Author Archives: William C. Duncan

Utah’s Reid shows leadership on intergenerational poverty

Utah State Senator Stuart Reid is providing important leadership on a crucial issue — intergenerational poverty. The 1990s saw a major effort to reform public welfare through work requirements for welfare recipients. This effort had merit, but Senator Reid is … Continue reading

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Alimony, audits and adoption: family issues heard during Utah interim meetings

During last week’s interim day meetings, the legislature heard three family issues. The Judiciary Interim Committee listened to testimony about reforming alimony (brought to the Committee by Representative Fred Cox, R-West Valley City) which has been a Sutherland Institute priority. … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Legislature, Parental Rights | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Utah could take a lesson from Chris Christie on surrogacy

On Aug. 8, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did the right thing in vetoing a bill that would have allowed adults to contract with one another so that one would carry a child to term for money and then surrender … Continue reading

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

How sound marriage laws enhance liberty

A sincere question often raised in the debate over the definition of marriage is whether it is appropriate for government to be in the marriage business at all. For those of us who believe in the principle of limited government, … Continue reading

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Playing chicken with religious liberty

Hopefully many readers have been to Chick-fil-A recently. After the company’s president expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, four big town mayors have threatened to prevent the company from doing business in their … Continue reading

Posted in Marriage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rethinking unilateral divorce

The Deseret News has recently published an important series of articles (here and here) and an editorial on an issue that gets far less attention than it deserves — the serious consequences of our legal culture of divorce. The basic … Continue reading

Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The strings attached to federal welfare programs

When you receive an email “informing” you that you’ve won a lottery you never entered, or that a widow from an exotic nation wants to give you the money from her deceased husband’s estate, do you reply? Some people do, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

How is Utah’s child welfare system doing?

As we have reported, the Utah Legislature is reviewing an audit of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.  The Foundation for Government Accountability has just released a report with state rankings based on 11 different child outcomes. The … Continue reading

Posted in Family | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Will California ‘split the child’?

The news is reporting on another troubling development from California, where the state Senate is considering a bill that would specifically allow the government to designate more than two “parents” for a child. Although radical, this idea is not entirely … Continue reading

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Parents’ rights in interim committee hearing

On Wednesday, June 20th, the Judiciary Interim Committee of the Legislature will hear testimony about the appropriate balance between protecting children at risk in their homes and preserving families. The study is part of an important bill, House Bill 161, … Continue reading

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Protect marriage, protect life

The small and brave contingent of the University Faculty for Life was in Utah recently for their annual conference hosted this year at Brigham Young University. My presentation examined the linkages between the deconstruction of marriage as a social institution … Continue reading

Posted in Abortion, Marriage | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Groundbreaking Study on Alternative Families

This morning a reputable scholarly journal published two key studies that could unsettle some of the happy talk about alternative family forms. The studies have already been the subject of major stories in the Deseret News and Washington Times. Maggie Gallagher … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gay Rights | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Government is all too eager to displace your family

The great conservative sociologist Robert Nisbet notes: “It is the nature of both family and state to struggle for the exclusive loyalty of their respective, and overlapping, members.” (Robert Nisbet, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary 110 [1982].) This struggle seems to … Continue reading

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The judicial campaign against DOMA

Yesterday, a panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit (the federal appeals court that covers Massachusetts and some of the other Northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico) ruled the federal Defense of … Continue reading

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What’s the big rush to get divorced?

In the 2012 session, the Utah Legislature took a welcome baby step toward restoring moral seriousness to the state’s treatment of divorce by restoring the (very short) 90-day waiting period before filing and finalization. At the other end of the … Continue reading

Posted in Divorce, Marriage | Tagged , , | 4 Comments