Scott and Courtney, you might want to get married quick, otherwise you'll need to have children within three years of your wedding date -- if Initiative 957 passes.
Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced an initiative that would require heterosexual couples to have children within three years or else have their marriages annulled.
According to the P-I, "Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, which was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage. In that 5-4 ruling, the court found that state lawmakers were justified in passing the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts marriage to unions between a man and a woman. In defending the act, the ruling specifically mentioned a state interest in furthering procreation."
"We did toy with the idea of (requiring) procreation before marriage," said Gregory Gadow, who filed I-957 last month for the Alliance. "We didn't want to (annoy) the fundamentalists too much."
According to the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, 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 group admits, the initiative is "absurd," but claims "there is a rational basis for this absurdity." Stay with me here. The group believes that by floating the initiative, they can instigate a discussion about "the many misguided assumptions" about this state's definition of marriage.
It's political theatre. It's working. We're discussing the definition of marriage, and Scott and Courtney are contemplating jogging or sprinting to the alter.