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May 26, 1999
Introduced by Reps. Campsen, Altman, Barrett, Barfield, Cato, Cooper, Davenport, Delleney, Easterday, Edge, Emory, Gilham, Govan, Hamilton, Harrison, Haskins, Inabinett, Kelley, Leach, Littlejohn, Loftis, McCraw, McMahand, Neal, Phillips, Pinckney, Sandifer, Sharpe, Simrill, J. Smith, Stille, Tripp, Vaughn, Wilkins, Witherspoon, Lourie and Knotts
S. Printed 5/26/99--H.
Read the first time March 16, 1999.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MARRIAGE, BY ADDING ARTICLE 7 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE "SOUTH CAROLINA FAMILY RESPECT ACT", TO PROVIDE THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA FAMILY RESPECT PAMPHLET, AND TO PROVIDE TO WHOM THE PAMPHLET SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED; TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 53, RELATING TO THE CELEBRATION OF SPECIAL DAYS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A FAMILY RESPECT DAY AND TO PROVIDE THE DAY IS OBSERVED IN THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS; TO AMEND SECTION 20-1-240, RELATING TO INFORMATION GIVEN TO MARRIAGE APPLICANTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THE SOUTH CAROLINA FAMILY RESPECT PAMPHLET IS DISTRIBUTED TO APPLICANTS; TO AMEND SECTION 44-63-80, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFIED COPIES OF BIRTH CERTIFICATES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THE FAMILY RESPECT PAMPHLET IS INCLUDED WITH EACH CERTIFIED COPY OF THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 44-122-40, RELATING TO THE OPERATION OF COUNTY FUNDED ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY PREVENTION INITIATIVES, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION AND DISCUSSION OF THE FAMILY RESPECT PAMPHLET WITH ADOLESCENTS INVOLVED IN THE INITIATIVES.
Amend Title To Conform
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that the family is the fundamental building block of society; and
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that the State should promote strong families, for the family is the cradle of an ordered and vibrant republic; and
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that one way for the State to promote strong families is to publish and distribute a pamphlet which emphasizes the importance of families; and
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that such a pamphlet should contain substantially the following content and format:
It is a sociological fact: South Carolina's communities are only as strong as its families. Families are the primary building blocks of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Virtually all of our most serious social problems such as crime, declining physical and mental health, lack of educational success, dramatic increases in domestic violence and poverty are most directly driven by one thing: breakdown of the family. This is true for people of all races and income levels. If we are going to have healthy communities, where children are growing strong and happy, doing well in school, staying away from crime, and successfully entering adulthood, we must have strong families. Healthy families are a rich benefit to adults also. While working to build families will not solve all our problems, this is one of the most meaningful ways to significantly reduce some of our most serious personal and social illnesses.
We must recognize that there are increasingly different types of families in our communities today. The freedom to create the kinds of families that we desire is an important American value and this liberty must be respected. However, we must also recognize that individual desire and consideration does not stand by itself. The make-up of our families impacts our children and the communities we are all a part of. It must also be realized that many homes in our communities may suffer from divorce and other problems and these homes should receive all the help and support our communities can offer. Therefore, while it is unrealistic and even wrong to make one type of family form the requirement for all people, there are some common values and behaviors that we can agree should be the goal of our individual family lives as much as is possible.
A substantial body of scholarly research is telling us that these values and behaviors are the surest ways to produce the kinds of benefits and lives we want for our children, our communities, and ourselves. Personal and community progress require that we have shared goals rather than requirements. While we cannot choose the kind of family we are born into, we can choose the kind of family we will create for ourselves and our children. The information in this pamphlet should be considered as you make this very personal decision. These values represent goals we should strive for as much as possible for our individual and common well-being.
Three primary values and the reasons for holding them are listed here.
1. The Value of Sexual Restraint and Marital Faithfulness: Scientists are now telling us what our grandmothers knew all along: There are good reasons to confine sexual intercourse to marriage!
