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National Marriage Week USA Gains Support from National Leaders and Grass Roots

Contact: Sheila Weber, National Marriage Week USA, 646-322-6853

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- In just its second year, National Marriage Week USA -- February 7 to 14 -- posted hundreds of marriage classes and conferences around the country, was highlighted in the media, and gained grass roots support and acknowledgment by national leaders. (www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org)

In the U.S. Congressional Record, Congressmen Mike Pence (R-IN) and Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) each recognized National Marriage Week, as "established to help couples strengthen their commitment to each other by hosting special events, marriage classes, and home support groups...The family structure is the cornerstone of our society, and I can think of no better time to emphasize its importance than National Marriage Week."

Governors of Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia and Utah issued National Marriage Week Proclamations. "A healthy, loving marriage deserves our special respect because it provides irreplaceable personal happiness and creates the safest place for children to flourish and to enjoy the full emotional, moral, educational and financial benefits of both parents," noted Florida's Governor Rick Scott in his proclamation.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin writes "I wish to applaud and encourage efforts by citizens, faith communities, businesses, organizations, and community leaders to strengthen marriages through educational programs, conferences, enrichment seminars and public policies."

In a January 13 letter to all Catholic bishops of the United States, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the new chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, highlighted National Marriage Week USA, February 7-14, stating "this project -- now in its second year -- is a collaborative effort to influence the culture by faith communities, business, media, education, and non-profit groups, one that is working to focus national attention on the need to strengthen marriage, launching new efforts for marriage education and crisis intervention, and promoting a message about the benefits of marriage."

To commemorate National Marriage Week USA, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia issued a new report, "The Great Recession and Marriage," which garnered media attention since the study indicated American couples are rethinking divorce and separation plans due to the continued sluggish economy. (See Newsroom at www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org)

"Marriage is beneficial for both personal and national economic stability and for raising more well-adjusted children," said Chuck Stetson, CEO of National Marriage Week USA and the Let's Strengthen Marriage Campaign. "Marriage breakdown costs taxpayers at least $112 billion a year. Forty percent of all American babies are now born outside of marriage. We have an alarming drop in the marriage rate from 79 percent of all adults married in 1970 to 57 percent today. Combined with our 50 percent divorce rate, family breakdown is costly to the nation. In these days of economic hardship, policy leaders and individual Americans need to get serious about our efforts to strengthen marriage."

"Strengthening marriage is one way to reduce federal and state budget deficits," continued Stetson, who is managing director of a private equity firm. "We are also working on research that will show strengthening marriage is a way to improve business performance."

As part of a year-round Let's Strengthen Marriage campaign to elevate marriage as a national concern and promote marriage education throughout the country, National Marriage Week USA, the week leading up to Valentine's Day, is part of a decade-old international marriage week movement, now in 12 countries including the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, and Australia. (www.marriage-weekinternational.com)