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BRIEF: Kan. seeks feds' marriage aid

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
WASHINGTON (BP) -- After turning down $31 million from the federal government to implement a health care exchange, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has requested $6.6 million to promote marriage.

If approved, the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services would offer faith-based and secular counseling services for unwed parents. If, at the end of six sessions, a couple marries, the state would pay for the marriage license.

While some state legislators called the mid-August move hypocritical, Brownback's administration says it's simply strategic: Promoting marriage among the 19,000 unwed couples who give birth in Kansas each year will go a long way toward reducing child poverty -- one of Brownback's major initiatives.

Glenn T. Stanton, director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family, agreed. "Marriage promotion is certainly not a call for big government, but (an effort to) strengthen fragile families so these mothers and their children don't become dependent on the state for decades," Stanton said. "Marriage promotion is very much a government-shrinking effort, even when government is helping with the promotion."

Reported by World News Service.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


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