TwoofUs.org is a website specializing in supporting couples. Straight couples only, that is. It is a hangover from the Bush Era policies encouraging marriage as being between only "One Man and One Woman'. The United States has moved on from Bush's regressive sexual politics in many ways, proudly having a military where any can serve without regard to their sexuality and supporting Federal worker spouses of all citizens, no matter their relationship makeup.
TwoofUs.org then, is a final eyesore from the Bush Years that must be removed. Through the possibly corrupt channel of US Health and Human Services to the extremely questionable "Healthy Marriage Initiative" via a Bush Era trick of using the Deficit Act of 2005 to give 150 million to homophobes and bigots, we all are being cheated of tax dollars. Meanwhile ethically bankrupt social fraudsters like Mary Myrick, of the anti-equality 'Oaklahoma Marriage Initiative' and Michael Mcmanus, founder of the antigay 'Marriage Savers' are continuing to divide our nation with their sick propaganda.
Both of these 'consultants' have had allegations of overspending, outright corruption and gouging the government, possibly even of lying to congress and being paid for it.
Do we really want these shady homophobes in charge of $150Million US during this time of economic turmoil? Do we need more social division in a time where even the President is 'ready' to embrace Equality? Let's bury TwoOfUs.org along with the other Bush Policies that shame our nation. We want the money back, we want these jokesters distanced from the otherwise sterling US Health and Human Services, and we want a clear message that hate is not encouraged by our government anymore.
More Information on TwoofUs.org leadership and money chain and the allegations against them here.
Let's break this all down:
Twoofus.org --- run by --> The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC)
NHMRC -- run by --> Public Strategies, Inc.
Public Strategies, Inc. -- run by --> Mary Myrick
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 --> provides for "Healthy Marriage Initiative" (HMI) funding overseen by -- > US Dept. Health and Human Services / Administration for Children and Families Distributes (DHHS ACF)
DHHS/ACF -- distributed HMI grant funding to --> Public Strategies, Inc.
Public Strategies Inc was awarded $2,000,000 for the grant period of 9/30/06 – 9/29/11 to use for the NHMRC project (which funds twoofus.org).
The Key Players
1) Mary Myrick - http://www.healthymarriageinfo.o...
Is the lead of this project. She also runs the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (http://www.okmarriage.org/)
Apparently she has been under investigation by the Oklahoma Senate:
Mary Myrick ran Rob Johnson's unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1994.
Myrick's firm, Public Strategies, came under scrutiny when then-State Land Commission director Rob Johnson awarded it a controversial $600,000 advertising contract.
Myrick made headlines when she and a firm employee attempted to prevent Oklahoma City animal control officers from removing Myrick's pet monkey from her office after a biting incident.
She came under fire for her work on the [OK] marriage initiative after it was learned that she was billing the state for frivolous services such as reading books and watching videos.
Questions were raised again when it was revealed that Myrick was also being paid several hundred thousands dollars to stage one-day conferences for Governor Keating's Safe and Drug Free Schools program.
"Without any financial accounting, we don't have any idea where state tax dollars are going. The state has pledged to pay this person up to $1.6 million over the next four years, but we aren't getting any documentation about how she's spending the money. It's a recipe for disaster," said Senator Easley.
(See: http://www.oksenate.gov/news/pre... | http://www.oksenate.gov/news/pre... | http://www.oksenate.gov/news/pre... | http://www.oksenate.gov/news/pre... | http://www.oksenate.gov/news/pre... )
2) The Healthy Marriage Initiative - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthyma...
"Beginning in 2001, the Bush administration began working with congressional leaders on reauthorization of the welfare reform legislation. Over the next five years several versions of a reauthorization bill were introduced that amended the 1996 law in several ways including adding provisions that would encourage states to make greater efforts to promote and strengthen marriage, and, to a lesser extent, responsible fatherhood. The reauthorization bill that eventually became law in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 included the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Act which established a new grant program to fund healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs." (from: http://www.healthymarriageinfo.o...)
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 provides funding of $150 million each year that follow certain guidelines: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthyma...
Seeing as the federal government -- and especially the Bush Administration -- defines marriage as involving one man and one woman, the programs funded by the program are, of course, hetero-normative.
[On a related note, you may remember hearing about the Healthy Marriage Initiative because Maggie Gallagher (as in, the chair and former president of the flagrantly anti-gay National Organization for Marriage) received tens of thousands of dollars in 2002 and 2003 to help promote Bush's Healthy Marriage Initiative, and later came under fire for not disclosing these payments when she testified before Congress about the benefits of healthy marriage programs.
Similar-in-nature allegations were made about Michael McManus (founder of Marriage Savers), a syndicated columnist , was paid as a HMI subcontractor to provide marriage education services, and later wrote in support of Bush's marriage initiatives without disclosing this payment.]
Not included in the Quora Question, but relevant to the topic of heteronormativity and Twoofus.org:
Gives a rundown of what happened when the writer asked Twoofus.org if they would give advice to a same-sex couple. (Briefly, their answer: No)
Out of curiosity, I did search the NHMRC site for any references to same-sex relationships, and was only able to dig up this obscure paragraph buried in one report:
"These elements may be relevant for same-sex relationships, as well. However, the research base on same-sex couples is quite thin and has numerous methodological problems.31 Our conceptualization has been developed based on studies of heterosexual couples and is, we think, appropriate for these couples; but we do not know whether it would be found appropriate for same-sex couples."