We promote marriage as the best foundation for stable family life, benefitting adults, children and wider society.
The current Holyrood parties regard the prevalence of family breakdown as beyond their influence and remit. They focus instead on “picking up the pieces” by supporting those adversely affected, particularly children. This is laudable, but the harms are often irremediable. Only the Scottish Family Party seeks to get to the heart of the matter and reduce family breakdown.
Schools should teach the facts about marriage and its rationale. The tax and benefits system should recognise and incentivise marriage and ensure that it is never penalised. SFP MSPs would exercise cultural leadership by promoting marriage in the media, the debating chamber and through special events.
Steps to make the legal process of divorce easier undermine the status of marriage as a solemn, lifelong commitment.
The introduction of civil partnerships for heterosexual couples will further undermine the culture of marriage by offering an alternative that does not include a vow of sexual fidelity. We will oppose any further attempts by the state to redefine marriage, such as to include multi-partner or incestuous relationships.
Marriage and relationship counselling should be provided and funded to aid relationship stability.
Family Courts should ensure that parents are not denied fair access to their children without substantiated serious grounds. Claims that a parent is unsuitable must be supported by convincing evidence. Long term decisions to prevent a parent from seeing their child or to remove a child from the family home should be made by a jury. This would recognise the gravity of the decision and bring a breadth of perspective.
Failures to cooperate with child access arrangements should be dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Domestic abuse law should not cover vaguely defined “psychological abuse”. It is too imprecise and open to spurious application. For example, laws relating to making a person “dependent on another person” or “feel … humiliated or degraded” could be interpreted to cover behaviours far short of “abuse” and risk bringing the threat of legal sanction into more superficial relationship conflicts. Such laws are also vulnerable to exploitation for vindictive reasons. There should be no gender-based assumption of blame, but a balanced assessment of the facts.
Organisations supporting abused men should be proportionately funded instead of being entirely neglected.