A Match Made in Madness: CO’s Marriage Education Act

by: Spencer Chretien

An eccentric yet concerning proposal introduced in Colorado last month features all the typical hallmarks of liberal control freaks and big government social engineers. The California-based groupKids Against Divorce: has chosen the Centennial State as its first target for a proposed ballot initiative that, if passed into law by voters (it needs 86,105 signatures by August 4 in order to make the November ballot), would make the New York City of Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio look like a libertarian paradise.

The: “Colorado Marriage Education Act”: would mandate that any couple receive 10 hours of government-sanctioned marriage training before they get married. For the first marriage, that is; the second will require 20 hours; the third, 30. From reading the relevant articles, it’s unclear to me whether each additional marriage after the third compels an extra 10 hours.

I think the best way to attack this ridiculous overreach is simply to make a list. So, here we go:

1. All conservatives should be very, very skeptical of any group that purports to speak for children. The allegedly pro-children agenda of Marian Wright Edelman’s far-left Children’s Defense Fund, for example, is to: ban guns,: support Obamacare, and go further into debt by starting countless new programs to “help” children by eroding parental rights and increasing government bureaucracy. Planned Parenthood’s website has a whole page that proclaims,: “We all Want What’s Best for our Children.”: To me, that sounds like it comes right out of: 1984.: Hillary Clinton, I’m sure, would tell you she supports Universal Pre-K because it’s “for the children.” Nancy Pelosi: prays for the children.: Liberals who support dismembering babies in the womb and: market sex to twelve year olds: are all about the children. Yeah.

2. The proposal discourages marriage, making couples pay for the counseling and thus raising the cost of getting married. Single people and those in civil unions face no such financial burden. The incentive is to stay single, get a civil union, or just keep cohabiting. We need more people getting married, not fewer.

3. If you like your church-run marriage counseling, you can keep it. But that’s not good enough. Everyone needs the state-run counseling regimen, regardless of whether you’re already doing marriage prep through a religious institution.

4. The marriage counseling will be provided, at the expense of those waiting to be married, by the Colorado State Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners. Would you rather discuss your future marriage with your spouse-to-be, your family, your friends, and your pastor, or with the social worker who doesn’t know you and probably donated to Obama?

5. The divorce rate is so high because people don’t enter into marriage properly and give up on their marriages too easily. Any attempt by government to fix the first problem won’t work, and it doesn’t even try to fix the second here.

6. Mandates are bad!

7. As I briefly mentioned earlier, this idea is actually very Orwellian indeed, from a philosophical level.:  The purpose of any marriage preparation is, of course, to shape not only your actions, but also your thoughts and beliefs about the meaning, purpose, and consequences of the marriage into which you will soon be joining. It is a frighteningly totalitarian idea that the force of government could be behind an effort to control people’s thoughts and ideas about the best way to approach a marriage.

Let’s hope that this initiative doesn’t make the ballot, and that it’s defeated at the polls if it does qualify. It would turn marriage in Colorado into a match made in madness. The only way it could pass is if the voters of Colorado are high.:  Oh, wait.

This blog post was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “Upholding Marriage”: column.

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