February 11, 2007

Give Us Your First Born

CNN reported this morning that signatures are being sought for a Washington State defense of marriage initiative that would force couples who want to marry to prove that they are able to have kids together before they can get a marriage certificate. If you marry and you don’t have a child within three years, your marriage would be annulled.

At first listen it sounds like something social conservatives have dreamed up to thwart same sex marriages. WRONG.

Initiative 957 was concieved by a group calling themselves the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance which...

..."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."
And the childfree, too.

The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance is a group of concerned citizens that became alarmed when the Supreme Court ruled that the state had a "legitimate" interest in establishing that the purpose of marriage is for procreation and child-rearing.

The Alliance spokesperson and the initiative sponsor, Gregory Gadow is hoping that the initiative will pass and the Supreme Court is forced to rule that the assumption that procreation is a required element for legal marriage is unconstitutional.
They need 224,880 signatures by July 5 to get Initiave 957 on the ballot in November. As of this morning, they had 200. I envision the petition sheet.
Where else will you see social conservatives, same-sex marriage advocates and the childfree signing in support the same initiative?

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2 comments:

Teri said...

LauraS - When my husband first told me about this story over our morning cup of coffee, I was incredulous.

First of all, you expect that kind of crazy legislation from California not Washington State.

Secondly, what an ingenious way to get something decided once and for all. Propose something so ridiculous, that will force it to a Supreme Court decision. Brilliant, I say!

Gee, I wonder if the Pope would be in favour of this? He ruled that couples who marry and do not plan to have children are going against their faith. Wonder how he would vote on this? Now, if a couple got married and tried to have kids, but could not, would they have to get divorced? Hmmm, now that does present a Catholic quandry. Perhaps that's what anullments were created for. Pu-leeeeez.

Now, where do I sign that petition?

LauraS said...

Teri,
Thoughout history many cultures and faiths have determined that a childless marriage is grounds for divorce or annullment. Woman have been divorced, burned, murdered, abandoned, for the crime of childlessness, in our time.
So, yes, this is a radical way to force a dialogue regarding the true purpose of marriage, but one I welcome.