* Those who limit their sexual experience to a mutually faithful marriage have virtually no risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. One in five people are infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease. These diseases can infect other partners and children, limit fertility, or cause pain and even death.i *
Comparing the faithfully married with all other categories of sexually active adults:
* Married people with only one lifetime partner are most likely to be "extremely" or "very" satisfied with the physical and emotional pleasure they experience in their sex lives.ii *
* Married people are significantly more likely than others to say their sex life makes them feel "satisfied," "loved," "thrilled," "wanted," and "taken care of."iii *
* Likewise, the faithfully married are also least likely to report sex making them feel "sad," "anxious or worried," "scared or afraid," or "guilty."iv *
* Women are up to 4 times more likely to be forced to perform a sexual act by boyfriends or acquaintances than by husbands.v *
* Premarital sex contributes to marital unfaithfulness: 3% of people who did not engage in premarital sex were unfaithful to their spouse during marriage, while 18% of people who engaged in premarital sex "fairly often" with someone other than their spouse were unfaithful in marriage.vi *
* Those who are sexually active prior to marriage face a considerably higher risk of divorce than those who have not had sexual intercourse before marriage.vii *
2. The Value of Marital Commitment: Commitment to marriage provides a wealth of rich benefits that are not enjoyed in cohabiting relationships and are seriously diminished by divorce. Therefore, it is in our best interest to honor and work at our marriages.
Faithful marriage is linked to:
* Living longer, healthier lives and decreased need to visit the hospital and doctor's office for physical and mental illness viii *
* Significant protection of children from sexual abuse ix *
* Improved sexual fulfillment x *
* Lower feelings of loneliness xi *
* Greater feelings of overall happiness xii *
* Protection of women from domestic, sexual, and general violence xiii *
* Improving parents' ability to parent xiv *
* Increased individual work productivity, earnings and savings xv *
While many people believe that living together before marriage can serve to strengthen relationships and improve the likelihood of successful marriages, just the opposite is true.
Living together before marriage is associated with:
* 50% greater likelihood of divorce than marriages not preceded by living together xvi *
* Increased levels of sexual unfaithfulness and relational problemsxvii *
* Dramatically (2 to 5 times) increased levels of domestic violence and sexual abuse against adults and children xviii *
* Significantly higher levels of personal depression and mental illness for adults xix *
* Greater discipline problems and lowered academic performance in children xx *
* Greater likelihood of children living in poverty compared to married homes xxi *
* Men earning half the income that married men do xxii *
* Men being less willing to help with household chores than married men xxiii *
Divorce often fails to improve our lives.
* Research shows the overwhelming majority of divorces in America today are a result of people growing apart rather than seeking to escape violence, abuse or seriously troubled relationships.xxiv *
* South Carolinians who are divorced are more likely (compared to those who are not divorced) to believe that divorce merely trades one set of problems for another.xxv Research shows why this is true. *
Divorced (compared to married) adults are:
* Three times more likely to commit suicide xxvi *
* Twice as likely to suffer from alcoholism xxvii *
* Most likely to suffer from serious physical and mental illness, while the married are least likely xxviii *
3. The Value of Loving, Intentional Parenting: While there are children prospering in all kinds of families, researchers are finding that there are some qualities of family that are more likely to produce happy, healthy, well-adjusted children than others.
Children raised in homes with their married parents are:
* Twice as likely to stay in school and graduate, 20% more likely to attend college and up to 95% less likely to cause discipline problems at school xxix *
* Half as likely to end up in jail. (Each year spent without a father in the home increase chances of future jail-time by 5%.)xxx *
* Half as likely to bear children out of wedlock, regardless of racexxxi *
* Unlikely to experience poverty, while children in single-parent families are very likely to experience poverty xxxii *
* Significantly less likely to need treatment for physical, mental, or emotional problems xxxiii *
Children of divorce (compared to children with married parents) are:
* Half as likely to have positive relationships with both parentsxxxiv *
* Do poorer in all measures of educational performance for their entire school experience xxxv *
* More likely to be involved in criminal behavior, early sexual activity, and out-of-wedlock childbearing xxxvi *
* More likely to have serious difficulty entering successfully into adulthood xxxvii *
It is in the best interest of the children, adults, and communities in South Carolina to set for ourselves some basic personal goals for family life. As much as we are able, we should all encourage and work toward life-long faithful marriage as the ideal for sexual relationships, adult living arrangements, and the raising of children. Men and women should both equally strive for these goals. These are some of the most significant ways to insure a long, happy, healthy life for adults and children, as well as productive, safe communities.
