Sunday, June 28, 2009

Counseling pacts for churches?

Not sure what to think of Marriage group seeks to make counseling pacts for churches, but I do think it has merit. What most people do not realize is that every family alw attorney would rather have a marriage survive than not.

"A Wisconsin nonprofit aimed at bolstering the institution of marriage is working with local pastors to establish the first so-called community marriage agreements in Milwaukee and Waukesha.

Under the pacts, participating congregations agree to impose waiting periods for couples, administer assessments to gauge relationships' strengths and conflict potential, and offer training and enrichment programs before and after marriage.

Supporters say such agreements benefit those religious communities and society as a whole.

'Our mission is to uphold the value of marriage and teach people the skills to form lifelong, healthy relationships,' said Susan Dutton Freund, executive director of Green Bay-based Foundation for a Great Marriage, which will host an informational program for clergy July 1."


Other pastors are wary of the initiative, saying many healthy-marriage initiatives push a political agenda that discriminates against same-sex couples and diminishes and disrespects those who cannot or choose not to be married.

"Society obviously benefits from healthy relationships. But healthy relationships are not limited to marriage," said the Rev. Craig Schwalenberg, assistant minister at First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, which recognizes civil unions by same-sex partners.

"Attaching a stigma to those who choose not to marry or to divorce for good reason is not something I'd be interested in promoting," he said.

Freund said her organization has taken no stand on same-sex marriage, which is not legally recognized in Wisconsin.

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