Andrew T. Walker
February 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm
Today is the start of National Marriage Week, a weeklong campaign to "strengthen marriage, reduce divorce, and promote marriage prior to childbearing."
Although marriage benefits society in many ways, this year's National Marriage Week focuses on marriage as the leading antidote to child poverty. A child born and raised outside marriage is six times more likely to experience poverty than a child raised in an intact family.
A four-minute video provides the campaign overview at www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org.
National Marriage Week has three main objectives:
1.To elevate marriage as a national issue in the media and with policy leaders;
2.To promote the benefits of marriage, including the fact that stronger marriages bring economic stability to individuals and to the nation and provides the best environment for thriving children; and
3.To create a national calendar for trusted marriage classes, conferences, and events where married couples can find the help they need or reach out to help others.
Hundreds of events will be held throughout the United States—from free marriage counseling services to "date night" events sponsored by churches in Chicago.
Said Sheila Weber, executive director of the campaign:
"It has been long proven that children fare best at every level if they can grow up with both their father and mother.... Since more than 40 percent of U.S. babies today are born out of wedlock, which is the greatest predictor of poverty for women and children, and we have an alarming drop in marriage rates—nearly 80% of all adults were married in 1970, only 52% today—the need is greater than ever for a positive campaign to strengthen marriage We encourage citizens, organizations, and houses of worship to launch marriage strengthening classes and events, list them on the National Calendar at www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org., and for individuals to find an event near them to help their own marriage, or help others."
Additional resources on marriage and its impact on reducing poverty and improving social outcomes for children can be found at heritage.org.