The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 29, 2014

Building stronger families

NORMAN — When it comes to making rules for marriages, there are no shortage of ideas from Oklahoma lawmakers. A couple of bills filed for the upcoming session probably won’t go anywhere, but the sponsors got their headlines.

Edmond Republican Mike Turner has introduced a bill that would eliminate the state’s authority in all marriages. It’s a stunt that tries to mock a federal judge’s decision to open the state’s marriages to all parties.

Lawmakers know that gay marriage is a wedge issue that brings out voters in droves. If it passes, the cost to the state would be considerable.

Another bill seeks to increase the waiting period for most Oklahoma couples seeking a divorce. Oklahoma has the second highest rate of divorce in the country.

Arthur Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson, calls for a six-month waiting period for most divorces. He has exemptions for adultery and cases of child abuse or domestic abuse.

Society benefits from strong marriages and families, but initiatives such as these have failed in the past. Research shows efforts to raise Oklahomans out of poverty has a bigger impact on preserving families.

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