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With a divorce rate teetering around 50 percent in the U.S., it's not surprising that lawmakers and advocacy groups are looking for creative ways to strengthen the institution of marriage. And one California-based group is proposing an idea it thinks will help: Requiring engaged couples to take a "marriage education" course before tying the knot. Call it Marriage 101, if you will.
The idea was kicked off by David Schel and Sharon Tekolian of the nonprofit group, Kids Against Divorce, and is being proposed this year as new legislation in Colorado, the Denver Post reports. While the initiative, dubbed the Colorado Marriage Education Act, will need to be approved by voters, it proposes a minimum of 10 hours of pre-marriage education before couples can apply for a marriage license. For second marriages? 20 hours of coursework. Third marriages? 30 hours. The law wouldn't apply to civil unions.
Tekolian said the act was created 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."
While we agree that the divorce rate is way too high, we're not entirely convinced that requiring couples to complete some sort of state-mandated pre-marital education is the solution. And as you can imagine, not everyone is excited about the idea of Uncle Sam meddling in love and relationship decisions. What do you think?