I couldn't agree more with Theo Ooms' letter below. We
must get a
message to Gov. Jesse Ventura and the well-intentioned leaders like
who think they are protecting us and our marriages from
interference. Instead, their highly romanticized position is
perpetuate ignorance, family breakdown and damage. Ventura
he was doing the right thing when he vetoed the Minnesota
Marriage Education legislation bill of 2000.
Providing couples with information about how to make their
marriages successful is the best - and most respectful -
way to keep government out of our private lives. Empowering
couples with skills and knowledge will help them - will truly
marriage a private matter.
Government interferes when a couple doesn't have the skills to
disagreements without pushing and hitting.
Government interferes when marriages fail. That's when
who gets custody of your kids, how many hours a month you
can 'visit' them and how much money you will pay to support
Government interferes in your life when your marriage fails
or when you fail to marry due to lack of confidence in the
and you are forced to go on public assistance.
A successful marriage allows you to raise your kids and run
life with privacy and dignity.
We make information about other 'private" issues available -
exercise, smoking, drunk driving, fetal health, safe sex, seat
bike helmets, child discipline, etc. etc.
Why not make the new information (discovered through
research) about how to make marriages successful widely available
to the public?
You don't have to quit smoking, but it's nice to know what the
has discovered about the effects.
You don't have to get smart about your marriage. But it's
have the option. A successful marriage is not a choice if
don't know how to do it. It is irresponsible of government
to have the information and not make it available to the
Marriage is one of the most important indicators of health,
and happiness for all our citizens.
Someone out there must know Jesse Ventura. I'm sure he
talking about mandating marriage COUNSELING and marital
THERAPY. Like the vast
majority of Americans, he has no concept of what marriage
skills education and the
new information, like that found in "THE CASE FOR MARRIAGE," is
While it was great to see the prominent coverage given to the
State of Our
Unions in last night's NBC Nightly News story I was troubled by
emphasis on critics who deplore government "intervention",
such as Governor Jesse
Ventura attacking initiatives to encourage premarital education
stating that government has no business "interfering in the
affairs of marriage".
Who are you kidding, Jesse? As you well know, there
are hundreds of ways
in which government laws and actions already are deeply involved
marriage and divorce. To begin with state laws define the terms and
under which we are allowed to marry and divorce. Many even require
divorcing couples undergo a trial of mediation where custody is in
dispute, and many
local jurisdictions are now requiring that divorcing parents
co-parenting education. Most people are familiar with the
fact that tax
laws penalize marriage in some situations and reward marriage in
and that welfare laws have often created disincentives to marry and
to cohabit. And of course, there are numerous government programs
by tax payer dollars designed to address the negative consequences
children, adults and communities of the decline in marriage.
We must all do that we can to shatter the myth that marriage is
issue. The issue is not whether government should be involved
already is, deeply --- but how government should be
involved. The debate
needs to be about the goals of government couples and marriage
how best to achieve them. It's time we stopped letting
our leaders treat
marriage as the "M-word" --- off limits to public discussion ---
challenge them to actively explore ways in which government can
the non profit, religious, business and other major sectors to
marriage not weaken it. Happily, as the news story also
pointed out, a
growing number of states, communities, and individuals are doing
Couples and Marriage Policy Resource Center
1616 P St NW, Suite 150
Washington, DC 20036