Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Christian Science Monitor: An Iowa dentist did not unlawfully discriminate when he fired an employee he found attractive, fearing they might have an extramarital affair, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday in a case examining a murky area of employment law.
BBC: The proportion of children born out of wedlock rose in 2012 for the 40th consecutive year to 47.5%. By 2016 it is expected to rise to more than 50%. Figures from the Office for National Statistics go back to 1938 when just 4% of babies had unmarried parents.
The Oklahoman: A federal ruling on Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban has been elusive, but U.S. Supreme Court action on the issue last month may pave the way for a decision in the 2004 case
Robert Oscar Lopez at Public Discourse: Single-parenting and divorce have always been understood as a breakdown of the married mom and dad ideal, but the demand to view same-sex parenting as “normal” imposes a silence on children about the wound caused by the loss of one parent or the other . . . Even the most heroic mother in the world can’t father. So to intentionally deprive any child of her mother or father, except in cases like divorce for grave reasons or the death of a parent, is itself a form of abuse.
LifeSiteNews: Legislation tabled by the Conservative government last year to allow foreign homosexual couples to divorce after taking advantage of the country’s liberal same-sex “marriage” law has sailed through the Senate. It had previously escaped a word of debate in the House of Commons.
Catholic Culture: An Israeli appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling in a case that involves the Catholic stance on divorce.
Laurie Shrage at NY Times (June 12, 2013): We need to respect men’s reproductive autonomy, as Brake suggests, by providing them more options in the case of an accidental pregnancy. And we need to protect children and stabilize family relationships, as Murphy suggests, by broadening our definition of “father” to include men who willingly perform fatherlike roles in a child’s life, and who, with informed consent, have accepted the responsibilities of fatherhood. | Hat tip: IMAPP
Phyllis Schlafly at Townhall: Child support formulas are based on the ridiculous notion that a father would make those same sacrifices for an ex-wife who is living with her new husband or boyfriend and for children he never or seldom sees. Many fathers would happily do more to support their children if they got to see their kids more and were more engaged in their lives. But current child support laws have reverse incentives: The more the mother prevents such contact, the more child support she receives. Child support is not even really child support, because the mother has no obligation to spend the money on the kids, and faithful payment of child support does not buy the father time with his kids. The purpose of child support is to allow the mother to maintain a household and standard of living comparable to the father’s.
Philip Cohen at the Atlantic: Public policy should catch up with the reality that fewer and fewer children are being raised in homes with two married parents
Christian Science Monitor: A judge has ruled that a North Texas lesbian couple can’t cohabitate — live together — because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers.
YouTube: In this Two-Minute Warning John Stonestreet interviews Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation on the topic of same-sex marriage.
Ashley McGuire at Public Discourse: How appropriate that Justice Alito brought up cellphones in the recent Supreme Court hearings on the marriage cases. Because these days it seems like it is easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a cellphone contract.
Patheos: In the report, Sliding v. Deciding, Dr. Scott Stanley argues that there are significant differences in the process by which cohabiting and non-cohabiting couples enter into marriage. And this process, itself, plays a significant factor in determining the stability of the future marriage. Non-cohabiting couples tend to proceed toward marriage in a conscious way.
AP: More women are initiating divorces in Uganda, a conservative East African country where women are becoming empowered to leave a bad marriage in a way their mothers could not, rights activists and legal experts say.
David Lapp at Family Scholars: In “Promises I Can Keep,” Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas find that among the poor single mothers they interviewed, “Nearly everyone has a morality tale to tell of two fools who rushed into marriage only to divorce.” And, “The harshest condemnation is reserved for those who marry because of pregnancy. Such marriages, they believe, are almost certain to end in divorce, and thus benefit neither the couple nor the child.”
Business Insider: These trends create an even higher demand for education among women. Education is insurance against divorce risk, but it also creates more unstable marriages, which in turn increases demand for more education. And since the marriage market is filled with more educated women, it’s more difficult for uneducated women to find a mate — making the marriage market more competitive.
Os Hillman at Christian Post: The battle for the family is heating up with one of the most important issues that could cause a huge tipping point in culture-the redefining of marriage by the Supreme Court. This is part 3 of a 4 part series on the topic of gay marriage. In this segment we look at how the failure of Christian marriages and how it has contributed to the issue of the rising gay community and the agenda of the gay community.
Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture: During the 1960s the American understanding of marriage was radically altered by the public acceptance of divorce and contraception. Once divorce became socially acceptable, it was no longer possible to assume that any given marriage involved a permanent bond. Once contraception became the norm, it was no longer possible to assume that a marriage was likely to produce children. Permanence and fecundity are the two legs on which the institution of marriage stood; now they were gone. Today a typical American union is a 3-step process.
