Heard this about an initiative (Initiative 957) being pursued by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance organization?
If passed by Washington voters, the Defense of Marriage Initiative 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 Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance’s website states:
What we are about
The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance seeks to defend equal marriage in this state by challenging the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling on Andersen v. King County. This decision, given in July 2006, declared that a “legitimate state interest” allows the Legislature to limit marriage to those couples able to have and raise children together. Because of this “legitimate state interest,” it is permissible to bar same-sex couples from legal marriage.
The way we are challenging Andersen is unusual: using the initiative, we are working to put the Court’s ruling into law. We will do this through three initiatives. The first would make procreation a requirement for legal marriage. The second would prohibit divorce or legal separation when there are children. The third would make the act of having a child together the legal equivalent of a marriage ceremony.
Absurd? Very. But there is a rational basis for this absurdity. By floating the initiatives, we hope to prompt discussion about the many misguided assumptions which make up the Andersen ruling. By getting the initiatives passed, we hope the Supreme Court will strike them down as unconstitutional and thus weaken Andersen itself. And at the very least, it should be good fun to see the social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation be forced to choke on their own rhetoric.
The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance (WA-DOMA) announced on Thursday that their proposed initiative to make procreation a requirement for legal marriage has been accepted by the Secretary of State and assigned the serial number 957. The initiative has been in the planning stages since the Washington Supreme Court ruled last July that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act was constitutional.
“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation,” said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “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.”
And there’s more!
This initiative is the first of three that WA-DOMA has planned for upcoming years. The other two would prohibit divorce or separation when a married couple has children together, and make having a child together the equivalent of marriage.
Enough is enough! These strong-arm tactics need to be responded to with equal force. At what point will we rise up and refuse to allow the further destruction of the building blocks of our society? While there is always room for discussion and debate that doesn’t mean that anything and everything goes.
Please, don’t start rattling the homophobe and prejudice sabres at me. I am neither one of those things. I am, however, firmly convinced that the erosion of our basic traditions and values are leading us down the same path that Rome took…and we all know what happened to them.