A contest called Marriage for a Lifetime is offering $10,000 and a host of wedding-related freebies to an engaged couple. All the lovers have to do is write a 600-word essay, and -- oh yeah -- agree not to have sex before their wedding night. So far, no one has entered.
The Marriage for a Lifetime contest, created by a non-profit group in Georgia, is open to all engaged couples in Rockdale, DeKalb or Newton counties. The group tells the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it wants to find a couple that is "choosing a lifestyle that is not compromising" -- and, it says, "premarital sex is a compromiser." Also compromising? A wedding at which alcohol will be served. Couples have to agree not to serve booze at the reception to enter the contest. Oh, and they also have to agree to attend premarital counseling to qualify.
The group calls itself MATURE, or Marriage Appreciation Training Uplifting Relationship Education. In addition to its no-sex contests, its members spend the year pushing abstinence at schools. Past events have included dual mock weddings -- one presenting young, financially strapped moms who have STDs, and another with happy, carefree brides proudly wearing their white gowns. (And no, we are not making this up.)
MATURE's director told The Journal-Constitution she tries to offer two contrasting images to youngsters: "the bed of poor choices and the bed of 'We made good choices by waiting.'"
Waiting, it seems, is exactly what couples in her area are doing -- at least, when it comes to entering her contest. Even with a $10,000 prize, the deadline is creeping up quickly, and not a single sexless couple has come forward.
Here's the kicker, though: Guess who's footing the bill for the Marriage for a Lifetime contest? Good ol' Uncle Sam. A federal grant gives the MATURE program $455,510 a year for five full years -- a whopping total of $2.27 million, the Journal-Constitution reports.
Good thing we're not in the midst of an economic crisis or anything.