Okla. Senate panel supports covenant marriage bill

State Senate seeks solution to high divorce rate in Oklahoma. File photo.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that would give Oklahomans the option to choose covenant marriages when getting married in the state.

Republican 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.

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.

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.