27 Dec 2006

US “marriage movement"

In the first in a four-part series in the Washington Times Cheryl Wetzstein writes:

…In the marriage arena, two forces for change have been particularly notable. One is a “marriage movement,” formed six years ago to reverse the trend of family breakdown in America.

Current domestic policies “are based on acceptance of family breakdown and are focused on dealing with the aftermath and fallout,” Diane Sollee, director of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, said when the group’s “statement of principles” was announced in June 2000. The original statement — signed by more than 100 academic, religious, political and civic leaders — was updated in 2004, with 86 pledges for action, including expanding marriage education, reforming state divorce laws and developing model pro-marriage legislation.

Pro-marriage allies also received an unprecedented boost this year when 225 pro-marriage and responsible-fatherhood organizations were awarded federal grants worth nearly $120 million a year. The new five-year funding “shows where our priorities are,” says Elizabeth Marquardt, author of “Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce” and director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values. It also revealed an important political consensus — that both Republicans and Democrats think marriage matters, she says. Such a consensus “is a significant achievement” that should bring long-term dividends, beyond the marriage grants. more

How long will it take for a "political consensus" that "marriage matters" to develop in the UK? The first stage could be for local authorities - persuaded by the benefits - to promote local policies for social and domestic cohesion and education programmes through register offices, schools, and adult and family learning centres.

People who would like to write to their local councillors can do so very easily by visiting www.campaignon.com/cohesion

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