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Archive for Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kansas House approves covenant marriage measure

February 18, 2010, 12:10 p.m. Updated February 18, 2010, 2:07 p.m.

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— The Kansas House on Thursday approved a “covenant marriage” measure.

State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, brought the proposal forward, saying it would help preserve marriages and families.

Brown said if couples entered into a covenant marriage then they could not get a no-fault divorce. And they would have to undergo counseling before seeking a divorce, he said. Entering into a covenant marriage would be optional under Brown's proposal.

But opponents of the measure said that for those in a covenant marriage, it would require people who could be in dangerous marriages, to remain married.

“There will be a great deal of collateral damage by forcing people to stay in marriages,” said state Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, an attorney who handles divorce cases. He said the measure needed full hearings so that legislators could hear all sides of the issue.

Brown’s amendment was approved 65-54. It was put on a bill that dealt with reorganizing statutes on family issues and domestic violence. The bill was then approved 70-49.

Comments

RadarC 4 years, 10 months ago

Why is this bill even necessary? People who are willing to make their marriage work will do the best they can and do not need a law to tell them this.

preebo 4 years, 10 months ago

This MIGHT count as the Republicans once again over-stepping their bounds. How can the party that constantly rails against the power of Government on one hand; introduce measures to infringe on the rights of people to seek a divorce, with the other. This is nothing more than one group ("Conservative Republicans") trying to impose their particular values upon others, without any regard for another's own proclivities, even when the outcome is completely personal and not a matter of the state.

Jack Hope III 4 years, 10 months ago

The state is in a financial quagmire, so what does this GOP representative do? Distract the voters with social legislation that would codify their religious beliefs.

Thanks for addressing the issues facing all Kansans, State Representative Anthony Brown, Republican from Eudora.

preebo 4 years, 10 months ago

All the more reason, edjayhawk, to see to it that State Senator, Tom Holland is elected as the next Governor of the state.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you kidding?

What about people with abusive spouses?

What about people in unhappy marriages?

Do you really advocate that nobody ever gets divorced, regardless of circumstances?

cowboy 4 years, 10 months ago

we have attained effing lunatic level one

anitliars 4 years, 10 months ago

It IS intended to be an option, not a mandate. Those who do not want to enter into a marriage of this type have the option left open. But how is that conversation going to go "No honey, I don't want a covenant marriage - we may want to divorce some day and that would make it too hard to do so." This is NOT a new idea, b/t/w. Still, I agree with all the comments that point out that the Legislators are NOT doing something about REAL problems, but instead trying to do make work things (there's a new state park being proposed, tons of "resolutions" that have no real impact but take up reams of paper, etc.). We need to cut THEIR salaries in half and have them only meet once every two years. That might focus them on the real issues.

bookemdano 4 years, 10 months ago

Even more proof that we've got the American Taliban running our state legislature.

[facepalm]

kthxbi 4 years, 10 months ago

Lawrenceguy, let me guess. You're not married?

9070811 4 years, 10 months ago

This is by far the stupidest, most irrelevant bill that the legislature could be working on in this point in time! Why on Earth would some jerk want to introduce more government oversight into someone's private marriage??? Yah, that's some Republican sticking to traditional Republican values. Can some people not get outside of their little box (LawrenceGuy40) and consider the repercussions that this would entail? Most of the time when a couple gets married they believe that it will be forever. Well, poop happens and poop can hit the fan. What if your dad cheated on your mom and mom said "Screw this, I'm out" but was forced to do some stupid counseling? It'd be bad enough that she'd have to be in the same room as him.

Even if this is an optional mandate it is still a waste of money. Any couple can choose to enter counseling if they hit trouble. The idea that the gov't needs to enforce it is absurd.

This is the most unimportant and obnoxious life invading, waste of money stupid bill.

srothschild 4 years, 10 months ago

Several folks have asked if a covenant marriage would be optional under Rep. Anthony Brown's amendment. It would. I've added a sentence to reflect that. Thank you.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 10 months ago

sigh....isn't there something that this legislative body could be doing that actually helped our state?

9070811 4 years, 10 months ago

LawrenceGuy40-

"If people knew they couldn't get out of a marriage, there would very little prospect of an unhappy marriage."

Hey dumbo- That is one of the most irrational statements I have ever heard.

If someone knew their partner couldn't escape their marriage it would leave room for more abuse and mind manipulation. Even at the chance of being able to reach police the abused would still have endure more than a years worth of trials and tribulations of nonsense.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 10 months ago

marriage in this society is a commitment between two people before a god. if you don't believe in god, then you should just be happy living with one another. the government has no business being involved in marriage. whether it be between a man and woman, two men, or a whole room full of people. Once government defines something, you can rest assured that it will cause problems.

