Home > Uncategorized > New Survey Shows Majority of Californians Support Change in Marriage Policy

New Survey Shows Majority of Californians Support Change in Marriage Policy


October 30, 2008— Despite contentious debate surrounding gay marriage in California, a new statewide survey reveals that most Californians are ready for a change in our state’s marriage laws. The newly-released State of California’s Unions survey found that most Californians (62 percent) do not feel that either spouse should be allowed to terminate marriage at any time for any reason. This revelation directly contradicts the Family Law Act of 1969 that put California on the map as the originator of “no fault” divorce.  

This recent survey commissioned by the California Healthy Marriages Coalition reveals that more than eight-out-of-ten Californians see divorce as a serious national problem and believe that when a divorce is contested, a couple should attend Marriage Education or couples counseling.

Furthermore, 83 percent of Californians surveyed stated that when a married couple with children is contemplating divorce, they should be required to attend Marriage Education before such a decision is finalized.  

The State of California’s Unions: Marriage and Divorce in the Golden State also found compelling evidence that most Californians (81 percent) believe that relationship skills should be taught to teenagers as part of their high school education. Eighty-seven percent of Californians believe that all couples considering marriage should be encouraged to go through premarital education and 66 percent say that couples completing premarital education should be rewarded with a discount on their marriage license fee.

This survey, the most expansive survey ever conducted on the state of marriage in California, also found that the majority (58 percent) of Californians supported the idea that state and local government should provide additional resources to help strengthen families.

In the past three years, the California Healthy Marriages Coalition (CHMC) has been working to raise awareness about healthy marriages and to increase access to these skills-based classes throughout the state.  The nonprofit organization was awarded 2.4 million dollars a year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Dennis Stoica, President of CHMC said, “Of those surveyed who have taken Marriage Education classes, ninety-four percent found them helpful, and the majority (78 percent) reported that the experience strengthened their relationship. We have the ability to change our culture as we know it,” says Stoica. “If we can raise awareness about Marriage Education and Relationship Skills Training and make it convenient for every Californian, we will change California’s culture in ways that lower divorce rates, improve health, increase wealth, stabilize communities and that enable our children to thrive.”

The State of California’s Unions survey was conducted in January 2008 by telephone with 2,005 California adults by Interviewing Services of America and Gomez Research. The margin of error is ±2.2%.

  1. November 1, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Fantastic and encouraging report!!!–Thank you for the phenomenal work you do to educate and help marriages stay together!–Harold

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