When Democrats in the Ohio Senate laid out their priorities recently, there was one that took on a message about encouraging marriage. It’s an issue that some Republicans have talked about in the past and as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, there could be some bipartisan agreement on it.
Republican State Senator Jay Hottinger is a conservative in the Ohio legislature. A few years ago, he proposed a plan that would create an option for a special type of marriage. The covenant marriage that he proposed would have required couples to go through some pre-marital counseling before taking their vows.
Hottinger – And in the event that a divorce was desired, it would require counseling before the divorce could be settled.
That proposal went nowhere back then. But now Democrats are talking about the concerns Hottinger expressed back then. Senator Charleta Tavares says she’s not proposing covenant marriages but she does think there’s a role for the state to do more to encourage couples to thoughtfully enter into marriage. And she likes the idea of a cooling off period before the couple could get divorced.
Tavares – Statistics for children who grow up in single parent households…it’s unbelievable the number of children who get into illegal activities, for women who have premature and risky behavior with respect to sex and out of wedlock births themselves, school grades that are much lower for children who grow up in single parent households. And absolutely, there are single parents who are doing a good job but we want to give them the support to help them help their children.
There isn’t any legislation yet to consider. And the devil will be in the details. But Hottinger says he’s interested in seeing what the Democrats propose when it comes to marriage and divorce in Ohio.
Hottinger – And you know, maybe it was just an issue that was before its time and maybe it’s something we can look at and take a look at again.