First Things: Studies compete for the most accurate representation of the risk to a marriage posed by living together before the wedding, but most estimations predict somewhere around a 33 percent increased risk of divorce. Regardless of magnitude, however, they all claim the same thing: that premarital cohabitation is highly correlated with unsuccessful marriages.
LifeSiteNews: “Gay marriage is inevitable.” That’s what we’re told by gay activists. It’s a taunt devised to pick off the more faint-hearted clingers-on of traditional marriage by exploiting the human instinct to be on the winning side. And sometimes it works.
Susan L. Brown at LA Times: The Beatles sang ‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’ When it comes to marriage, many baby boomers are saying ‘no.’ . . . Until recently, it would have been fair to say that older people simply did not get divorced. Fewer than 10% of those who got divorced in 1990 were ages 50 or older. Today, 1 in 4 people getting divorced is in this age group.
AP: Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach ruled last week that he has no jurisdiction to approve the divorce because Arizona doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages and there isn’t enough evidence that Beatie was a man when he married Nancy Beatie in Hawaii.
David French at NRO: For the Christian, marriage should be a covenant relationship, between a man and woman, that is designed to last for life — with the only scriptural grounds for divorce being adultery or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. Yet our pews are full of divorced Christians, and many of these are not people who’ve divorced, repented of the sin of divorce, then sought forgiveness and redemption (though some are). Instead, they are people who’ve divorced wrongly, sought acceptance of their choice, salve for their emotional pain, and now seek to remain in fellowship — on their terms.
James Taranto at Wall Street Journal: Today’s Times reports on a new Third Way study that is highly important–no sarcasm here–and that picks up on some of this column’s frequent themes. Here’s the abstract . . .
Defenders of marriage need some entrepreneurial thinking. America has been governed by no-fault divorce, illegitimacy, and disordered desires of every kind for two generations; there are fewer and fewer people around who even remember living in a world where the Christian position was the default. We need to stop imagining real marriage is like the Apple of 2013—assuming we are the dominant entity and our opponents are upstarts trying to displace us from our position at the top.
WDTV.com: On Friday, the state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that would make a marriage voidable if either party without the other’s knowledge has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in jail.
Ruth Institute: A bill has been filed in the Iowa House that would prevent no-fault divorce between parents with minor children was debated yesterday in subcommittee. The bill, House File 338 . . .
Houston Family Attorney Blog: The Daily News points to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in which engaged couples and co-habiting couples had as much success in their marriage as those who had not lived together prior to marriage. Some of these couples made it to the 15-year mark in marriage. But research was not so positive about non-engaged couples who were living together before getting hitched.
Rod Dreher at the American Conservative: The problem for people my age is this: your definition of marriage was displaced prior to our lifetime. I have no memory of when that definition was true. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has lived their entire lives under a culture that believes marriage is an expression of romantic love between two people.
Chicago Sun Times: Dear Abby: My daughters are attractive young women, both doing well in their professional careers. “Melanie,” who is 27, is married to “Sam,” an extremely attractive and successful man. My 30-year-old daughter, “Alicia,” has been divorced for a year. Her marriage failed two years ago because she and her husband had an appetite for sex outside their marriage. While I was disturbed about that, I was horrified to learn that Melanie allows her sister to occasionally have sex with Sam . . .
Heritage Foundation Culture Watch: 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.
Christian Institute: Children whose parents divorce after they turn seven are more likely to misbehave and perform badly at school, according to a new Government-funded study.
Argus Leader: Adelstein tried for the third time in the past 11 years Tuesday to repeal South Dakota’s “alienation of affection” law, which allows individuals to sue a third party for breaking up their marriage.
Zenit (links to study): The negative social consequences of divorce are well-known but a new report shows that it also leads to a decline in religious practice. On Wednesday the Institute for American Values published the findings of a group of scholars in a report titled “Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?: Challenging the Churches to Confront the Impact of Family Change.” Every year about a million children in the United States experience the divorce of their parents, the report pointed out, and overall one-quarter of young adults come from divorced families.
Religion Clause Blog: Rejecting the husband’s contention that the prenuptial agreement was a religious document that is not enforceable by a secular court, the court held that it can adjudicate the claim using neutral principles of law. . .
Ariz. divorce case hits snag after marriage’s validity questioned because husband gave birth | AP on Cox News
AP on Cox News: Jim Campbell, an attorney for a conservative Christian legal organization that isn’t involved in the Beatie case, said in an email that the failure of the courts to protect traditional marriage has led to chaos and that children are being led into “increasingly bizarre situations.” “Sadly, the deep confusion created by these two women, and the biological father who helped conceive the children, is just a symptom of much greater societal problems,” said Campbell, of the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Public Discourse: Any honest analysis of the Newtown tragedy must address the social problems caused by divorce, absent fathers, and the burdens of single motherhood.
