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Florida Congressional Candidate Pushed “No Out” Marriage

Florida Congressional Candidate Pushed “No Out” Marriage

Florida has already made news this year with one pretty out of the mainstream GOP candidate advocating for immigrant “internment camps.”

Now, it comes out that Daniel Webster, the endorsed Republican challenger to sitting Congressman Alan Grayson, was once a firm supporter of “covenant marriage,” even going as far as to propose the idea in the senate back in the 90′s.

Via Talking Points Memo:

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) isn’t taking any chances with his re-election, attacking all of his potential opponents as they fight each other in the GOP primary. But he’s saving his harshest line for his likely rival, Daniel Webster — or, as Grayson calls him, “Taliban Dan.” Why? Because in 1990, Webster sponsored and supported legislation in Florida that would have made it much more difficult for people to divorce — a policy called “covenant marriage.”

In a letter to supporters, Grayson described it like this: “Dan Webster’s bill reduces the institution of marriage to a roach motel: You can check in, but you can’t check out.”

As TPM points out, with a covenant marriage, you cannot get out in cases of spousal abuse, drug or alcohol dependency, or a myriad of other causes that could make being in a marriage unhealthy for one of the partners.  In fact, there is only one way out – infidelity. 

Ah, but even there, there is a catch.  From Grayson’s fund-raising pitch:

So, let’s say that your husband, God forbid, has been abusing you. And you need a divorce. You have only one option. According to Dan Webster’s law, you would need to deliberately commit infidelity in order to get a divorce.

Ah, but here’s the catch. Under Dan Webster’s law, if both parties cheat on each other, then they can’tget a divorce. Ever. They’re locked in holy matrimony, forever. Like two scorpions in a bottle. So if you cheat on him to get away from him, and it turns out that he’s cheated on you, well then…

Of course, the one cheating spouse rule wouldn’t have stopped any of the more well-known Republican divorces like Rudy Giuliani, or Newt Gingrich, so at least covenant marriage shouldn’t inconvenience too many members of the GOP.

After all, as covenant marriage advocate and potential 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum believes:

According to Santorum, marriage is not for adult pleasure; it is for child-bearing and childrearing. Consequently, he believes that the dissatisfaction of grown-ups is of little consequence. At the center of his beliefs is the rejection of what he calls individualism. Time and again he rails at self-centered adults who give little credence to community needs or the collective good.

Being able to leave an abusive marriage, mind you, is self-centered.  But getting to walk away because you had an affair?  That’s just good public policy.

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83 comments

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4:19PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

Oh, wow! this is good! I am looking for info on gryson and came across this!...I am goung to sign his petition saying No Cuts to the big 3!

7:33PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

This is the most assinine thing I've ever heard of. No one want's to protect women who are abused? They have to stay trapped in an abusive marriage? So stupid!!!

10:03AM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

And the ironic thing here is...gays and lesbians would love the right to marry, and I honestly think they would respect the institution much better than heterosexuals have.

Still, you can't make it hard to divorce. That's forcing a situation to get worse.

Marilyn - I'm sorry you've had such bad luck, but I hope one day you run across a man who would never cheat on his wife so you won't think we're all the same. I would never cheat on mine.

8:55AM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

how stupid

10:13AM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

... I wonder how many men would be pleased with this idea? LOL .. what a joke .. if this is the case, lawyers will be laughing to their banks as most men cheat all the time ... oops ..excuse me for stating the truth ...

4:55AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

I do agree that it's way to easy to get a divorce, which is why there are so many. However, in cases of abuse, it should be granted immediately. Why should a woman, or man, be stuck in a marriage where the only outs are cheating or death? What needs to happen is mandatory marriage counseling before marriage, which many churches offer now. I think if more people were aware of exactly what it took to be married, or who they are really marrying, some wouldn't ever get married to begin with. Make the counseling mandatory and free, so that you know you are ready to commit before taking that step. If people who get married on a whim are able to do so, it would drastically reduce the number of divorces in the first place.

2:29PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

If you notice, marriage as we have known it is all but dead anyway. One of the few remaining reasons for marriage is to satisfy the IRS joint return policy.

12:03PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

wtf? O_O

4:30AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

Giving sick new meaning to the 'Institution of Marriage'.

If we rule out stupidity, it can only really be a ploy to get rid of marriage altogether. I. Do. Not.

3:08AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

To Jeffrey M:

The article clearly states that it is Daniel Webster, the endorsed Republican challenger to sitting Congressman Alan Grayson, who sponsored and supported legislation in Florida to end divorce -- NOT Grayson.

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