Kelly Johnson 4 years, 10 months ago

The marriage vows themselves are supposed to represent the covenant, and unfortunately it doesn't stop people from disregarding them every day. The covenant marriage idea is a nice one, but I don't think it will stop people from divorcing.

getreal 4 years, 10 months ago

Like to know how many of those 65 yes votes are on their second or third marriages???

KSManimal 4 years, 10 months ago

preebo (anonymous) says... "How can the party that constantly rails against the power of Government on one hand; introduce measures to infringe on the rights of people to seek a divorce, with the other."

The same way they constantly rails against the power of government on one hand; while introducing measures to infringe on reproductive rights, religious rights, sexual orientation rights, marriage rights,..etc.,...etc.,...etc.,...with the other hand.

It's the way of the right wing.....minimize government in every way, shape, form, EXCEPT when doing otherwise can help advance their own personal/party/religious agenda; at which time they expand government to legislate their own self-proclaimed morality on everyone else.

At least they aren't wasting time trying to make game animals out of species that don't even live in Kansas. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

lawrencian 4 years, 10 months ago

I feel that I should point out that Rep. Brown also represents North Lawrence, DeSoto, and parts of Lenexa, Shawnee, and Olathe. Also, the fact that he would put forth this kind of amendment to a bill should be NO surprise to anyone in the 38th district, since he and his wife are Catholic, with 6 kids.

I, for one, am not proud to be represented by this guy.

preebo 4 years, 10 months ago

"Nobody is forced to make those vows. Nobody is forcing a married couple to live together. "

However, you are advocating that the state should "force" them to remain married, when they clearly do not desire continuing their union. This is clearly not an issue of compelling interest for the state, and any attempt to give that appearance, is tantamount to a "taking" of rights.

I say this, as a married man for multiple years, and I do believe that people should enter into the union of marriage cautiously, with a serious outlook. However, I do not advocate that my particular view should be legislated across the state.

labmonkey 4 years, 10 months ago

The Republicans are very wrong here.....maybe legislative sessions should be shorter so ideas like this never see the light of day.

lgreen17 4 years, 10 months ago

North Lawrence & Eudora need to vote Anthony Brown out of office.

denak 4 years, 10 months ago

I think there should be a cooling off period and mandatory counseling/mediation prior to a divorce but I think this idea is a bad one. No fault divorces aren't great but they are better than the alternative use to be. And more importantly, I fail to see what state interest this serves.

Dena

MyName 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm all for covenant marriages, as long you can also pass legislation that allows you redefine marriage to mean whatever else your particular religious/social group wants it to be. Heck, why not add limited term marriage to the list as well if you're going to act like something that is supposed to be "sacred" and "immutable" can be redefined by 150 lawmakers in Topeka.

Christine Anderson 4 years, 10 months ago

Morons! So, your spouse is into child porn-can't divorce him. Spouse commits physical abuse to two different wives-can't divorce him. You're in high-risk pregnancy and ordered not to get out of bed, but you have to, because spouse will not work. The beauty of a "covenant" marriage. Horse manure, is what it is!

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

denak (anonymous) says...

"I think there should be a cooling off period and mandatory counseling/mediation prior to a divorce"

Might be more productive to have a cooling off period and mandatory counseling prior to a marriage.

The number one cause of divorce: Bad marriages.

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

Off topic, but I seem to have missed something. How can I get one of those cute little pictures (avatars?) to express my personality?

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

And now how can I sign out? Am I here in cyberspace forever? Oh, the inhumanity!

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Go to your profile, select "Edit", and down at the bottom it gives you a place to upload an avatar.

And you can log out from the pull-down list next to your name at the top of the page (where it says "Welcome verity").

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow, the do-nothing Kansas legislature taking on the tough issues once more.

I do not know what a covenant marriage is, but I gather that it is a marriage from which neither party can choose to leave.

