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5 politicians leading the charge to restrict access to divorce

By Jake Beardslee · December 14, 2023

A number of elected officials across different levels of government have recently advocated for limiting no-fault divorce laws and restricting general access to divorce.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

In recent years, some politicians have questioned no-fault divorce laws and called for restricting general access to divorce. Critics see the push as reflecting an ideology that values traditional marriage and strict gender roles rooted in religious doctrine and nationalism, over equality and individual rights. From state legislators to presidential candidates, here are 5 figures who have advocated for making it more difficult for couples to dissolve their marriages.

  1. Pastor Dusty Deevers, recent Oklahoma state Senate primary winner, wants to “see no-fault divorce, come back to at-fault in divorce—and even public shaming for those who are at fault in divorce.”

  2. Matt Krause, current Tarrant County Commissioner candidate in Texas, tried introducing legislation in 2016 requiring couples to give a reason for divorce. He wanted to prevent marriage from being “something to ‘get in or out of easily or quickly.’”

  3. Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican presidential candidate, hosted a podcast discussion implying that “decades long of a regime of no-fault divorce” causes “dysfunction across our society today.”

  4. Mike Johnson, Louisiana Representative and House Majority Leader helped craft his state’s covenant marriage law, which makes divorce exceedingly difficult. In a 2016 sermon, he partly blamed “no-fault laws” for society’s “completely amoral” state.

  5. Tony Randolph, South Dakota state representative, yearly since 2020, has introduced legislation to eliminate irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce, which nearly all (97 percent) of divorcing couples in the state currently invoke in their filings.