Skip to Content

The Oklahoma Legislature wants to use welfare money to promote traditional marriage…

11:04 AM EDT on March 12, 2013

TW Shannon Family

See that picture? No, it's not cheesy clip art of an African-American household for a banking ad. It's actually Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon and his family. If he looks happy in that picture, well, he should be. He has a hot wife, cute kids and nice sweaters. He also gets to prance around while wearing shoes with no socks. What a joy that must be. I'm conscious and self-aware, so I'd feel like a disgusting tool doing something unsanitary like that, but it would be fun to do it for a day and not worry about people judging and mocking you.

Anyway, T.W. thinks all people should be happy and married like he at least pretends to be. He's introduced legislation that would take money away from welfare entitlement programs and fund a pro-marriage public service campaign instead.

Via News 9:

If you are married, you probably won't have to live in poverty. That's the message of a Public Service Announcement the Speaker of the House wants to make.

His proposal would take TANF or Temporarily Assistance of Needy Family to make the PSA. Legislative action is necessary because the money is being designated for a specific purpose.

The speaker's ad would target those like Melissa Barlow, a single mom of two kids living at the City Rescue Mission.

"When I first came here I was a wreck," said Melissa. "Broken family, my choices what I was doing in my life wasn't as positive as I needed them to be no matter how hard I tried."

The Public service campaign would spread the message that getting married and staying married can keep you out of poverty...

"We want to redirect people off government subsidies, we want to get people out of poverty," said Joe Griffin, the Director of Communications for Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon. "Every dollar that's spent on a child who is no longer in poverty and on the road to prosperity that's money well spent."...

The measure passed through the house last week and will be voted on in the Senate.

Dear God, that may be the stupidest thing I've ever read. It's dumber than wearing shoes with no socks.

First of all, what a ridiculous double standard. According to the conservative wacko logic, it's a bad thing for the government to provide a small stipend to the working poor, elderly, single moms, etc., to cover food and basic living expenses, but it's totally okay to fund a public awareness campaign to promote marriage. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense...if you're a hypocrite.

Seriously, how stupid is our Speaker? Does he really think poverty in America is that simple; that you just get married and poof, a magical genie appears and gives you money to get out of debt and move into an apartment? Does he comprehend that poverty is a complex issue with many underlying causes and just encouraging people to rush into marriages isn't going to solve it?

I don't think he does. Otherwise, he'd introduce legislation to promote good things like education, mental health awareness and blog advertising, and discourage bad things like substance abuse, crime and violence. Those factors have a bigger say in your financial wellbeing (or lack thereof) than whether or not you chose to spend the rest of your life miserable and married. Also, what if you're a gay person? At last check, you can't get married in Oklahoma. I guess we don't care if you're poor.

To make this legislation even more laughable, Oklahoma has the highest divorce rate in the nation. And check out the number one reason why:

According to the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, 32 percent of Oklahoma adults who have ever been married have been divorced. The association lists financial troubles as one of the leading causes of divorce in the state.

Source: NBC News

Yep, the Oklahoma legislature wants to use welfare funding to help promote the financial incentive of traditional marriage to poor people who are going to get divorced due to financial troubles. And we wonder why our state ranks last in everything.

Anyway, this legislation is misguided, hypocritical and promotes a Christian ideology rather than offer a solution to a real problem. Because of that, expect it to sail through the legislature and be signed into law by our Governor. When she does, lets just hope she keep some of the pro-marriage brochures hidden from her daughter. We'd rather her be poor and single.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter