A federal official who’s pushing President’s Bush’s “Healthy Marriages Initiative” is in Iowa to lead a “Marriage Matters” rally at the statehouse.Marty Dannenfelser is a deputy assistant secretary in the U-S Department of Human Services and his appearance at the rally came a day after the Iowa Senate rejected a bill that would have allowed couples getting married to pledge to seek counseling to solve any problems. Dannenfelser would neither endorse nor oppose that bill or others which seek to make it more difficult for Iowans to obtain a divorce. Dannenfelser says the Bush Administration wants to help states create a “family-friendly” environment. Dannenfelser says there’s a focus on “prevention” — prevention of diseases like cancer and prevention of behavior, like divorce which puts children at risk. Dannenfelser says there’s no aim to keep people in abusive marriages. But Dannenfelser says it’s important to try to help people get through normal “bumps” in marriage. Legislators and others at today’s rally were served wedding cake and shown pro-marriage videos.
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