Kill LB 19
I had heard first, on radio news, and then, read in The McCook Daily Gazette, that our state senator, representing the 44 th district, has once again introduced a bill that seems to typify, not only his often inane array of proposed legislation, but, also, what "government," be it the Unicameral or the U.S. Congress, feels compelled to do for us citizens.
I am referring to his proposed bill, LB 19, which does not require, but strongly encourages couples contemplating marriage, to attend marriage education courses by penalizing them, if you will, by paying a marriage license fee that is five times the normal rate, should they choose not to attend these courses.
I realize that Sen. Christensen has the best interests and intentions of preserving the family unit and I commend him for that. But it is not the place of the government, be it state or federal, to, in a sense, legislate morality, or anything akin to it, and to use the means available to do so. I realize that this proposed legislation is not intended to mandate such a practice, but to encourage attending these courses by virtue of an increased fee if they don't. This, in my opinion, borders on being discriminatory. I believe that this a piece of legislation that would be challenged in court, and quickly thrown out!
I have not conducted research on this, but I would speculate that the overwhelming majority of weddings performed in this state are officiated by members of the clergy, and most of them, if worthy of their calling, conduct some form of premarital counseling. Who would serve as counselors for the other people, and how would they be compensated?
I hope this bill goes the route of his proposal from last year, and is killed in committee.
Harold W. Carlson