Conservative or liberal, confusion among the commentators

Click to follow
It is an empirical certainty that if we legislate again, there will be another surge in the number of divorces. That will be compounded by the introduction of true "no-fault" divorce on demand. John Patten, MP.

The idea that marriage break-up is good for children because it brings conflict to an end, is demonstrably false. I don't believe all marriages must endure whatever the circumstances. I am merely alarmed that people have become far too casual about relationships, and that commitment has been redefined as a transitory arrangement. Melanie Phillips, "Observer" columnist.

The structure of the family, as seen by politicians peeping through the lace curtains, doesn't matter much. What matters is the quality of consistent love, care and attention, and also the security that children grow up with. You may say that it is more likely that a child will receive love and security from a stable family which has two natural parents. But what can anyone do to force people to stay married? Polly Toynbee, "Independent" columnist.

This Bill does more to undermine the institution of marriage than any single piece of legislation for three decades. William Oddie, theologian.

Nothing more threatens to return Britain to Disraeli's "two nations" than a division of the population into those who have known a stable and caring childhood and those who have not. The battle against the family has been conducted in terms of rights