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  • Marriage: Looking Back, Moving Forward

    How does marriage fare as the nation heads into the new year?

    Unfortunately, the most recent government data indicate that U.S. marriage rates are at an all-time low. Today, a little more than half of all Americans are currently married, compared to more than 70 percent five decades ago. Additionally, the age at first marriage among both men and women is at historic highs. Related to these trends, the unwed birthrate is also at a historic high (more than 40 percent). On the bright side, however, the research indicates that marriages in the United States are lasting longer.

    And while the rate of unwed childbearing is steadily increasing—with many negative consequences not only for children but society as a whole—a positive note is the decline in the rate of sexual activity among young adults. According to a 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 percent of females and 27 percent of males between the ages of 15 and 24 report never being sexually active, compared to 22 percent of both men and women in 2002. And while the Obama Administration has fought hard against abstinence education programs—for example, explicitly prohibiting “Healthy Marriage and Relationships” grant money from going toward abstinence educationfunding for abstinence education was restored.

    Besides fighting against abstinence education, the Administration also made a full-fledged attack on traditional marriage, explicitly stating in the early part of the year that it would not defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Not only was this a blow to marriage, but it represented an unprecedented refusal by the executive branch to defend federal statute. Furthermore, in November the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass legislation that would repeal DOMA.

    Another significant setback for traditional marriage was the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.

    However, other states took action to defend marriage. For example, North Carolina and Minnesota voted to place initiatives on their 2012 ballots that would amend the state constitutions to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Earlier this year, the Maryland legislature narrowly voted against a law that would have made same-sex marriage legal in the state.

    Additionally, states like Kansas have introduced a healthy marriage initiative with such efforts as public relations campaigns to educate people on the benefits of the institution.

    Marriage is central to the well-being of the United States. While marriage is beleaguered at this moment in our nation’s history, the evidence remains strong that marriage is still the best place for children as well as the No. 1 weapon against childhood poverty. Yet it isn’t just the children who benefit. Both men and women reap many advantages. The momentum to support marriage looks promising as the U.S. heads into 2012.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Marriage: Looking Back, Moving Forward

    1. serfer62 says:

      Well lets see
      In the 60s the Feminists wanted no-fault divorse but split the assets in half.
      Men were either Practise Husbands first or money-source secound for the "fantasy Marriage" to a much youger guy.
      The men were no necessary or had value.
      Any female complaint about a male companion led to a 24 hour jailing with a possible felony charge.
      Still today men are ridiculed.

      Question…why would a man, especially once divorced, want to get married?

    2. The Obama Administration is obligated to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but it is not obligated to defend it in court. Why defend something that is so transparently unconstitutional?

      Consider: A Straight couple legally married in Iowa is automatically entitled to 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Many of those benefits have to do with tax law, Social Security, inheritance rights, child custody, and so on. But because of DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa is still unrecognized by the federal government for those benefits. DOMA sets up differing legal standards for Gay and Straight couples, clearly in violation of the 14th Amendment. (Continued)

    3. Consider, also, the "Full Faith & Credit" clause of the Constitution. Because of this, any Straight couple can fly off to Las Vegas for drunken weekend, get married by an Elvis impersonator, and that marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states, and at all levels of government. But thanks to DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa becomes UN-married if they relocate south to Missouri. This violates the "Full Faith & Credit" clause. (Continued)

    4. Blaming a statistical decline in marriage on couples who WANT to get married makes absolutely no sense. That Gay couples seek to marry is not an attack on marriage. If anything it is an ENDORSEMENT of marriage, an acknowledgment that it far better to encourage couples toward monogamy and commitment, rather telling them, “You’ll just have to sacrifice your life and any hope of finding somebody to love. Tough luck, kid.”

      Ask any Straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, "We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!" That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the ability of even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. (Continued)

    5. No, the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another's happiness, health, and well-being, to the exclusion of all others. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows.

      THAT'S what makes marriage a good thing, whether the couple is Straight OR Gay.

    6. NotAgainInThisLife says:

      "Both men and women reap many advantages." I often read and hear this however I fail to see these advantages. What 'advantages' are these people talking about? At the risk of sounding 'selfish', today's societal norms and laws give one spouse 'options' and the other 'responsibilities'. Just sit in the public seating at an open divorce court for a few hours and you'll see what I'm talking about. From what I see today, why would anyone want to be married? I can understand the concept of marriage being the best place for children, however beyond that I don't understand why anyone would want to throw this legal ball and chain about themselves. Personally I do not recommend being married unless you wish to have children.

    7. Leon Lundquist says:

      I like to blame the Progressives for everything. It has been a publically funded program to destroy the American Family, so yeah! The whole idea of Marriage has been made increasingly unattractrive. All the virtues of it have been scrubbed out, not a protection anymore, it is the number one way that an American can lose everything! The Economy is so bad, no man or woman can satisfy the pipe dream! American men look bad because the Progressives take too much. The game has come to this deadly place politically, you actually can't "Buy American." Progressives killed off American Industry. Couples fight about money, but it isn't your man's fault! It is the damnible Socialist government.

      By what deadly scheme is this? How do banks stop lending when lending is their business? What kind of perverse incentives are these to decapitalize Americans in the midst of a crisis? But wow! It is invisible. The Income Tax is 100% a Capital cut, it vanishes Capital as Capital that will never be! Never invested, never saved and never used! It is gone forever as Capital. Income Tax is an Invisible Theft! Nobody sees it! God knows it has hurt Marriages. But it isn't our fault. It was the Invisible Scam of Socialism!

    8. The end of a nation begins with corrupt morals.

    9. Gary Hopper says:

      .Last year in NH I introduced HB587 which would have eliminated no-fault divorce for couples with minor children. It is an up hill battle, regardless of how much information you present it seems to fall on deaf ears.

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