Wednesday, April 11, 2007 the Texas House passed legislation to raise the cost of a Marriage License from $30.00 to $100.00. To strong-arm couples to submit to an eight-hour class on marriage, the fee is waived for participants! In their eternal concern for the morals of the poor and underclass of Texas, they decreed from their high and lofty moral perches under the dome of the Texas State Capitol that poor couples can apply for scholarships to the class!
Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) authored two marriage bills. The second includes a "Healthy Marriage Development Program" which includes abstinence education for couples (both previously married and never married). There are parenting skills and premarital counseling components to the program.
Yep, the Texas House, which is littered with Representatives, many of whom have been married and divorced multiple times, passed these bills. They are running from facing hard choices which will give Texas a realistic tax structure to finance public highways from public funds, but have time to dictate good marriage practices to the state's citizens.
There were a few voices who spoke against interfering in citizens' lives. The second bill transfers funds from the State's Temporary Assistance for Needy families program which is grossly under funded in comparison to most other states. Pat Haggerty (R-El Paso) tried to kill the bill by attaching an amendment requiring lawmakers to "take this silly class every year." He invited members to "take the male or female of your choice to these classes." (That amendment failed.) Obviously the House views it more important to dictate and direct others in sound marital practices than they are committed to learning about them themselves!
Dean of Women in the Texas Legislature Rep Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) was a voice of reason. Unfortunately her words which questioned the appropriateness of the members of the Texas Legislature in dictating pro-family premarital education into law appeared to fall on member’s earwax. She states: "If this body loves marriage so much, then why do we have some members of this House that have been married five or six times?"
A better question is: If this body is qualified to prescribe a pre-marital educational program, why have so many of them been divorced multiple times?
Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, emerged from the pack of hypocrites and asked: "Will there be a test associated with this program? I haven't done too well in the past."
Other posts on this subject are: MUSING
Texas Kos by Lightseeker
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