DOCUMENTATION: i "Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the U.S.: Risks, Consequences and Costs," Issues in Brief, Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 1994, pp. 1-4.
ii Edward O. Laumann, et. al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 364, table 10.5.
iii Laumann, et. al., 1994, p. 368, table 10.7.
iv Laumann, et. al., 1994, p. 368, table 10.7.
v Robert T. Michael, et. al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (Boston: Little, Brown and Company,1994), p. 225, figure 21.
vi Andrew Greeley, Faithful Attraction: Discovering Intimacy, Love, and Fidelity in American Marriage, (New York: Thomas Doherty Associates, 1991), p. 201.
vii Joan R. Kahn and Kathryn A. London, "Premarital Sex and the Risk of Divorce," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53 (1991): 845-855.
viiiJames Goodwin, et al., "The Effect of Marital Status on Stage, Treatment, and Survival of Cancer Patients," Journal of the American Medical Association, 258 (1987): 3152-3130; Robert Coombs, "Marital Status and Personal Well-Being: A Literature Review," Family Relations 40 (1991) 97-102; ; Linda Waite, "Does Marriage Matter?" Demography 32 (1995): 483-507.
ix Daly and Wilson, 1985; Leslie Margolin, Child Abuse and Mother's Boyfriends: Why the Overrepresentation?" Child Abuse and Neglect 16 (1992): 541-551; Wilson and Daly, "Risk of Maltreatment of Children Living With Stepparents," in Gelles and Lancaster, eds., Child Abuse and Neglect: Biosocial Dimensions (Hawthorne, N.Y.; Aldine De Gruyter, 1987), pp. 215-232.
x Michael, et al., 1994.
xi Randy Page and Galen Cole, "Demographic Predictors of Self-Reported Loneliness in Adults," Psychological Reports 68 (1991): 939-945.
xii Coombs, 1991, p. 100.
xiii Jan Stets, "Cohabiting and Marital Aggression: The Role of Social Isolation," Journal of Marriage and the Family 53 (1991): 669-680; Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1992," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, (March 1994), p. 31, NCJ-145125.
xiv Ronald Angel and Jacqueline Angel, Painful Inheritance: Health and the New Generation of Fatherless Families (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), pp. 139, 148.
xv S. Korenman and D. Neumark, "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?" The Journal of Human Resources, 25 (1990) 282-307; Waite, 1995, p. 483-507.
xvi Larry Bumpass, James Sweet, and Andrew Cherlin, "The Role of Cohabitation in Declining Rates of Marriage," Journal of Marriage and the Family," 53 (1991): 913-927;William Axxinn and Arland Thornton, "The Relationship Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Casual Influence?" Demography 29 (1992): 357-374; Zheng Wu, "Premarital Cohabitation and Postmarital Cohabiting Union Formation," Journal of Family Issues 16 (1995): 212-232; Neil Bennett, et al., "Commitment and the Modern Union: Assessing the Link Between Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability," American Sociological Review 53 (1988): 127-138
xvii Michael Newcomb and P. M. Bentler, "Assessment of Personality and Demographic Aspects of Cohabitation and Marital Success," Journal of Personality Assessment 44 (1980) 11-24
xviii Kersti Yllo and Murray Straus, "Interpersonal Violence Among Married and Cohabiting Couples," Family Relations 30 (1981) 339-347; Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, "Child Abuse and Other Risk Factors of Not Living with Both Parents," Ethology and Sociobiology 6 (1985): 197-210; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Highlights from 20 Years of Surveying Crime Victims: The National Crime Victimization Survey, 1973-92 (Washington D.C.; U.S. Department of Justice, 1993), p. 18.
xix Lee Robins and Darrel Regier, Psychiatric Disorders in America: The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study (New York: The Free Press, 1991), p. 64.
xx E. Thompson, T.L. Hanson and S. McLanahan, "Family Structure and Child Well-being: Economic Resources versus Parental Behaviors," Social Forces 73 (1991) 221-242.
xxi Wendy Manning and Daniel Lichter, "Parental Cohabitation and Children's Economic Well-being" Journal of Marriage and the Family, 58 (1996) 998-1010.
xxii Manning and Lichter, 1996, p. 998-1010.
xxiii Margaret Segrest and M. O'Neal Weeks, "Comparison of the Role Expectations of Married and Cohabiting Subjects," International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 6 (1976) 275-281.
xxiv Paul Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk: Growing Up in an Era of Family Upheaval, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 220.