Star Tribune: A judge is questioning whether a same-sex marriage ban bars him from ending the union — or even recognizing its validity — because the husband was born a woman and underwent a sex change but retained female reproductive organs and gave birth to three children.
Court Rejects Father’s Establishment Clause Challenge To Divorce Decree Provision On Religious Education of Children
Religion Clause Blog: In Roberts v. Roberts, (TX App., Dec. 19, 2012), a Texas appeals court rejected a father’s Establishment Clause challenge to a provision in a divorce decree under which his former wife was given the right to pick up the children for religious classes on Sundays on which the father otherwise had possession of the children.
Single Belles, Single All the Way: The marriage gap is a problem we can’t afford to ignore. | Mona Charen at NRO
Mona Charen at National Review: It in’t a matter of urgent national importance when non-parents choose to live together without benefit of clergy (I love the old-fashioned expression). When children come into the picture, it is. There is simply no controversy about the data: Two-parent married families are best for children — and best for society.
Stephen M. Krason at Crisis Magazine: How can one talk about changing the libertarian divorce laws—much less the divorce culture—in the Age of Obama, when the national administration and the ruling political party is pushing the most permissive sexual and family agenda in American history? There is no place to work from but the ground up, and we should always keep in mind that the bright future of new historical ages is often fashioned in the throes of a troubled and declining socio-cultural era.
Religion Clause Blog: Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that a Tel Aviv Family Court has broken new legal ground by granting a divorce to a same-sex couple who had married in Canada but lived in Israel.
Mercator.net: You may know one of them, or even be one. They are divorced people, mainly women, who have taken on the care of their estranged spouse when he or she is facing serious illness or death. It is a surprising and, to some, a baffling development, but one that is significant enough for two researchers from the University of Missouri to look into. Alerted to their study by a recent feature article in The Australian (“The ex factor” by Kath Legge, November 3, 2012) MercatorNet asked Drs Teresa Cooney and Christine Proulx about their findings so far. Keep in mind as you read the interview that millions of baby boomers, who experienced record divorce rates in the wake of no-fault laws, are now ageing. Men in particular often end up alone and estranged from their children. A current spouse or partner (assuming there is one) friends or siblings may be unable or unwilling to commit themselves to a care-giving role. But for some “exes” their original marital commitment still means what it said.
Lawrence Journal World: He said births to unmarried women nationwide have increased from around 30 percent in 1993 to 40 percent now. The poverty rate for children in female-headed households is 41 percent, while it is about 9 percent for married couples, he said.
AP: Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, testified during divorce proceedings that he and his former wife made a mutual decision for her to have two abortions, according to divorce transcripts released Thursday.
Boston Globe: In most of those states, including New York, adultery is a misdemeanor. But in others — Massachusetts, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin — it is a felony, though rarely prosecuted. In the armed forces, it can be punished severely, although usually in combination with greater wrongdoing.
Houston Family Law Blog: Big news out of the Texas Supreme Court for would-be-divorcers. The Texas Supreme Court issued a 5-3 decision allowing standardized “do-it-yourself” divorce forms for lower income couples who have trouble paying the fees of Texas divorce lawyers, reports The Dallas Morning News.
Amy Ziettlow at Family Scholars: More than a century and a half ago Alexis de Tocqueville made the striking observation that an individualistic society depends on a communitarian institution like the family for its continued existence. The family cannot be constituted like the liberal state, nor can it be governed entirely by that state’s principles. Yet the family serves as the seedbed for the virtues required by a liberal state. The family is responsible for teaching lessons of independence, self-restraint, responsibility, and right conduct, which are essential to a free, democratic society. If the family fails in these tasks, then the entire experiment in democratic self-rule is jeopardized.
Wall Street Journal: Shedding light on the issues of divorce and health care, a new University of Michigan study estimates that 65,000 American women become uninsured each year as a result of marital dissolution.
Washington Times: My stepfather used threats against my mother to gain my complete surrender to him and his pedophile sex trafficking ring.
Christian Institute: Children suffer through to adulthood after their parents divorce, a new study has revealed . . . The report also warned about the consequences of changes to the traditional family structure of one mum and one dad . . . The report, which was funded by the Government’s Economic and Social Research Council, found the long-term damage of divorce on children was the same across different generations.
Kentucky.com: The testimony provided more evidence that the eastern parts of our commonwealth are suffering. Perhaps more important than any other ailment that affects the rough underside of the “holler shack” or the “sagging modular home” are the dysfunctional families who live in them.
