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Monday, February 12, 2007

Loving Marriages Annulled?!

posted by on February 12 at 12:30 PM

The Seattle P-I ran a hilariously earnest letter today about Initiative 957.

Initiative 957 is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. Under this proposal, men with a low sperm count would have to have their loving marriage annulled.

What about newlywed seniors who can’t have children? Do the initiative sponsors want them to live in sin?

What if a man who has had a vasectomy and a woman who has gone through menopause want to get married? Are they going to have to submit to unreliable medical tests to see if they can become fertile?

What about women over 40? The risk of having children born with medical problems is increased at that age.

If their marriage is annulled, couples could go to Nevada and have a quickie marriage that the state of Washington would honor.

Who is going to enforce it? I can see the state sending out (and where would the funding come from?) people to find out if a couple has had kids within three years of marriage.

Don Webb

This is the point of the initiative—to get people to say things exactly like this. So… you don’t think marriage should be tied to procreation? Tell that to the Washington State Supreme Court who wrote “that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state’s legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children.” Huh?

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For more on the legal benefits of marriage in Washington that have absolutely nothing to do with procreation -- or with love, for that matter -- click here: (but only if you're heterosexual, of course! ;-)

Posted by Michael Taylor-Judd | February 12, 2007 1:00 PM

"Do the initiative sponsors want them (newlywed seniors who can't have kids) to LIVE IN SIN?"

I think that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about people like Mr. Webb.

Posted by COMTE | February 12, 2007 1:31 PM

Welcome to Duh, Population: Don Webb.

If you'd like to forward this letter to Justice Barbara "Marriage Is For Procreation" Madsen, here's her address:

The Administrative Office of the Courts
Attn: Barbara Madsen
1206 Quince Street SE
P.O. Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170

Posted by Original Andrew | February 12, 2007 1:36 PM
Posted by hyperlinker | February 12, 2007 2:04 PM

I wonder if there were people who thought Jonathan Swift was actually in favor of eating babies?

Posted by Orv | February 12, 2007 2:31 PM

Yes, Orv. There were. Many of them.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by Bitty | February 12, 2007 2:39 PM

Parody is fun, but this letter points to the fact that parody initiatives are not really in our best interest in the long run. There will be a segment of folks, like this guy, who just donít get it. Then thereís a far greater percentage who thinkís its just stupid and silly and it doesnít endear them to our causes. Itís a big waste of time and energy for just about everybody.

Posted by Chip Chipmunk | February 12, 2007 2:59 PM


Posted by Matthew | February 12, 2007 4:06 PM

Actually, CC, I think it does a grand job of illustrating heterosexual privilege and demonstrates exactly what many supporters have said would happen: That these fine, upstanding folk are all for preserving the institution of marriage until they're actually called upon to preserve the institution of marriage.

Frankly, I'm enjoying it just because when it doesn't pass (for whatever oh-noes-they-won't-like-us-anymore reason that suits you), we get to claim the moral high ground. Not that we haven't had it all along, but now I'll be able to point to something tangible as evidence of their hypocrisy.

Posted by dantc | February 12, 2007 4:07 PM

A simple request to all my hetero brothers and sisters out there(I love you all, I really do)

1. str8 boys go grab another boy and then go sit down with a lawyer and have them tell you how much it will cost you to "purshase" all the rights and priviledges automatically(and freely)given to heterosexual married couples.

2. str8 boys go grab another girl and then go sit down with a lawyer and ask him how much it will cost you to get married and receive all the rights and priviledges granted to all hetersexual married couples.

3. str8 women do the same as in step 1 but with another woman

4. str8 woman do the same as in step 2 but with a man

This initiatve is SCREAMING to be passed. Its a badly needed joke to show everyone how stupid the judges opinions were when they denied us the same rights because of procreation? C'mon.

Posted by matthew | February 12, 2007 4:18 PM

This is the best "F - You" to bigots since Dan married Amy Jennings.

Posted by longball | February 12, 2007 5:50 PM

I am all for this intiative. And no, I do not mean that sarcasticly.

What this initiative effectively does is to eliminate civil marriage. Oh, it keeps the word, but it re-purposes it to mean "the body of law governing parenthood". Some rules about the rights and responsibilities of parents are clearly necessary. Rules about which romantic relationships are government-approved and which are not are most emphatically not necessary.

So, where do I sign?

Posted by David Wright | February 12, 2007 7:31 PM

I wrote a response and submitted it to the PI, but as much as my name has been in the news recently, I doubt it will see the light of publication. Thank you.

Chip Chipmunk: I would like to remind you that the gay rights movement in the United States is not dated from 1950 with the founding of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay rights organizations in the country. Rather, the gay rights movement is dated from June 28, 1969, when a group of pissed off drag queens got fed up with being harassed and put down. Sometimes, it has been the "stupid ideas" of the loose cannons that have kickstarted the cause of equality. I would like to think that Initiative 957 draws from that tradition.

And for the folks asking "Where can I sign?":

1) You can download the petition as a PDF document from our website at on the You Can Help page. Take it to a printshop and they can print you out as many as you like for about 35 cents each. You don't need to solicit signatures from strangers, but if you could sign and get enough friends and family to sign so that you have 20 signatures, that would be a BIG help. Just remember to sign the "required statement" on the back and mail it back to us.

2) If you fill out the contribution form (also on the You Can Help page) with your mailing address, we would be happy to send you a few petitions.

3) We will have people on Broadway next week in the afternoon and evenings. We are a loose coalition of folks so I can't guarantee any signature gathering events except the ones I will be at. We are working to get things pulled together better and hope to have a calendar on our website soon.

And to all of you, thanks!

Posted by Gregory Gadow | February 13, 2007 6:30 AM

Ah... this may not be that great of an idea of an initiative. Have you seen/met the people who live outside of Seattle? If you got rid of King County Washington is pretty much a red state. I admit it is a long shot that it goes anywhere but ah, yeah... help us all if it makes the ballot and passes.

Posted by Andrew | February 13, 2007 7:59 AM

Andrew, that is what makes I-957 such a win-win: there is absolutely no way it will stand up under judicial scrutiny. In the extremely unlikely event that the Washington Supreme Court refuses to strike it down, you can bet your retirement that it will land before the United States Supreme Court and they will strike it down. And any red stater who jumps onto our bandwagon will be slitting their own throat with regards to same sex marriage.

See? Everyone wins.

Posted by Gregory Gadow | February 13, 2007 8:43 AM

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