xxv Glenn T. Stanton, 1998 South Carolina Marital Health Index (Palmetto Family Council, 1998), pp. 38-42.
xxvi Jack Smith, et al., "Marital Status and the Risk of Suicide," American Journal of Public Health, 1988, 78:78-80.
xxvii Robins and Regier, 1991, p. 103.
xxviii I. M. Joung, et al., "Differences in Self-Reported Morbidity by Marital Status and by Living Arrangement," International Journal of Epidemiology, 1994, 23:91-97; David Williams, et al., Marital Status and Psychiatric Disorders Among Black and Whites," Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1992, 33:140-157; Robins and Regier, 1991, p. 44.
xxix Sara McLanahan Gary Sandefur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), pp. 19, 47; Deborah Dawson, "Family Structure and Children's Health and Well-Being: Data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey on Child Health," Journal of Marriage and the Family 53 (1991): 573-584.
xxx Cynthia Harper and Sara McLanahan, "Father Absence and Youth Incarceration" A paper presented to the 1998 annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 1998.
xxxi Irwin Garfinkel and Sara McLanahan, Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma (Washington D.C.: The Urban Institute Press, 1986), pp. 30-31.
xxxii David Ellwood, Poor Support: Poverty in the American Family (New York: Basic Books, 1988), p. 46; Elaine Kamarck and William Galston, "Putting Children First: A Progressive Family Policy for the 1990s," whitepaper from the Progressive Policy Institute (September 27, 1990), p. 12.
xxxiii Deborah A. Dawson, "Family Structure and Children's Health and Well-being: Data from the National Health Interview Survey on Child Health," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53 (1991): 573-584; Ronald and Jacqueline Angel, Painful Inheritance: Health and the New Generation of Fatherless Families, (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), pp. 91-93, 101.
xxxiv James Peterson and Nicholas Zill, "Marital Disruption, Parent-Child Relationships and Behavior Problems in Children," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 1986, 48:295-307.
xxxv Paul Amato, "Children's Adjustment to Divorce: Theories, Hypotheses and Empirical Support," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 1993, pp. 23-38; Nicholas Zill, et al., "Long-Term Effects of Parental Divorce on Parent Child Relationships, Adjustment and Achievement in Young Adulthood," Journal of Family Psychology, 1993, 7:91-103; Judith Wallerstein, "The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children: A Review," Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1991, 30:349-360.
xxxvi Edward Wells and Joseph Rankin, "Families and Delinquency: A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Broken Homes," Social Problems, 1991, 38:71-89; Mavis Hetherington, "Effects of Father Absence on Personality Development in Adolescent Daughters," Developmental Psychology, 1972, 7:313-326; Ronald Fleck, et al., "Father Psychological Absence and Heterosexual Behavior, Personal Adjustment and Sex-typing in Adolescent Girls," Adolescence, 1980, 15:847-860; McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994, p. 53.
xxxvii Paul Amato and Bruce Keith, "Parental Divorce and Adult Well-being: A Meta-Analysis," Journal of Marriage and the Family 53 (1991) 43-48.'
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 20 of the 1976 Code, is amended by adding:
Section 20-1-700. This act may be cited as the South Carolina Family Respect Act.
Section 20-1-710. The General Assembly finds that the family is the fundamental building block of society. Within healthy families children are instilled with values essential to the vitality of our State. These values include personal responsibility, honesty, duty, commitment to others, a work ethic, respect for authority, and sound educational habits. Because the family plays such a crucial role in developing these and other civic virtues essential to self-government, parents have a duty to themselves, their children, and society at large to instill these virtues in their children. Therefore, as much as it is able, the State should promote strong families, for the family is the cradle of an ordered and vibrant republic. Self-government depends upon civic virtue, and civic virtue in turn depends upon healthy families. The purpose of this act is to emphasize the importance of families to the success and well-being of our State.
Section 20-1-720. (A) The office of the Governor shall publish an informational pamphlet entitled 'South Carolina Family Respect', with substantially the content and form of the information found in the findings accompanying this act. The office of the Governor shall distribute the pamphlet to the agencies, offices and entities listed in subsection (C). It is the duty of the government agencies, offices, and entities listed in subsection (C) to promote the ideals of this pamphlet and distribute it to their constituencies and clients.
