As well as supporting marriage through our programmes and prayers, Mothers’ Union does all it can to speak out on the importance of marriage to couples, families and society as a whole.
Within the UK, Mothers’ Union is part of the Marriage Week UK coalition which exists to celebrate and promote the value of marriage. Every year from 7 - 14 February, Marriage Week seeks to focus attention on marriage.
Marriage is not solely a private or intimate relationship between a couple. The institution of marriage serves a public good - providing adults and children with a framework of legal rights and social protections. For this reason it is in the interest of government to be supportive of marriage – through its discourse on relationships and family life as well as through practical measures such as recognising marriage in the tax and benefits system.
However, the discourse on marriage is changing across the world. A number of countries now recognise legal unions between couples of the same sex as marriage (rather than as a civil union or partnership), and a number of other countries are also considering legislation that will redefine marriage to include partners of the same sex.
Whilst we welcome the equal rights, protections and stability that civil unions/partnerships offer same-sex couples and their families, Mothers' Union continues to hold the view that ‘marriage’ is inherently between a man and a woman. Nevertheless, we are mindful that our membership is made of four million individuals with a diversity of views and therefore we will remain committed to a process of ongoing listening and consultation, and open to God's leading.
Through its family issues magazine, Families First, Mothers’ Union consistently covers the issue of marriage and offers advice, support and research data which support the view that the institution of marriage is of value to society.
At commercial wedding fairs Mothers’ Union members invite couples to step out of the practical and commercial elements of planning their wedding, offering the opportunity for couples to share their wedding date so that members can then ensure they are prayed for.