Senate commitee approves putting marriage commission into law

Published: Wednesday, March 6 2013 11:05 a.m. MST

A new bill calls for the a marriage commission to provide services and host events, including marriage education conferences and enrichment seminars to teach Utahns to strengthen relationships between husbands and wives, and parents and children.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill enshrining the Utah Marriage Commission in state law was approved Wednesday by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. 

The bill passed unanimously and now goes to the full Senate, even though the committee chairman, Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, raised concerns about establishing the commission through HB147, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper. 

"I feel like we need to measure the effectiveness if we're going to start something new," Vickers said, suggesting there should be a provision for the commission to report on its progress and a requirement that the commission come up for periodic renewal. 

Christensen said while neither was covered in the bill, he would report back to lawmakers. He said the existing commission, created through an executive order by former Gov. Mike Leavitt, has already reached many Utahns with classes and events designed to strengthen marriage.

"I don't think I've ever seen a commission on a subject as noble and worthy as marriage," Christensen said, noting Utahns care deeply about the subject and it deserves the attention of a commission. "Marriage, I think, should move to the front of the line."

Lisa Riley Roche, Twitter: dnewspolitics

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