(B) The informational pamphlet must be distributed to:
(1) all probate judges and clerks of court who issue marriage licenses who shall give it to each couple at the time they apply for the license;
(2) all family court judges who shall give it to all couples who file a petition for divorce or a petition for approval of a separation agreement;
(3) the Department of Social Services who shall give it to each person who applies for welfare benefits;
(4) the Department of Health and Environmental Control to be included and mailed out with each certified birth certificate issued, as provided in Section 44-63-80;
(5) all public school districts in the state that teach sex education programs. All public school districts must include a discussion of the pamphlet in its sex and family education curriculum;
(6) all state and local agencies and institutions that provide health services including, but not limited to, family planning services and distribution of contraceptives, to be given to all pregnant minors, persons receiving birth control, and persons receiving information on family planning or sexually transmitted diseases;
(7) all local mental health centers to be distributed where appropriate in particular counseling situations;
(8) all county programs for adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives, as provided in Section 44-122-40. Each initiative must include a discussion of the pamphlet with the adolescents it counsels;
(9) all public colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning to be distributed to all first year students during their orientation; and
(10) the pamphlet must be made available for voluntary distribution to:
(i) all clergy and counselors who provide marriage counseling;
(ii) all private high schools;
(iii) all private institutions of higher learning; and
(iv) the general public.'"
SECTION 2. Chapter 3, Title 53 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 53-3-45. The Friday immediately preceding Mother's Day of each year, is designated 'Family Respect Day'. The public high schools shall observe Family Respect Day by devoting an appropriate period of time in either classroom instruction or a student body assembly program addressing the sociological, financial, and educational benefits of the family, abstinence before marriage, and monogamous sexual relationships within the bonds of matrimony, consistent with the Family Respect Act as provided in Sections 20-1-700, 20-1-710, and 20-1-720."
SECTION 3. Section 20-1-240 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 20-1-240. All authorized offices, officials, or individuals empowered to issue a marriage license shall, at the time of
issuance thereof application, provide to applicants for marriage licenses ,:
(1) family planning information
. This information shall be supplied to the issuing officials by the Department of Health and Environmental Control; and
(2) the 'South Carolina Family Respect' information pamphlet published and provided by the office of the Governor."
SECTION 4. Section 44-63-80 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 71 of 1997, is further amended to read:
"Section 44-63-80. Except as otherwise provided, certified copies of the original birth certificate or any new or amendatory certificate, exclusive of that portion containing confidential information, must be issued only by the state registrar and only to the registrant, if of legal age, his parent or guardian, or other legal representative, and upon request to the Department of Social Services or its designee for the purpose of establishing paternity or establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support obligation. The registrar shall include a copy of the pamphlet 'South Carolina Family Respect', as provided in Section 20-1-720, when it mails or sends the certified copy of the birth certificate. However, the certified copy of the birth certificate may not disclose the name of the father in any illegitimate birth unless the name of the father is entered on the certificate pursuant to Section 44-63-163 or Section 44-63-165. The short form certificate or birth card may be furnished only to the registrant, his parent or guardian, or other legal representative by the state or county registrar.
When one hundred years have elapsed after the date of birth, these records must be made available in photographic or other suitable format for public viewing."
SECTION 5. Section 44-122-40(A) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 419 of 1998, is amended to read:
"(A) A local public or private agency or organization or combination of these agencies and organizations may apply to the county government for an allocation of funds to operate an adolescent pregnancy prevention initiative. All initiatives funded by the county government pursuant to this chapter shall emphasize premarital sexual abstinence and male responsibility. All initiatives funded by the county government pursuant to this chapter must distribute to and discuss the 'South Carolina Family Respect' information pamphlet, published and provided by the office of the Governor, with each adolescent involved in their project or program. All applications must meet the following minimum standards for consideration:
(1) Each initiative must have a plan of action for prevention of adolescent pregnancy that extends for at least five years. The proposal must include convincing evidence of a direct link between project activities and the reduction of adolescent pregnancy in the target population.
(2) Each initiative must have realistic, specific, and measurable goals, objectives, timelines, and budget for the prevention of adolescent pregnancy.
(3) The proposal must include a description of the method for collecting and reporting the data required by the department to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative as specified in Section 44-122-60. Each initiative, before submitting its proposal, must send a representative to the evaluation standards workshop sponsored by the department."
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Friday, June 26, 2009 at 3:01 P.M.