Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fighting Back in Washington

In the state of Washington, the state supreme court made the decision that same sex couple could be barred from marriage because they can't have children. So, marriage equality advocates have decided the best way to fight back against such an absurd ruling was to force the issue by creating an initiative making it illegal to be married unless you're going to have children. IOW, if you're going to bar marriage from same sex couples on this silly and flimsy reasoning, then apply it to everyone. This is from their site:

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.
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