February 6, 2007

Careful What You Ask For

There is a new initiative hitting the streets in Washington State. The Defense of Marriage initiative would, if passed:

* 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.
Farcical on its face, right?

The folks that put this together say:

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.
They want to generate discussion and hope that if this passes it will eventually be ruled unconstitutional and thus weaken Anderson.

This could work. However, they might just get the first two parts of what they are asking for: discussion and passage...even in blue Washington. But they might not get the 3rd part: any part of this then being ruled unconstitutional by the state supreme court and end up strengthening Anderson.

My take: not a chance of passing. We all know to many couples, both same-sex and opposite sex, who have been married for years and do not have children.

If folks are going to spend precious time on issues like this why not go right to the heart of the matter and work on initiatives and so forth that say something like:

Individuals and voluntary groups of individuals must be treated equally under the the laws of...(insert appropriate federal, state or local entity).
Oh yea, the 14th Amendment already says something a bit like this.

The state, i.e., government, of course, has no legitimate interest in any aspect of marriage other than possibly enforcing judicial rulings on the contractual aspects of living arrangements entered into by 2 or more consenting adults.

Via Whatever It Is, I'm Against It.

Posted by Steve on February 6, 2007
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