Covenant Marriages

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Democratic Lt. Gov, Timothy Kaine has taken up a cause that had been championed by a conservative Republican: a form of marriage that requires counseling before the wedding and before the couple can divorce.

Virginia Beach Delegate Robert McDonnell abandoned his crusade for "covenant marriages" three years ago after the General Assembly rejected his bill three times.

Kaine says he's NOT trying to appeal to conservative voters.

It would require marriage license applicants to choose between a traditional union and a covenant marriage, which would require eight hours of counseling before the nuptials and an additional eight hours of counseling before a divorce.

The couple also would sign an oath that they understand marriage is a lifelong commitment. The waiting period for getting a divorce would remain one year. Extended Web Coverage

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine Bio

  • Inaugurated on Jan. 12, 2002, Timothy M. Kaine, 44, serves as the full-time Lt. Governor of Virginia, the first mayor to hold statewide office in Virginia in nearly a generation.

  • Since his election for Lt. Governor, Kaine has embarked on an ambitious effort to visit schools in all of Virginia's 135 cities and counties during his first two years in office. He successfully promoted legislation during the 2002 legislative session to require regular updating of education standards and will continue to promote policies that will improve the quality of our public schools.

  • Kaine also successfully promoted legislation in 2002 to require proceedings of the Virginia State Senate to be made available for television broadcast as part of an overall strategy to increase legislators' public accountability.

  • As Lt. Governor, Kaine serves as Chairman of Virginia’s Disability Commission, a committee charged with promoting opportunities for Virginians with disabilities. Gov. Warner appointed Kaine to serve on the Governor’s K-12 Accountability Workgroup, in addition to the Governor’s Higher Education Summit, on which Kaine serves as a member of the Workforce Training sub-committee. Kaine is also a member of the Commonwealth’s anti-terrorism task force, the Secure Virginia Panel, and chairs the Citizens and Communities sub-committee.

  • Serving on Richmond City Council from 1994-2001, and as Mayor from 1998-2001, Kaine’s tenure was marked by significant reductions in crime through the implementation of the award winning Project Exile Program, dramatic school construction and renovation, and economic growth fueled by innovative tax incentive strategies.

  • Kaine graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri in 1979, and received his law degree Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1983. During law school, Kaine took a leave of absence to serve as the principal at the Instituto Tecnico Loyola, a vocational school teaching carpentry and welding to children in Honduras.


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Source: (VA Lt. Gov. Web site) contributed to this report.

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