Apparently, I am not the only one to be confused on the whole idea behind Washington State's Initiative 957. Our co-contributing editor, Laura Scott, did the homework for us. She asked me to publish the following to clear the air. Thanks Laura dear!
Why We Should Support Proposition 957
by Laura S. Scott
I've fielded a number of outraged emails from my childfree and childless friends about the proposed Washington State Initiative 957.
Here's the scoop: unlike previous "Defense of Marriage" initiatives, the people behind the Initiative 957 are not social conservatives trying to ban same-sex marriage or childless/childfree marriages.
They are "concerned citizens" who are trying to challenge the assumptions behind an earlier Washington Supreme Court ruling that asserted that procreation in marriage serves the state's interests.
Randy Stapilus of Ridenbaugh Press does a great job of spelling it all out in his recent article: At Their Word. He summarizes that proposition 957
“would limit marriage only to male-female couples who are capable of having children with one another," specifically barring marriage - in case anyone missed the point - "when the parties are unable to have children together for any reason.Silly?
After getting married, the couples would have three years to produce (and not by adoption) at least one child, after which they would file with the county a "certificate of marital procreation."
Of course it is, but so was the Washington Supreme Court Anderson v. King County ruling that said "limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation" and is "essential to survival of the human race."
Childless marriages a threat to the human race? C'mon. Childless marriages and smaller families are what averted the so-called "Population Explosion" predicted back in the 60's, when governments around the world were adopting policies and passing laws that would reduce the number of new births, and avert anticipated economic and environmental disasters.
Those efforts led to the one-child policy in China; perhaps well intentioned, but poorly and cruelly implemented, leading to unforeseen and unwelcome consequences such as the dramatic increase in abortions of female fetuses. Now a young Chinese man is less likely to be a father, because he has difficulty finding a wife!
Perhaps there's a lesson here for legislators who attempt to intervene in matters of love, fertility and marriage.
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