Can't you just hear the sputtering? Not only do right-wingers and libertarians love to abuse ballot initiatives. A favorite argument against SSM has been that a homosexual couple can't naturally churn out their own babies.
Not only does that have nothing to do with civil marriage and related civil rights and benefits issues, it stomps and spits on the millions of heterosexual couples who can't or choose not to reproduce. It is just as insulting to couples who adopt.
Word from the initiators came in statements from organizer Gregory Gadow:
For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation. The Washington Supreme Court echoed that claim in their lead ruling on Andersen v. King County. The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine. If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who can not or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage. And this is what the Defense of Marriage Initiative will do.As absurd as it is, it clearly parallels the intent of the anti-SSM folk who would prevent it there and those who would stop it here.
Our agenda is to shine a very bright light on the injustice and prejudice that underlie the Andersen decision by giving that decision the full force of law.
According to the organization, if passed by Washington voters, I-957 would:
- add the phrase, “who are capable of having children with one another” to the legal definition of marriage;
- require that couples married in Washington file proof of procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage automatically annulled;
- require that couples married out of state file proof of procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage classed as “unrecognized;”
- establish a process for filing proof of procreation; and
- make it a criminal act for people in an unrecognized marriage to receive marriage benefits.
The background on the court case is in the AP article on the initiative.
Gadow added that while the initiative seems absurd, "We want people to think about the purpose of marriage. If it exists for the purpose of procreation, they must understand then that these are the consequences."No one really expects the initiative to go far, much less get the 224,880 signatures by the beginning of July to get on the November ballot. Here, we think it's a bigger pity that the anti-SSM initiatives are taken seriously when they are as absurd.
Some gay-rights folk are gun-shy as well. On the serious side activist Bill Dubay said he would not sign the petition. "I don't think anybody in the gay community wants to take someone else's rights away. We just want to gain the rights that everybody else has." Likewise, the statement from Equal Rights Washington was that "State laws, it said, should help — not hurt — families."
That probably does not break WA-DOMA's collective heart. They will have made their point. Gadow added, like a Ginsu commercial, that wait, there's more. Look for two more proposals in a year or two, one prohibiting divorce by married with kids and one making producing a child legally equivalent to marriage.
Let's hear the sputtering class talk through those. They claim they want to bolster the institution of marriage. Those proposals strike at the roots of the problems that have increased since WWII and even before. It is to laugh a bolstering laugh.
Tags: massmarrier, ballot initiatives, Washington State, same-sex marriage, WA-DOMA