February 15, 2005


Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie (RICK LYMAN, 2/15/05, NY Times)

In front of more than 5,000 cheering constituents in a North Little Rock sports arena, Gov. Mike Huckabee took the former Janet McCain to be his lawfully wedded wife Monday night, just as he did nearly 31 years ago, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do them part.

This time, although the actual vows were not repeated, the emphasis was clearly on the "until death" pledge.

Upgrading their vows to that of a covenant marriage, a legally binding contract available only in Arkansas, Arizona and Louisiana, the Huckabees hope to jump-start a conservative movement that has shown little sign of moving in recent years. A covenant marriage commits a couple to counseling before any separation and limits divorce to a handful of grounds, like adultery or abuse.

"I know that some people have thought this whole thing is cynical, that it's some sort of marriage-plus or high-octane marriage," Mr. Huckabee, a Republican and a former Baptist minister, said in an interview before the ceremony. "I think people enter into covenant marriage not because they want a super marriage, but because they understand that marriage is fragile."

The Huckabees' ceremony was only the most prominent of a series of events organized over the Valentine's Day weekend by covenant marriage supporters who say they sense that the time is right to reinvigorate their stalled movement.
It was unbelievably difficult just to get our Justice of the Peace to include the "'til death" language.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2005 6:25 AM
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