This week, AtMP sent the Senate Finance Committee a petition calling for the end of federally-funded marriage promotion, along with detailed analysis and recommendations on the use of anti-poverty funds for marriage and fatherhood programs. AtMP’s statement describes the differences between marriage promotion, relationship education, and fatherhood programs. We ask Congress to use the evidence it has received to set performance standards for President Obama’s proposed $500 million Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund.
In contrast to President Bush’s $750 million program, we want the new Fund to
- serve only low-income people;
- not discriminate on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation, nor stigmatize unmarried
- make relationship education inclusive of all relationships;
- develop standards, educational requirements and/or an accreditation system for relationship
- let service providers work from their strengths rather than pursue fads;
- help men and women be great parents and partners, not husbands and wives;
- not confuse parenting with gender role-modeling; and
- gather and publish evaluation results quickly.
Finally, we suggest directions for re-envisioning federal anti-poverty efforts, with the ultimate goal of eliminating poverty. All people, including people in poverty, should be legally and economically free to choose whether and when to marry or form other healthy relationships.
Read the entire testimony and see the petition signatories here.
Learn more about AtMP’s decade of research and advocacy on welfare-funded marriage promotion here.
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