Politics & Government

Kansas looks to strengthen wedlock with 'covenant marriages'

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers have a plan to put the deadbolt back in wedlock: optional "covenant marriages" that could be ended for only specific reasons or after a trial separation.

To break these bonds of matrimony, couples would have to undergo marriage counseling and live apart for at least a year. Divorces also could be granted after an infidelity or when one spouse has committed domestic violence or has been convicted of a serious crime.

Couples would have to undergo premarital counseling to qualify and sign an affidavit affirming that their marriage is for life. Covenant marriages also would cost more — $25 on top of the existing $69 marriage license fee.

Already married couples could upgrade to the covenant marriage. Same-sex couples would be ineligible.

The House endorsed the measure Thursday. A final vote today will send the bill to the Senate.

Supporters noted voters outlawed same-sex marriage to defend the sanctity of marriage. But covenant marriage — for those who want them — is a way to go on the offensive.

To read the complete article, visit www.kansascity.com.