OLYMPIA, Wash. – An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.
Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.
All other marriages would be defined as “unrecognized” and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.
“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation … The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine,” said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadowin a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage.”
Supporters must gather more than 224,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the November ballot.
Opponents say the measure is another attack on traditional marriage, but supporters say the move is needed to have a discussion on the high court ruling. (emphasis added)
Toby calls this an “adventure in missing the point” but it seems to me that there is a very good point here (even if this is both a fruitless and misguided application of that point): if the argument is that marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples per se because marriage itself is for the raising of children, and if you hold to the logic of that point, you’d restrict marriage to those who are or in fact do bear and raise children. It’d be a requirement. You’d not allow sterile people to get married, or anyone who wasn’t planning on it. This is just being consistent with their argument.
Or, speaking just to this narrow issue, you speak of this requirement as an ideal, and then you open other people to the institution: the sterile, those not planning to have children, and perhaps even (gasp) gays and lesbians.
Those who are “defenders of traditional marriage” like to use this argument for why marriage is a heterosexual institution but don’t follow their logic all the way through. This proposed legislation makes them do that…