White House Plans to Promote 'Healthy Marriages'

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The White House is planning to spend $1.5 billion to promote healthy marriages, and President Bush could announce plans for the proposal next week in his State of the Union address.

The measure would go towards training to help couples develop interpersonal skills that sustain "healthy marriages," especially among low-income couples.

Conservatives are also urging the president to defend traditional marriage, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision on same-sex marriage.

The Family Research Council (FRC) welcomed the "Healthy Marriages" initiative.

"As the author of the nation's first covenant marriage law - which seeks to help couples avoid divorce and have successful marriages - I am quite pleased that the Bush Administration recognizes that marriage promotion is a worthy aim of the federal government," said FRC President Tony Perkins Wednesday.

"The institution of marriage is not only deserving of protection, but also promotion," said Perkins. "Every study out there proves that households based on a strong marriage relationship are without question the best environment for both adults and children, and our nation will only benefit from a government program that bolsters marriage in this bold way.

"For every $1,000.00 we spend on public programs addressing family breakdown, we only spend one dollar trying to prevent that breakdown in the first place. The President's initiative puts the emphasis in the right place - prevention," Perkins added.

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