This is a very bad idea, and is the Kansas Taliban trying to impart their Sharia law on the rest of the state.

dinglesmith 4 years, 10 months ago

The unholy alliance between conservatives and religious fundamentalists continues. No conservative would support this invasion into other's privacy. I really wish the republicans would tell the religious nationalists to take a hike so we would actually have a conservative party in the US again...

rbwaa 4 years, 10 months ago

i agree with MyName - we should have a menu of marriages such as: i'll take mine with an option for polygamy, or i'll have a time limited marriage so i can receive certain benefits of marriage but not have to stay in it, or i'll have mine same sex, or i'll have mine without children, or i'll have mine with 6 children, or i'll have mine with 2 boys and 2 girls, or i'll have mine with no in-laws, or i'll have serial marriage...one for 10 years, one for 5 years and one for 7 years ----- you get the picture???

furthermore this 'option' is a slippery slope -- today an option, tomorrow a mandate..

for all you religious nuts you supposedly already have COVENANT marriages!! why force everyone else into your insanity?

winninteam 4 years, 10 months ago

Haven’t seen Republicans overstepping boundaries in the news near as much as the dems these days –whose married these days anyway? Yesterday – 5 babies born at lmh – one couple with the same last name! Want State Taliban? Try New York or California or how about Massachusetts? Why doesn’t anyone in this town complain how they hate it when a bill comes up with the gay marriage stuff. Always knocking the repubs --

Gary Denning 4 years, 10 months ago

I support this measure strongly. It will makes lots of money for divorce lawyers as the case drags on indefinitely while the spouse not wanting the divorce pushes for more and more counseling. Of course I'm a divorce lawyer but that has nothing to do with my support of this bill.

llama726 4 years, 10 months ago

lawrenceguy40 - you sicken me. Talk about unconstitutional, and things which the government shouldn't be involved in! Your tax dollars are paying to interfere in people's marriages. No problem, right, as long as it's not the government trying to regulate an industry!

denak 4 years, 10 months ago

".....Might be more productive to have a cooling off period and mandatory counseling prior to a marriage....."

I think pre-marital counseling is a great idea. Always have. I think too many people get married because they are "in love" and don't really talk about the really important issues such as finances, mutual goals, sex and child rearing. I would be more inclined to favor a bill that mandated premarital counseling(although, in my opinion, that still oversteps the state's interest) then a bill that does not allow individuals to get a divorce.

As for a cooling off period or mediation, I think it has been shown to be effective in a lot of contentious divorces especially those with child custody battles.

Dena

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Nota. I'm feeling like one of the uncool kids without an avatar.

winninteam, just because people don't have the same last name doesn't necessarily mean they're not married.

As far as this "covenant marriage" thing, I don't even know where to start. Personally I think the state should stay out of the marriage business and have civil unions/contracts to take care of the legal side. If you're committed to a relationship, a "covenant" isn't going to make it more or less so. Being the product of a marriage gone bad but no divorce because of religion, I can speak to the endless misery this causes. And counseling doesn't do any good when both people know that they are right and have no need to change.

situveux1 4 years, 10 months ago

Good night, it's VOLUNTARY. Do it, don't, nobody cares. Regular marriage, covenant marriage. Whatever. Attacking this makes no sense.

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

edjayhawk (anonymous) says...

"Yes, and people who get married that shouldn't never had married to begin with."

Pretty much what I meant.


rbwaa (anonymous) says...

"furthermore this 'option' is a slippery slope -- today an option, tomorrow a mandate.."

Right, options that become mandates are baaaaaad.

Unless it means someone else paying for your health insurance.


yourworstnightmare (anonymous) says...

"I do not know what a covenant marriage is, but I gather that it is a marriage from which neither party can choose to leave.

"This is a very bad idea ..."

So, to paraphrase, you don't understand what they're talking about, but you're against it.

Of course, I suppose you - or all the others who apparently didn't read the story - could try doing so, and learn that all it says is the couple can't have a "no-fault" divorce. I'm not saying even that's such a great idea, but nowhere did I see anything that says people who choose this option will not be able to get divorced at all.

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Liberty_One (anonymous) says...

"Pre-marital counseling sounds like a good idea, however it should be directory and not mandatory. Of course you don't have to tell people it's not mandatory. "

Anyone married in a Catholic church should be familiar with Pre-Cana counseling, which was mandatory when I married wife number one. I think it helped - seems as if she cited some of the concepts mentioned in her annulment petition (which was granted less than three years later - gotta' love the Catholic church, you get do-overs).

Newell_Post 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for another reminder of why I am a former Republican.

pace 4 years, 10 months ago

Good example of Republican less government, they also have decide to donate our tax base to their favored charities and churches. This amplification is an unjustified stomp on everyone's instep. They should simplify the laws, not moralize their church canons on other people's marriages.

