Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Initiative to Require Couples to Have Children

"Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced a ballot measure that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years or have their marriages annulled.

The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its Web site that the initiative was ''absurd'' but hoped the idea prompts ''discussion about the many misguided assumptions'' underlying a state Supreme Court ruling that upheld a ban on same-sex marriage. The measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage license. Couples who do not have children within three years could have their marriages annulled. All other marriages would be defined as ''unrecognized,'' making those couples ineligible for marriage benefits.

The paperwork for the measure was submitted last month. Supporters must gather at least 224,800 signatures by July 6 to put it on the November ballot." A.P., N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-7-07 NVS)

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This might just wind up backfiring on them.

discussion about the many misguided assumptions

Apparently this is to attack only one assumption, that marriage is rooted in procreation.

Long ago colonial America removed the ability annul due to infertility. Perhaps it is because a nation that requires handicapped access and parking seems to want to help infertile people marry and still form a family the best they can. That doesn't expose a flaw in the long held value people have in marriage as a moor for responsible procreation. It is helping people who are trying their best in spite of a handicap.

Sadly, it appears that many hope that when the initiative fails they will be able to say it failed due to marriage no longer being about procreation. Yet the many infertile who go through great lengths every day to marry and still have kids only affirms that social value.

Then when the question becomes, "why are homosexuals after the privileges of the handicapped?" and when people begin to wonder if homosexuality really is a handicap, the debate may change dramatically. Homosexuality is not a handicap.

I've discussed this further over at Opine.

Posted by: On Lawn | Feb 7, 2007 5:52:54 PM

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