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.