Government Funds Ad Campaign That Holds Up Value of Marriage//

Photo By Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY

Photo By Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY

The federal government is funding a $5 million national media campaign that launches this month, extolling the virtues of marriage for those ages 18 to 30.

There have been some changes to the marriage statistics in this country. People are waiting longer to get married, and the number of people getting married at all has decreased. The government felt they needed to do something about this.

The average age at first marriage is now almost 26 for women and 28 for men. And a growing percentage of Americans aren’t marrying at all: Provisional federal statistics released Tuesday report 7.1 marriages per 1,000 people in 2008, down from 10 per 1,000 in 1986.

The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, is spearheading the campaign. It is a federally funded virtual clearinghouse, that works under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

With ads on social networking sites Facebook and MySpace, videos on YouTube, spots on radio talk shows, ads in magazines and public transportation and a new website (, creators say the aim is to start a national conversation about marriage.

Thankfully, at this point it seems that this campaign and marriage resource center are focused on marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. After all, we already know that it is within the bounds of  a “traditional” marriage, that families and children flourish.

Research suggests a bevy of benefits for those who marry, including better health, greater wealth and more happiness for the couple, and improved well-being for children.

Interesting huh? Those of us in happy marriages probably already know these things, but isn’t it funny how despite personal accounts of the benefits of marriage, and research into the issue, the GLBT community would still have us believe that they have better lives, that they are better for children and that they are happier. They aren’t fooling anyone. Of course there are those who are saying that it isn’t the government’s business to get involved, however others say,

the campaign is just like those conducted by other federal agencies to encourage the use of seat belts and discourage drug use, smoking and drunken driving.

I’m glad that at lest someone in our government thinks that promoting and protecting marriage is at least as important as seat belts. Every little bit of promotion counts!

Resource center project director Mary Myrick of Oklahoma City says the media campaign has a budget of $1.25 million a year for four years; the campaign is part of the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative, a Bush administration effort under the Administration for Children & Families.

I should have known, Obama had nothing at all to do with this. Marriage and families don’t really seem to be at the top of his priority list.

To read more about the marriage campaign and the research behind it, click here