A (pro)creative initiative
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So marriage is about procreation? That's what Washington state's Defense of Marriage Act suggests, and the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance means to make them follow through on it. Enter Initiative 957, which would require a couple to prove that they can have children before they are allowed to marry, and make them have a child within the first three years of marriage or face annulment.
This initiative is ridiculous, absurd, offensive, and most of the other words people are using to describe it. But this approach is not simply for attention, a good laugh, or the satisfaction of making opponents of same-sex marriage swallow some of their own bitter medicine (though I admit to quite a bit of glee at the latter). Initiative 957 may actually weaken Washington's DOMA, maybe even force the court to reconsider it.
At least this initiative may teach opponents of same-sex marriage a little lesson: If you use an empty excuse to justify discrimination, be sure you can live with having it enforced.
Washington's DOMA is one of a plethora of acts barring people of the same sex from marrying. The Andersen ruling last summer upheld the legislature's prerogative, stating that "DOMA is constitutional because the legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation."
Coming from this ruling, Initiative 957 isn't very far-fetched. After all, the inability for a woman to bear children can still be grounds for a divorce for some people, and certainly was much more common in the past. That's pretty traditional, right? So if people are fighting to preserve traditional marriage, why not stir that into their brew as well?
The Andersen ruling is a classic example of what is going on in many states. The Washington Supreme Court furthered a ridiculous reason for banning same-sex marriage under the guise of letting the legislature, the representatives of the people, decide such things. Of course, at the same time, the legislature points its finger at the court.
As long as both branches of government keep shirking on this human rights responsibility, as long as homophobia dominates in this country, I guess we need strategies like those of WDOM Alliance's to twist people's arms. Maybe, eventually, people will run out of excuses to not allow same-sex marriage.
Prema Polit is an editorial intern at AlterNet.