Christian Institute: A man who wanted his three children to be brought up in his Islamic faith instead of their mother’s Christian beliefs has failed in his court bid. The children will continue to be raised with their Scottish mother but can be taught about Islam when visiting their father. The mother was not a practising Christian until she split from her Muslim husband, when she started taking her children to church and Sunday school.
Deseret News: A person who intentionally destroys their marriage, expecting to get favorable alimony, may have another thing coming, according to Utah lawmakers . . . The bill defines fault as “wrongful conduct during the marriage that substantially contributed to the breakup of the marriage relationship,” including an extramarital affair, abuse, or activity that undermines the financial stability of the other party or minor children.
Get a grip on family policy, says ex-minister as shocking report claims half of all children will see parents separate
Daily Mail: Married couples will be in the minority in little more than a generation and half of all children can now expect to see their parents separate, a shocking report reveals today. The Centre for Social Justice, the think tank set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, says marriage is increasingly the preserve of the middle and upper classes.
LifeSiteNews: As Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project found in 2007, active, conservative members of both Protestant and Catholic churches are significantly less likely to divorce—by 35 and 31 percent, respectively—than Americans who are religiously unaffiliated. The numbers often get skewed, says Stanton, because most studies fail to take into account the level of religious commitment and practice among those who identify themselves as Christians.
Elissa Gootman at NY Times: Suddenly these step-relatives, unbound by biological or legal ties, are former step-relatives, left to puzzle over the sorts of questions that can require a whiteboard to explain. Do you invite your ex-stepsister to your wedding, given that you shared a bunk bed with her for seven formative years? How long should you continue texting your ex-stepson if he doesn’t text back? And what, if anything, do you call your ex-stepgrandmother?
Ed News: Growing up with married parents vastly increases a child’s prospects of escaping poverty, a study has revealed. A stable home was found to raise a child’s chances of escaping the poverty trap by 82 per cent.
Gatestone Institute: The same week that Republican convention delegates unanimously voted for a platform provision stating that judges should not consult foreign law or customs to guide them in interpreting American law, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on the convoluted case of a bogus Muslim marriage which set the stage for a potentially bigamous Muslim marriage.
Religion Clause Blog: California Family Code Section 4337 provides that the obligation under a court order to support a former spouse terminates when the former spouse remarries. In Left v. Left, (CA App., Aug. 23, 2012), a California appeals court held however that when a divorced wife goes through a Jewish religious marriage, performed without also having a marriage license from the state, her former husband’s support obligation is not terminated.
NJ Law Journal (subscription): The state Senate approved a measure on Monday that would change the standard for judicial review of prenuptial agreements. The bill, S-2151, would require judges, in dissolution matters, to evaluate those pre-marriage and pre-civil union contracts for conscionability as of the date of their execution.
Fox News: As previous studies have suggested, the new research indicates that cohabitation may provide many of the benefits of marriagewithout some potential burdens, such as the mixing of financial assets.
Penna Dexter at Baptist Press: All the studies show that, without the stable presence of a father in the home, kids are poorer, have more problems in school and in their academic performance and face a worse economic future. They’re also more likely to become teenage parents and extend the cycle.
Christian Institute: A Muslim community leader has been ordered to pay maintenance to his ex-wife even though he believes he owes her nothing under Islamic rules.
Wall Street Journal: Research shows that most divorced people identify the same top five regrets—behaviors they believe contributed to their marriage’s demise and that they resolve to change next time.
NY Times: Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.
Religion Clause Blog: In Majdeh M. v. Jamshid A., (Kings Co. NY Sup. Ct., July 4, 2012), a New York trial court applied New York’s “Get” Law, Domestic Relations Law Sec. 236 [B]  [h] (originally enacted to deal with Jewish divorce issues), to an action involving maintenance and equitable distribution awards in a Muslim divorce.
NY Daily News: State law requires that marriages be broken down for at least six months before a divorce filing, meaning only those that hit the skids soon after the law was passed are winding up in the courts.
Christian Post: A year ago Mohammed Khidir Khalil was glad his family had obtained refugee status in Egypt after fleeing Islamic hostilities in Sudan . . . Today the convert from Islam is back in Sudan fighting to recover his family after his in-laws compelled his wife to claim she was Muslim and divorce him.
FoxNews: Statistics from the Department of Defense report that since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001, the military divorce rate has continued to rise. Last year alone, the marriages of some 30,000 military personnel ended in divorce (USA Today, December 2011).
Austin R. Nimocks at Townhall: You think you’ve seen and heard every argument regarding same-sex “marriage,” and then the Baltimore Sun writes an editorial that divorce has now somehow strengthened the case for same-sex “marriage.”
Penna Dexter at Baptist Press: This means that regardless of the referendum outcome in November, Maryland at least will recognize same-sex “marriages” from other states. Advocates of same sex “marriage” see this as a way to get the legal camel’s nose under the tent.