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

While I'd like people in general to take the commitment of marriage more seriously, edjjayhawk summed it up perfectly in the first post of this string. Freakin' ridiculous in this day and age to legislate something like this.

galwaygal 4 years, 10 months ago

Catholics already are required to go through pre-marriage counseling to get married in the Church. This usually takes place over 4-6 months prior to the marriage. The State's only real interest in regulating marriage is in fact a monetary one, i.e., who will support and care for children born of marriages in the state of KS? Other than that, the State should not involve itself in creating statutes to regulate the nature of marriage. In KS, a person as young as 16 can be legally married, so theoretically the state would have to raise the age for marriage until folks can pass a marriage-ready test. No one should be forced to remain married because they were too young and dumb to know that who he/she was at 16 is not who he'll be at 26 or 36, etc. Or maybe the state should create classes of marriages, such as term limits for marriages, etc., as someone suggested. It all sounds expensive to regulate and kinda dumb, huh? Let churches handle so-called "covenant" marriages and let the State stop wasting taxpayers money on these kinds of issues.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't even know precisly what a covenant marriage is.
I am also conservative.
I also agree Gov has no place trying to intrude further into our private lives. Republicans and Dems are now scoring equally on the idiot meter.
It is depressing.

marcez0z 4 years, 10 months ago

It creates jobs for counselors, they are just stimulating the economy. Kansas legislator sucks!!!!!! Novelty lighters come on. K2 band?

Olympics 4 years, 10 months ago

The American taliban sure does love their sky cake. Oh, sky cake.

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

none2 (anonymous) says...

situveux1 (anonymous) says...

"If it is voluntary, then why is an extra law needed in the books?"

Driving a car is voluntary. We still have laws defining the requirements for a drivers license and registering a vehicle.

"It is also voluntary to give to charity. Should the state lawmakers make a law that someone can sign up to give so much a year to charity? They could, but wouldn't it be kind of STUPID?"

Two words: "tax code".

"Why can't people do the right thing without the government guiding them in how to conduct themselves?"

How, exactly, is the government "guiding" anything here? It's not as if they're telling everyone they must have health insurance, they have to pay a tax for public transportation they don't use, or their businesses have to comply with some arbitrary air quality standards.

"If voluntary conduct needs to be written into law, perhaps we should refer to law as "big daddy says I should..." "

There is no conduct being written into law.

People can choose this form of marriage if they want to - nobody is being forced to.

Nobody is being forced to stay in a marriage even if they choose this option - there are just a few more steps involved in the dissolution.

This isn't something I would necessarily choose for myself, and I'm not even sure it's a good idea, but what exactly is the problem if someone else wants to?

sfjayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas: Once again proving to be the laughingstock of the nation

kujayhawk7476 4 years, 10 months ago

Right-wing wackos wasting time instead of resolving serious budget issues and serving the public. Par for the course with the Kansas legislature.

promitida 4 years, 10 months ago

You must be joking. What is wrong with republicans? So would you have to specify when applying for a license whether you wanted the Marriage Extra Strength or Original Formula? Republicans, your party leaders are turning you into a joke.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

It is optional, which is better than mandatory.

I suppose if two consenting adults wish to enter into such an arrangement, they should be able to do so.

Of course, they can simply do so of their own accord by drawing up such an agreement themselves - I don't see why the government should be involved.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

What happened to all of those pro same-sex marriage arguments, that as long as something doesn't affect you, you shouldn't deny others the right to make a contractual agreement regarding marriage?

If two adults CHOOSE this type of marriage why do you care, how does it affect you?

People who engage in a covenant marriage are still able to get a divorce, they simply agree that a no-fault divorce isn't an option. For those who are naive, divorce existed before no-fault divorces were adopted by the KS legislature.

For those who claim government shouldn't be involved....guess what.... marriage is a civil institution. They are already involved. If they want to no longer recognize common law marriage. They can do that.

I can't believe how many horrible arguments there are on this thread. Did half of you even read this article? Most of the same pathetic arguments I have read here can be equally used against the 60 day waiting period between filing for divorce and being granted one.

I am in agreement with notajayhawk, not sure if it is a good idea, but I am not sure I want to deny others this right.

grimpeur 4 years, 10 months ago

People. Please.

The only thing more stupid than lg40's blather is pretending it's worthy of a response. Come on.

concernedeudoravoter 4 years, 10 months ago

lgreen17 (anonymous) says...

North Lawrence & Eudora need to vote Anthony Brown out of office.

