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Oklahoma Senate panel supports covenant marriage bill

A Senate committee has unanimously approved a covenant marriage bill, despite concerns from some members over its wording and narrowed grounds for divorce.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: February 5, 2013
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A Senate committee has unanimously approved a covenant marriage bill, despite concerns from some members over its wording and narrowed grounds for divorce.

Republican state Sen. Josh Brecheen of Coalgate introduced the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, saying marriages in Oklahoma must be made stronger and more thoughtful. It now heads to the full Senate.

Citing statistics that consistently mark Oklahoma with one of the highest divorce rates in the country, Brecheen says covenant marriages should be made an option for Oklahoma couples.

Covenant agreements require counseling before a couple can get married and allow fewer acceptable reasons for divorce. They are currently available in Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona.

Statistics from those states vary, but generally show less than 5 percent of couples choose the stricter agreement.