George V. Reilly

I-957: The Defense of Marriage Initiative

I-957: The Defense of Marriage Initiative

Last year, the Washington State Supreme Court handed down its wrong­head­ed decision on same-sex marriage.

In a delightful piece of political theater, WA-DOMA has just filed ballot initiative I-957:

If passed by Washington voters, the Defense of Marriage Initiative would:

  • 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.

The intent is to challenge the court’s ruling which declares that a “le­git­i­mate state interest” allows the court to limit marriage to those couples able to have and raise children together, and hence it is per­mis­si­ble to bar same-sex marriage.

The initiative attacks the specious rationale for the court’s ruling. It also attacks the framing that so many of the bigots use.

Three ini­tia­tives are planned:

As the sponsor of I-957 freely admits in his rationale, these are all absurd, and if passed, would be struck down by the Washington Supreme Court. He intends to undermine the reasoning of social con­ser­v­a­tives who have long claimed that pro­cre­ation is the sole purpose of marriage.

I’ll sign the petition as soon as I get my hands on one, even though my own marriage would be annulled by the terms of the initiative.

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