Mr. Brown didn't even carry his hometown during the last election. He ran on his ever present no more taxes at all, for anything, never, ever pledge - no matter what it does to the state and in particular the public schools. His primary voting populace came from the area of Western Johnson County (Desoto, Lenexa and Olathe). He is the only state legislator to be given a grade of 'F' on an independent study of how each legislator supported public education based on his voting record. He needs to be booted out of office.....Period....end of story.

oklahoma 4 years, 10 months ago

I support Representative Brown's measure. I've personally counseled those dealing with the devastating consequences of divorce. Many marriages are salvageable, and for the children's sake, more couples should remain together and keep working through their differences. No-fault divorce has not proven to be a healthy solution for our nation.

Instead of ripping Representative Brown, why don't those opposed to the amendment spend time calling their legislators to ask for an amendment that would provide an out for those who have been abused.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

I'll offer one very needed rider to this bill-- if a couple in a "covenant" marriage can't work things out, their church should be allowed to stone them to death, as this would allow them to remove the stain and shame of a bad marriage on their congregation. (but there should be appropriate committee hearings to determine the type and size of stones to be used.)

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

bozo... "...their church should be allowed to stone them to death, as this would allow them to remove the stain and shame of a bad marriage on their congregation. (but there should be appropriate committee hearings to determine the type and size of stones to be used."

That seems reasonable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

"That seems reasonable."

And my proposal is every bit as modest as it is reasonable.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Bozo... "And my proposal is every bit as modest as it is reasonable."

What does modesty have to do with the price of tea in China?

scarlettohara 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't think the issue is the amendment per se, but rather Mr. Brown's sense of timing and priorities. You can debate the amendment all you want but it seems rather strange as schools are firing teachers, scuttling programs, the disabled continuing to lose more money, the timing seems a bit weird to me anyway...

Please, Eudora, Lawrence, DeSoto and Olathe, can we lose this guy in the next election? I haven't voted for him in years because I knew eventually his anti tax sentiment would catch up with us and it has.

BTW, if you voted for these hard core, big -R Republicans like Mr. Brown, you look foolish complaining now. If all you ever wanted was low taxes, why are you complaining when that's exactly what you are getting.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

Satirical,

I agree, up to a point.

What if the government, in its' infinite wisdom, then chooses not to recognize any marriage EXCEPT covenant marriages?

And, for the person who mentioned it, why on earth should we have to call and lobby our representatives to exclude abusive situations? Isn't that an obvious thing for them to consider?

I say the best way to solve all of these marriage issues is to simply remove the government from all involvement with coupling decisions. Then being married or not would have no civil benefits, and be simply a matter of one's personal decisions/faith.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Scarlettohara…

Are you one of those people who also gets upset when Obama engages in recreation, claiming he needs to spend all his time on this country’s problems? One could always claim there are “more important issues.” If that were the case then government would always be spinning its wheels are the MOST important but unresolved issues and couldn’t find time for other important issues.

You may disagree this is an important issue, and that is your right, but simply because you don’t feel this should be the main priority doesn’t mean it can’t be voted on.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Jafs… “What if the government, in its' infinite wisdom, then chooses not to recognize any marriage EXCEPT covenant marriages?" - jafs

What if the world ended tomorrow? There is no reason for the government to do so, and the logic for allowing a second type of marriage for those who choose it, doesn’t extend to non-recognition of non-covenant marriage. See slippery slope.

“And, for the person who mentioned it, why on earth should we have to call and lobby our representatives to exclude abusive situations? Isn't that an obvious thing for them to consider?” – jafs

I would certainly hope so. But I think this individual was saying that if that is your primary concern, rather than scrapping the entire idea, just lobby your representative to ensure there is an exception.

“Then being married or not would have no civil benefits, and be simply a matter of one's personal decisions/faith.” – jafs

I respectfully disagree. Numerous studies have been shown how marriage benefits families and society. Marriage laws provide stability to society, and erasing them would allow one spouse (typically husbands) to con their spouse (typically wife) to stay at home, and forgo an education and a job. Then once the wage earning spouse is earning a lot of money can just abandon the non-wage earning spouse, and the non-wage earning spouse is screwed. In short what you propose would seriously disadvantage women.

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

"What does modesty have to do with the price of tea in China?"

Confucian values.

remember_username 4 years, 10 months ago

Now lawyers can make money by preparing Precovenant Agreements.

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

If someone can have a covenant marriage if they choose to, why does the legislature need to be involved? Just another step in trying to make conservative Christianity the law of the land. And that is what Opus Dei and the C Street Family are all about (Brownback).

I also agree with the people who have said that this could make it more difficult for someone to get out of an abusive marriage---and certainly could be the basis for mind games-particularly on women, who are often in an inferior position in right-wing, conservative Christianity.

