Iowa GOP Introducing Bill to Limit Divorce… Because of Teenagers’ Raging Hormones?

No, this is not from The Onion…

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This week, Republicans in the Iowa House used personal experiences to draft a bill preventing parents of minors from getting divorced under the ‘no fault’ clause.  Currently, the no fault clause is present in all 50 states and effectively says that couples can get divorced without having to provide a reason for it other than irreconcilable differences.  The proposed Iowa law would remove the no fault clause, only for parents of minors, and limit divorce to situations of infidelity, abuse, or abandonment.

Historically, Republicans lobby for limited government.  But in this case, and in the case of other laws that involve anti-Christian or secular topics, they seem to side with government policies that ensure everyone abides by Biblical laws.  This seems to be another one of those legislative proposals, but there hasn’t been a murmur of religion in the discussion as of yet.  Instead, Representative Ted Gassman, a sponsor of the bill whose daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, offered his personal rationale for supporting it:

“There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now.  Guess what?  What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?  What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?”

So because Rep. Gassman is concerned about his granddaughter’s potential promiscuity as a result of her parents’ divorce, we should prevent all other sparring couples from getting divorced, and subject those children to watching their parents argue instead.  Somehow, that’s healthier?  For his granddaughter’s sake, I would have rather he used a religious argument than to publicly embarrass a teenage girl.

As a person whose parents were divorced when I was a minor, I would argue the exact opposite is healthier for a child whose parents can’t get along.  I would much rather spend divided time with my parents in peace than be trapped in a house with ever-present conflict.  It’s only a matter of time before this bill gets debated in the Iowa legislature, and I guarantee religion becomes a part of the debate when the initial argument fails.

Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

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