Oklahoma divorce rate remains high despite continued decline

Former Gov. Frank Keating will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary this year. In his mind marriage is and always has been a lifelong commitment.

While more than 20,000 marriage licenses are issued in Oklahoma each year, bliss may not be the first word some Oklahomans use to describe wedded life. Oklahoma ranks third in divorce rate in the United States.

In the mid- to late-1990s, the state ranked second. That’s part of what led Keating to develop a now defunct program called the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.

“We created the first marriage initiative in the country,” Keating said. “To make the point that marriage is a lifetime contract, and we need to make sure that people that are thinking about or getting married know that this is not some high school date.”

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