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Published:March 15th, 2008 04:52 EST

California Bill Would Disincentivize Marriage

By SOP newswire

 A bill ensuring that unwed parents remain unmarried is receiving strong opposition from a leading California-based pro-family organization.

SB 1066 by state Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) would allow cohabitating men and women to receive every marriage right and all marriage benefits that married husbands and wives receive under California law. Under SB 1066, more than 300 spousal rights - meant to bond together a husband and wife in the law - would go to unmarried couples. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 11, Democrats for, Republicans against. Last year, the same bill failed to pass the Legislature.

"SB 1066 rewards unwed parents for not getting married," said Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) President Randy Thomasson, who did TV interviews this week on the issue. "This foolish bill promotes cohabitation just as government welfare programs subsidized illegitimacy. SB 1066 ensures that unwed parents remain uncommitted. Why get married if you can get the legal rights and benefits of marriage without saying 'I do?' And what about the kids, who research shows do much worse in unmarried environments? SB 1066 is bad public policy. It's blind to the evidence that marriage is 1000 percent more stable than shacking up."

SB 1066 is in stark contrast to the federal program promoting marriage in California. The California Healthy Marriages Coalition (CHMC) is spending $11.9 million on a statewide public information campaign, which includes media ads, local seminars for pastors and community leaders, and marriage education classes. CHMC says it "expects to see a decline in the marriage/divorce ratio, a reduction in child abuse, domestic violence, poverty, criminal behavior, and an improvement in physical, emotional, and mental health."

Campaign for Children and Families is urging Californians to call their state senator, state assembly member, and Gov. Schwarzenegger to urge SB 1066's defeat. "If unmarried couples want stability and security, they should get married," said Thomasson, "and the legal rights of marriage will accompany their good decision. The evidence shows that marriage is much more healthy, secure, and long- lasting than is shacking up for men, women, and the children they often produce."

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CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (CCF) is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing children and families.

 

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