Anybody have any reasonably reliable statistics on how many couples who were headed for a divorce and went to counseling actually ended up not getting divorced? My anecdotal experience has been that counseling rarely helps a marriage that is already broken---or one that should never have happened on the first place.

Just like with abortion, we need to focus on preventing the problem. (Let the flaming begin on that opinion.)

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Verity…

I already answered all of you comments/arguments. But I guess I will do it again...

“why does the legislature need to be involved?” - verity

Because marriage is a civil institution. If same-sex couples want to marry, they also need legislative (or court) action.

Also, do you think when the legislature wants to create a separate type of marriage it is imposing moral values? If so, then is it okay for those who oppose same-sex marriage to demand proponent’s morals aren’t imposed? Surely there can’t be secular justification for each….Or do you just think any legislation which passes with which you don't agree is "imposing Christian morals" on you?

“this could make it more difficult for someone to get out of an abusive marriage” - verity

If that is your concern then an exception to allow divorce when on spouse is abusive should qualm your concern…right?

“…women, who are often in an inferior position in right-wing, conservative Christianity.” - verity

Of course, and all liberals as communists…Even though I love to read partisan rhetoric, perhaps we could stay on topic?

“My anecdotal experience has been that counseling rarely helps a marriage that is already broken---or one that should never have happened on the first place.” - verity

Great, then don’t go to counseling? Again, how would this law affect you or your marriage? Would you deny other consensual adults who love each other to make this agreement?

pace 4 years, 10 months ago

Making this law supposes that a law is stronger than a personal promise to God. IF they need to legalize their church teaching they should include tithing. Oh they do they give tax breaks to their charities and churches, using our tax base to support their faith. Simplify laws, don't crucify Kansans. If they make this law there should be a prenuptial rule protecting the financial ruin this can cause, if the abuser refuses counseling can they trap the other in a legal lala land. Once this law starts affecting the naive people who hand their decisions over to the state legislature, the remedial laws needed to address the problems stemming from the government intrusion will multiply faster than than the counselors fees.

tao7 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

Satirical, I'm not denying anybody anything and I don't know how you can read that into what I wrote. If sombody wants to have a "covenant marriage" fine. Just don't put it into law. It should be between them and their spouse and their god or church or what or whomever they want involved. That is my main argument and I stand on that. As I stated earlier, I think the government should have civil unions and stay completely out of the marriage business.

You use the term "all liberals." I did not use the term "all" in my statement. However it is one of the tenants of much right-wing conservative Christianity that women are subject to their husbands---and that puts them in an inferior position. Call it partisan rhetoric if you like---where I came from it's fact. And that topic does have to do with this law.

Since I am not marrried and have no intention of being so in the future, this or any other law will not affect my marriage. It will affect the society we live in.

"Or do you just think any legislation which passes with which you don't agree is 'imposing Christian morals' on you?" Where did that come from? I never said any such thing or implied it. Strawman argument.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

pace, tao7...

It doesn't affect you or your marriage, so live and let live...right?

Also, all arguments regarding religion or morals are a red herring.

KU_RN 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment is purely personal... I have lived in a no-fault state and have been the one whose spouse VERY IRRATIONALLY filed for divorce. I so very much wanted the law to be on my side, but again, we resided in a no-fault state. Out of anger, my spouse wanted out of the marriage, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. My spouse argued intensely about counseling, about seeking help outside our marriage... I would have LOVED for my spouse to have been mandated by law to see a marriage counselor-- whether it be with or without me.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Verity… “I'm not denying anybody anything and I don't know how you can read that into what I wrote. If somebody wants to have a "covenant marriage" fine. Just don't put it into law.” - verity

So advocating against same-sex marriage isn’t denying anybody anything either? If somebody wants to have a “same sex marriage” fine. Just don’t put it into law…right? Oh wait, marriage is a civil institution…

Simply because you don’t think government should be involved doesn’t change the fact they are involved and if people want same-sex marriage or “covenant marriage” it has to become a law. So how about you step out of your normative fantasyland and have a discussion in reality.

“Call it partisan rhetoric if you like---where I came from it's fact..” - verity

Okay, now I know you are blinded by your partisan hatred and are irrational. Thanks for clarifying.

“Since I am not married and have no intention of being so in the future, this or any other law will not affect my marriage. It will affect the society we live in.” - verity

So you also oppose same-sex marriage because of the potential effects on society? Maybe we can compromise and not allow “covenant” or “same-sex” marriage?

