Colorado Ballot Initiative Will Require Marriage Education Courses Prior to All Weddings in the State

A group in Colorado is causing a stir after proposing a ballot initiative that will require couples looking to get married to go through educational classes prior to actually being allowed to wed.

The ballot, known as the Colorado Marriage Education Act, will make it mandatory for new couples to go through 10 hours of educational courses before getting married. If someone is getting married for the second time, the number of required hours would increase to 20, and for a third time, 30. A widow or widower that is remarrying, however, would only be required to go through 10 hours of classes.

Those in favor of the bill, like David Schel and Sharon Tekolian of the group Kids Against Divorce, say that the point is to, “better prepare individuals going into marriage to fulfill their new roles as spouse and potentially as parent, to furthermore protect children given that marriage is the foundation of a family unit."

Those opposed, however, feel that it is inappropriate to have laws regulating education when it comes to marriage.

"This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard," said the three-time married Alyx Reese-Giles. "The government has no business deciding what education people should or should not get before entering into marriage. Marriage is about communication and being ready to commit, and no class is going to teach you that."

In addition to proposing mandatory classes for couples wanting to get married, the ballot also proposes annual tax cuts for couples that willingly continue the educational courses each year of their marriage, saying that will “reduce the billions of dollars taxpayers spend annually on divorce.”

The group that proposed this ballot initiative say they’ll need 86,000 signatures in order to get the Colorado Marriage Education Act on the voting ballot for November.


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