Monday, February 05, 2007

Defending Marriage

In July of 2006, The Supreme Court of the State of Washington ruled in Andersen V. King County that "Limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race, and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological parents." This has been a common approach to courts that limit marriage to only heterosexuals – marriage is for breeders, dammit.

Not to be stopped, various activist organizations in the state of Washington set up the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, with the specific intent of forcing the state legislature to eat the court’s words. A ballot initiative was written up and today the Secretary of State accepted what is now Initiative 957, which forces the state to recognize marriages only if the couple to be married can have kids. In addition, a married couple will have only three years to file ‘proof of procreation’ or have their marriage annulled. This will apply to out of state marriages as well. Also, divorce would be forbidden for any couple who has children, and any unmarried couple who has a child will be automatically married.

Of course for the initiative to get on the ballot, 224,800 signatures are needed by July 6, which is a pretty steep challenge. But it’s an inspiring piece of political protest, essentially forcing the state to live with the results of its bigoted and narrow minded approach to marriage. Some may consider it extreme, but as the organization says on their website,

“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.”