Covenant v. traditional marriage in Arkansas 

click to enlarge thebigpicture1-1.jpg

The state's covenant marriage statute, which requires premarital counseling and makes it somewhat harder for couples to divorce, was popularized in 2005 by Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, whose Baptist vows apparently didn't suffice. The first couple, after many years of marriage and three children, decided it would make their union stronger if they got remarried under a new secular law on stage at Verizon Arena, the first lady famously decked out in red velvet.

The Huckabees' ceremony, attended by 8,000 people, evidently persuaded others to supplement their vows, since 2005 was the peak year in Arkansas for covenant marriage numbers, at 318. (The Huckabees were late out of the chute, reupping their nuptials four years after the 2001 enactment of the covenant law.) Since then, covenant marriages have fallen off, declining to their lowest number, 149, in 2010, according to statistics compiled by the state Health Department. (The state has not finished compiling data since 2010, spokesman Ed Barham said.)

Now comes the First Assembly of God in El Dorado, where, "in light of all that is going in our country over traditional marriage," the church advisor writes, referring to the Supreme Court's ruling largely overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, 12 couples decided to exchange their traditional marriage licenses for covenant licenses.

Pulaski County, the most populous, has issued the highest number of covenant licenses of any county in Arkansas for the 2002-2010 period. There were a total of 1,936 covenant licenses statewide, compared to 315,943 traditional over that time period. According to Barham, 42 counties on average over that time period have issued zero covenant licenses and an average of 16 counties had only one.

Here's a closer look at covenant marriage licenses from the years 2002-2010:


Speaking of Covenant Marriage, Mike Huckabee


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Why have the trees along Markham and War Memorial Golf Course been cut down?

    The Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department recently cut 33 hackberry trees along West Markham Street, from the War Memorial Golf Course clubhouse to Monroe Street, trees they plan to replace with 60 non-native Chinese pistaches.
    • Mar 3, 2015
  • Inquizator: Holt Condren

    Holt Condren is an explorer and entrepreneur based in Maumelle, the founder of Ink Custom Tees and the author of "Surf the Woods: The Ordinary Man's Trail Map to the Extraordinary Life." He's also featured in a new documentary, "Finding Noah," which follows a team of archeologists and theologians to Mount Ararat, in Turkey, on a search for Noah's Ark. The film will premiere with a multicity one-night-only screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • The devil is in the details at the Arkansas state Capitol

    The proposed Ten Commandments monument vs. the Satanic Temple's proposed Baphomet statue.
    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in The Big Picture

  • Inconsequential News Quiz: Midway Coronary Edition

    Play in the Hall of Industry using a free pen from the Arkansas Rice Board!
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Instagram famous

    A survey of people from Arkansas who're famous only on Instagram.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Truck On

    Remember the days before food trucks were ubiquitous in Little Rock? Before they were fixtures at every outdoor festival and event and had regular spots where they stopped throughout town?
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Five Fun Fall Activities

Five Fun Fall Activities

Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation