Sunday, 13 September 2009


John Marcotte believes so firmly in traditional values that he has filed a petition with the Secretary of State for California to try to ban divorce in the sunshine state where some 75% of marriages are estimated to end in divorce. “Previous generations had it right,” he writes. “It’s better to stay together in a soul-sucking sham of a marriage, filled with icy silence punctuated with passive-aggressive hostilities than to admit you might have made a mistake.” Somehow I don’t think he’s sat at my desk and listened to some of the tales of ill-treatment and misery that I’ve been confronted with.

I’m not sure that he’ll have the support either of all those A list film and TV stars who live in California and change spouses quicker than I change my motor car. If he did they’d presumably have the resources to back his campaign rather than letting it run on proceeds from the sale of T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan: “You said till death us do part. You’re not dead yet.”

Whilst I appreciate that an argument against divorce can be based on religious grounds, here in England and Wales we have a process known as judicial separation for people who for religious reasons don’t feel they can divorce. The process very much mirrors divorce, and financial settlements are granted as part of it. At the end of the day the couple remain married but are released from any legal duty to cohabit. In the 21st Century, society has surely developed to the point that it will never force a couple to live together, especially if one is at risk of harm from doing so.

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