Americans for Divorce Reform
Review of Current Events in the Marriage Movement
January through September, 1999
Covenant Marriage passes one house and comes close to passing
the other in Texas, Oklahoma, and Oregon. This and other reform
bills introduced in many other states but do not pass.
The non-legislative, non-political Covenant Marriage Movement is
founded. Focuses on getting couples to sign Covenant Marriage
pledge, renew and deepen vows, improve their marriages.
Utah's Gov. Leavitt creates a Commission on Marriage, Okla. Gov.
launches a Governor's Initiative on Marriage, and Ark. Gov.
convenes a Governor's Conference on the Family.
Culpeper, Virginia becomes the 100th locality in the U.S. to
have a Community Marriage Policy. For more info:
Covenant Marriage and other divorce reforms discussed
prominently at National Lawyers Association Midyear Meeting (Feb.
6, Lynn Wardle, Len Munsil, John Crouch) and American Bar
Association Annual Meeting (Aug. 8, Katherine Spaht, Maggie
Federal and state efforts to repeal Marriage Penalties continue;
relief bill passes both houses of Congress.
"Smart Marriages" conference in Arlington, Virginia attended by
over 1,000 people interested in new "Marriage Education" and
other Marriage Strengthening efforts. The sponsor, the Coalition
for Marriage, Family and Couples Education has a powerful,
unapologetic, optimistic message, and communicates it effectively
to the media. Highlights of this 3rd annual conference were efforts
to support marriage and fatherhood in the inner city, an invitation
to marital therapists to examine their prevailing "neutrality"
stance about marriage and divorce, a preventive approach to
infidelity, a celebration of marriage strengthening efforts at the
state and county levels, and the latest research on the benefits of
pre-marital skills training and on the macro-economic costs of
Prince and his wife announce that they will seek an annullment
and then re-confirm their unique relationship in a do-it-yourself
symbolic ceremony on their anniversary, Feb. 14, because marriage
"contracts are made by man to guarantee the possibility of
divorce," whereas their relationship is far more special than that.
"Mayte and I are joined for life, and the best way to demonstrate
it is to do away with the legal bonds."
Miss Amercia pageant changes its rules to allow divorced women
to compete for the title.
*Australian government launches $32 million "Relate"
program (Relationship Skills for Love, Family and Life) to
popularize and support marriage skills training and parenting
programs. It points out that divorce costs the government $3
to 6 billion in direct costs (with a population of 18 million). See
*Premier of Victoria, Australia calls for divorce reform.
*U.K. government says it won't implement 1996 Family Law Act, which
allowed quick, U.S.-style no-fault divorce.
*China's government proposes limits on no-fault divorce, crackdown
*Peru, Chile consider allowing no-fault divorce; Chilean
presidential candidate Joaquín Lavín responds, proposing rule
similar to Covenant Marriage, but stronger.
*South Africa recognizes wives' rights under tribal customary
marriages, making polygamy expensive.
Meanwhile, here at Americans for Divorce Reform -
* Our President, Colleen Fannin, marries John Arnold; moves to
* Web site updated. Statistics, legal materials, legislation and
* Interactive e-mail discussion listserv on divorce statistics
launched; has 62 members.
* "Classic Marriage" legislative proposal is unveiled. Though
designed for states where covenant marriage is unpopular, it also
has additional pro-marriage features that could be incorporated
into present covenant marriage and divorce reform bills.
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