“Where did that come from? I never said any such thing or implied it. Strawman argument.” - verity

I didn’t say you said it, it was a question (the subtle hint was the question mark at the end). But it appears that you think this law is based on Christian morals, and offer no justification for your statement. So by application of your logic (or lack thereof), you could blame Christian morals are the result of any law with which you disagree, without making any justification.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

KU_RN…

Your spouse may have been able to circumvent the law if your state recognized out-of-state no-fault divorces. However, obtaining that out-of-state divorce is another matter. This is something the KS legislature should consider if it wants to adopt this law.

galwaygal 4 years, 10 months ago

Creating laws like this is the work of cynical lawyers who intend to make work for themselves and others in their profession .. sort of a Full Employment Act for the legal profession. You know the old joke ... what do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?

LawrenceKSHomeBoy 4 years, 10 months ago

Once again Kansas government shows the world they are stuck in the 1950's.

Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

How is social engineering the result of limited government? One more hypocrisy.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimo...

How is amending a law creating bigger government? These people can already get married.

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Who knows how long this took to forumulate, debate, create, and approve, and I see that as a problem, but not really the existence of the bill in and of itself. It will ultimately, I opine, make absolutely no difference. No one who has a more casual view of marriage will agree to this, so the only ones who will are probably the ones who would have otherwise tended to stick together, and will this way anyway. The only people at risk are the double wammies, those too foolish or naive to not get married to somebody they shouldn't, and also stupidly foolhardy enough to bet it all on shaky foundations.

But I must admit, I'd Love to see a stat count a year or two from now on who actually got this marriage option package, and if it had any effect on Kansas divorce rates.

/any comprison between this and gay marriage is flawed. One is an amendment that gives choices, the other is one that takes them away, even by choice.

Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

jonas_opines... "any comprison between this and gay marriage is flawed. One is an amendment that gives choices, the other is one that takes them away, even by choice."

Please tell me you understand the fallacy in your logic. You basically said "both grant choices, but I agree with allowing one group the right to choose." Futhermore, even if your logic wasn't ridiculous and wrong, doesn't mean ALL comparisons are flawed; if true it would only mean that one comparison is invalid (right to choose).

Have a nice day.

boltzmann 4 years, 10 months ago

The problem I have with this is that it creates a parallel legal system based on largely on religion. In that it is logically not all that different than efforts in England to institute Sharia law on a voluntary basis to the muslim population - an idea that I find to be strikingly ill advised. Many of the arguments on this board in favor of the proposed covenant marriage - such as "well, it is optional, after all", "should't people have the right to chose this option", etc - could equally be applied to a proposal to institute voluntary Sharia law.

arizonajh 4 years, 10 months ago

Satirical I am not an expert on contract law or marriage law so help me understand your position. You say this is the same as people wanting legalize same-sex marriages but I don't see it. Can you enter into a "covenant marriage" now by simply going to a lawyer and you and your future spouse say we want a contract that says we want eliminate "no fault" divorce as an option in the future, impose hurdles, restrictions or penalties in that contract, have it be binding as a matter of law (just like a pre-nup) and still have the state recognize your marriage ? Conversely can two same sex people go to a lawyer, a churh official or a county judge and say we want to be married in any way, and have the state recognize the marriage? As I see it same sex marriage being against the law is not the same covenant marriage not being in the law. One is not a law but you are legally allowed to do it (as I said if I am understanding contract law correctly which is not a given) the other is against the law. I guess where I'm confused is if you want a "covenant marriage " there are ways of doing that already because covenant marriage is just a form of marriage that already exists and is legal and you can add to the contract or create a separate contract to achieve your goal, no one legally bars you from doing that. To compare that to the gays and lesbians wanting the ability to marry at all seems a different matter all together. Maybe I'm not seeing or understanding something, help me out.

gatekeeper 4 years, 10 months ago

Satirical - the issue main issue with this bullsht bill is that with all of the problems we have in this state, this is what our tax dollars are paying for. Flat out psses me off! People like Brown need to spend their time in Topeka focusing on real issues. We don't need Brown or any other politicians passing legislation that in THEIR opinion will preserve marriages. This is an issue for the churches to take up with their congregations, not for the govt to spend OUR tax dollars on.

I highly challenge the perception by Christian conservatives that this will preserve marriage. I am a very liberal person, not religious and have been happily married to the same person for almost 20 years (not married in a church, eloped and married by a judge). If we had gotten a covenant marriage, it wouldn't have affected whether we stayed together or not. People don't just get divorced for the fun of it. It is not a fun process and I don't think lots of people jump into for pleasure. Under the law, marriage is just a contract. Contracts can be broken. The state doesn't dictate any religious part of marriage and they shouldn't dictate if you can easily get divorced.

