Concerned Women for America is promoting National Marriage Week USA, which runs from February 7-14, appropriately encompassing Valentine’s Day.

The event’s professed goals sound laudable:

National Marriage Week USA is a collaborative effort to encourage many diverse groups to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children. Together we can make more impact than working alone….

Marriage works. It makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school….

Deep down, everyone wishes they could have a rewarding lifelong commitment with their spouse. But in the midst of challenges, we forget how marriage can benefit our personal lives. We are losing our determination and the skills to keep marriages healthy and strong.

Marriage breakdown is costly to our kids and to society at large. Divorce and unwed childbearing cost the U.S. taxpayers a whopping $112 billion annually. In these economic challenging times, building stronger marriages helps build a stronger nation.

The event seeks to accomplish three goals:

1) To elevate marriage as a national issue in the media and with policy leaders.

2) To promote the benefits of marriage, that stronger marriages bring economic stability to individuals and to the nation, and provides the best environment for thriving children.

3) To create a national calendar for existing, trusted marriage classes, conferences and events where people can find the help they need, or reach out to help others.

While I do not believe that marriage needs anymore publicity — we can barely get away from the constant stream of pro-marriage propaganda — I certainly support programs to help people in need, including those in need of couple’s counseling, for example. Healing relationships is generally a plus in my book, although I do not believe all marriages should be saved.

But here is my question: Why must a positive event designed to bolster a positive institution have to be infused with a right-wing agenda to promote male dominance, heterosexism, and anti-gay discrimination?

Why must the organizers recommend books that bash feminism and advocate wifely submission to male authority (Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerishs)? Or promote laughably utopian texts by rabid anti-gay activists (The Case for Marriage co-authored by Maggie Gallagher)? Why must they insist that a child needs both a mother and a father, instead of two loving parents? Why?


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