

Marriage
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At the very beginning, God created the family as one of the great building blocks in society. He also established marriage from the dawn of creation, and He officiated at the first ever wedding service. Strong families are foundational to a healthy society. Marriages too are vital, representing the gold standard of commitment. CARE is committed to upholding both.

Our vision is to see society transformed by families being strengthened and more support being given to help couples stay together. We also want to see the current discrimination in our tax system against one-earner married couples with two children ended and marriage made a more financially appealing option for all.

Topic primer

Christians love and believe in the importance of marriage. It is a key social institution and is good for the family and for society as a whole. Marriage is a gift from God and a high calling which should be respected and honoured by all. At CARE, we are committed to the view that understands marriage to be the voluntary union between one man and one woman, for life, forsaking all others. While to some this may seem old fashioned, we believe this is the way marriage was intended to be. Right across the globe, many different cultures all recognise the value and significance of the marriage union.

If you look at the available evidence, it clearly shows that marriage is good for children, good for adults and good for whole communities. The wellbeing of those involved in marriage is higher than those who are not. Marriage, therefore, brings with it benefits which go far beyond the fulfilment of romantic love. It teaches commitment at an incredibly deep level which, in turn, produces trust, security and support.

Where marriage is honoured, society thrives. If you look at what has happened in the last decades in the UK, we’ve seen family breakdown grow enormously. The awful reality is that many teenagers are more likely to own a smartphone than have a dad at home. The emotional cost of family breakdown is bad enough. But there is also an economic cost as well. Each year, it is estimated that family breakdown costs in the region of £50bn. This is more than some major Government departments have in their spending budgets.

The result of undermining marriage is the ruination of the family unit. The consequence of this is devastating for young people and their life chances. As Christians we should seek the good of our society. Convinced, as we are, that God’s ways are good for the whole of society, we should support and uphold marriage and the family as God’s better way for society to function.

CARE has been advocating for greater recognition of marriage in the tax system for a number of years. We’ve been producing annual reports for more than a decade. Alongside this work, we have also supported proposals for a Family Test to ensure all domestic policies do not undermine family life. Recent attempts have been made to introduce so called ‘no-fault’ divorce which would make obtaining a divorce even easier. Working with MPs we have raised awareness in the House of Commons on the risks associated with such a move.

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There is more to read from CARE's perspective

Tim Keller
Real love, the Bible says, instinct­ively desires permanence
Tim Keller Pastor and author of The Meaning of Marriage
New parliament 2010

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Resources

For many years, CARE has been at the forefront of research on how families fare in the UK tax and benefits system, both domestically and internationally. Here you will find our latest research.

CARE Report: The taxation of families International Comparisons 2018

CARE Report: The tax­a­tion of fam­il­ies Inter­na­tion­al Com­par­is­ons 2018

by CARE fiscal policy consultants Don Draper and Leonard Beighton

Our latest tax report examines how UK families fare in comparison with their counterparts from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with regard to the overall tax burdens, income tax rates and Effective Marginal Tax Rates they face.

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National Marriage Week Blogs

Nation­al Mar­riage Week Blogs

CARE Staff

During National Marriage Week 2019, CARE published blogs on marriage and singleness by different members of the CARE team

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Centre for Social Justice
Fam­ily envir­on­ment is cru­cial to children’s out­comes. It is the instabil­ity and dis­rup­tion caused by fam­ily break­down, coupled with poor par­ent­ing, that is so dam­aging to their outcomes.
Centre for Social Justice

Cause history

March 2018 I V Ig Xw A3

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) publishes a review of the Family Test

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) published a review of the Family Test, five years on from its introduction by former PM David Cameron. The report concluded that: “it appears that there is often superficial engagement with the Test and little regard to the five component questions that comprise the Test. We are concerned that in examining responses from departments there seems to be a lack of awareness of the role of family within the policy objectives of each department.”

A review of the Family Test
May 2018 Official portrait of Fiona Bruce crop 2

Lord Farmer and Fiona Bruce MP co-sponsor the Family Relationships (Impact Assessment and Targets) Bill

Lord Farmer and Fiona Bruce MP co-sponsored a private members’ Bill, the Family Relationships (Impact Assessment and Targets) Bill , which would require government departments to publish a ‘Family Impact Assessment’ setting out the impact on families of any policy proposal. The Bill passed the House of Lords and made it to second reading in the House of Commons before running out of parliamentary time.

Family Relationships (Impact Assessment and Targets) Bill
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Government announces proposed reforms to divorce laws

The Government announced proposed reforms to divorce laws in England and Wales that would remove requirements to show cause for a divorce in the five facts and replace them with a simple notification system. The Government brought forward the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, however the Bill did not pass all stages before the general election was called.

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March 2019 Marriage 3

Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

A private members’ Bill sponsored by Tim Loughton MP and Baroness Hodgson introducing heterosexual civil partnerships into England and Wales was accepted by the Government. The Bill enables the Secretary of State to bring forward regulations that would amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to provide for civil partnerships for people of the opposite sex. The Bill states that the regulations must be in force by the end of 2019.

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019
December 2019 Leon seibert Kg Lk BR Gy DLM unsplash

The first heterosexual civil partnership takes place

Heterosexual civil partnerships can now take place in the UK, and it is predicted that around 84,000 mixed-sex couples will become civil partners in 2020.

January 2020 Matheus ferrero yfmj A Lh1 S6s unsplash 9

No-Fault Divorce Bill is re-introduced into the new Parliament

The re-elected Conservative Government reintroduced the Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill as one of the first pieces of legislation in its new legislative timetable.

Damaging No-Fault Divorce Bill Makes Unwelcome Return

News and updates

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MPs warn PM about big rebellion over Sunday trading proposals

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned by his own MPs that he will face a rebellion in the house of Commons if he tries to liberalise Sunday trading laws.

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No-Fault Divorce Bill to become law as MPs vote overwhelmingly against marriage support

The Government's controversial no-fault divorce reforms for England and Wales will soon become law after the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was rushed through all remaining stages in the House of Commons yesterday. The Bill will remove the five facts currently required to evidence divorce and replace them with a notification period of six months.

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No Fault Divorce Bill moves a step closer to becoming law

Yesterday the Government's Divorce Bill moved one step closer to becoming law as it passed its 2nd Reading in the House of Commons.

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CARE calls on the Govt to protect marriage

The Government should prioritise investing in relationship support services to help couples stay together, rather than making divorce easier, CARE has said.

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Department for Education allows delay to RSE introduction

The Department for Education has written to schools in England, instructing them that they no longer have to begin teaching the new Relationships and Sex Education curriculum from September this year.

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Need help with finances and managing your family's budget?

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) are a national charity, working across the UK to lift people out of debt and poverty. They offer free debt counselling through a network of 260 debt centres based in local churches.

Find out more
Sam Allberry
Mar­riage shows us the unity of the gos­pel. Single­ness shows us its sufficiency.
Sam Allberry Editor for The Gospel Coalition and a global speaker for RZIM.

Culture
& society reflecting a better story for everyone.

At the heart of all of CARE’s work is our determination to uphold the truth that human beings made in God’s image are immensely valuable and deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.

We want to show a better story for our culture and society, and we want to be part of shaping that in structures that we are given as citizens in the UK…

Find out more about the better story

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Take action

You can make a difference today.

Together we can make a difference shaping our culture and society. Here are three things you can do right now…

Pray.

Our God answers prayer and we want to pray for marriages and families across our nation

Pray with us

Write.

Contact your MP and ask them to oppose the relaxation of Sunday trading laws

Write to your MP

Discover.

Find out more about CARE's work on supporting families

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