Let me repeat - the main issue is that OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE BEING WASTED BY THIS CONSERVITARD. I'm not calling him a conservitard out of hatred for conservatives, etc.... I'm calling him that because it's the truth. He's ultra conservative and retarded for spending OUR TAX DOLLARS because of his own religious beliefs (not trying to insult challenged people). He is there to do what's best for the people of KS and instead is using his position as a platform to push his personal, relgious agenda.

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Satirical, making up what I said by loose paraphrase, while ignoring the rest of what I actually said, doesn't make your position any stronger.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 10 months ago

We have seen a surge of lame legislation lately.

How about everybody just go home for awhile.

We'll call you if we need something.

cnwtrainman 4 years, 10 months ago

I already have a covenany marriage, 25 years this April. Didn't need a politician. Why does the state license marriage at all? I thought marriage was a religous sacrament the most the state should do is recognize a civil union/

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

What is wrong with those people in Topeka, this is a no-brainer we don't need this and it's a step back. I agree with cnwtrainman as my wife and I will soon celebrate 25 years of marriage with no help from the politicians. Find something better to work on Mr. Brown.

Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

jonas_opines (anonymous) says... But I must admit, I'd Love to see a stat count a year or two from now on who actually got this marriage option package, and if it had any effect on Kansas divorce rates. ~~~~~~~~~~ I doubt it will because the percentage of couples who have opted to do this are minimal in 3 states that currently have this.

"2% in the case of Louisiana in the years immediately following the passage of their law.

By the end of 2001, "Fewer than 3 percent of couples who marry in Louisiana and Arizona take on the extra restrictions of marriage by covenant.

p>About.com quote Scott D. Drewianka of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as saying that only ¼% "of couples getting married in Arizona select the covenant marriage option."

The Department of Health & Vital Statistics in Arkansas reported that 67 couples signed up for covenant marriages in 2002. This represented 0.18% of the 37,942 marriage licenses issued that year. In addition, 24 married couples converted to a covenant marriage.

During the interval 2003-JAN-01 to MAY-20, applications for covenant marriage licenses declined further. Only four new covenant marriage licenses were issued in Arkansas out of a total of 11,037 licenses, for a rate of 0.04%. " http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_cove7.htm

verity 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, Katara.

Congratulations Trainman and Catfish and I wish you both many more happy years.

Unless something has changed since I last checked, you don't need to have a license to marry in Kansas. All you need to do is present yourself as husband and wife. Once you do that you still need to get a divorce though if you decide to split.

Mischka 4 years, 10 months ago

"I think there should be a cooling off period and mandatory counseling/mediation prior to a divorce"

There's already a 60 day waiting period for that very purpose!!

Is a bill asking for volunteers to let the government BABYSIT their marriage really allowing it to be a marriage? Is it really a value if its enforced through legislature? I don't understand why this man (Rep Brown) doesn't view Kansans as adults, able to determine the value of their relationships, both in entering a marriage and in leaving it. The people who volunteer for this would already be those who would naturally seek help if their marriage needed help - there are many religious and non-religious resources for pre-marital and pre-divorce counseling. Those resources also only work if you WANT them and are dedicated to using them as meaningful tools - you can't legislate a couple finding the counseling to be helpful.

Don't we have some families who are on the verge of losing their homes, which puts incredible stress on a marriage, who warrant more time and thought than this nonsense? This man claims to represent Kansas family values, yet I don't see this doggerel doing much to help them. And this bill is showboating for such a small number of people who will actually take advantage of it, and those who do take advantage of it, will further tax our court system when they're desperate to get out. Who's paying for the additional man hours and court docs it will take to enforce this? I'll tell you who, kids - WE ARE!

pace 4 years, 10 months ago

Satarical, I will not argue the logic in discussing religion in regard to this intrusive law, especially in regard to it being a red herring or not. Because your statement contained no logic. You might want to look up the meaning of red herring.

I do care if the legislature is creating different types of marriages and making a mesh mash of standing law rather than simplifying laws where possible. Law should be inclusive of the public it serves, not paternal nor religiously motivated. Government should not intrude unless civil issues, health, safety or criminal issues exist, Next thing this guy will try is to pass a law saying spouses should only call each other pet name that are nice and reflect what God would want, then he will supply the list since God has his ear.

denak 4 years, 10 months ago

In somewhat related news: A Maryland state legislator by the name of Henry Heller (Democrat) wants to ban marriages between first cousins in his state because marriages between first cousins increase the chance of birth defects:

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/breakingnews/article_212285676.shtml

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