Posted by Charles on February 7th, 2007
I have to admit, when i first read I-957 The Defense of Marriage Initiative all I could do was laugh. The text of this legislation is written in such a manner that by no means would it pass a Constitutional test.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 26.04 RCW to read as follows:
(1) All couples married in this state shall have three years from the date of solemnization of the marriage, or eighteen months from the effective date of this act, whichever is later, to have filed with the state registrar of vital statistics or designated deputy registrar at least one certificate of marital procreation as described in section 11 of this act.
(2) Failure to comply with subsection (1) of this section shall result in the marriage being unrecognized as described in section 7 of this act, effective as of the midnight ending the time period described in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) A marriage that has become unrecognized pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall remain unrecognized until the couple has complied with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, or until the marriage is annulled in accordance with section 8 of this act, or until the marriage is dissolved for any other reason.
(4) The couple shall be subject to the penalties of section 7 (2) through (4) of this act for any marital benefits received during the time their marriage was unrecognized.
(5) Within fourteen days after the date described in subsection (1) of this section, the state registrar of vital statistics shall verify that at least one certificate of marital procreation has been filed for the married couple. In the absence of any such certificate, the registrar shall proceed in accordance with section 8 of this act.
Funny isnt it? According to their legislation, a man and woman who marry and do not have a child within 3 years would have their marriage annulled. It gets better though:
The county auditor, before a marriage license is issued, upon the payment of a license fee as fixed in RCW 36.18.010 shall require each applicant therefor to make and file in the auditorâ€™s office upon blanks to be provided by the county for that purpose, an affidavit showing that if an applicant is afflicted with any contagious sexually transmitted disease, the condition is known to both applicants, that the applicants know of no reason why they would be unable to have children together, â€¦
Wouldnt that mean persons with certain disablities, i.e. paralyzed from the waste down, would no longer be allowed to marry?
The truth is, this legislation was admittidly worded in such a way as to provoke a lawsuit in order to have the Supreme Court strike it down. It appears this group was upset with the ruling by the Washington Supreme Court in Anderson v. Kings County which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act was not unconstituitional. The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance chose to focus on the section of the ruling which discussed the State interests in heterosexual marriage with regards to procreation. They failed to see the true reasoning behind the ruling:
Men and women are treated identically under DOMA; neither may marry a person of the same sex. DOMA therefore does not make any â€œclassification by sex,â€ and it does not discriminate on account of sex.
Doesnâ€™t seem to matter to George Gadow at WA-DOMA. When proposing this legislation, George had this to say:
Each of the initiatives we get passed will, no doubt, be struck down as unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Good; that is our ultimate goal. Each ruling against these initiatives will also be a ruling against the basis for keeping the stateâ€™s Defense of Marriage Act. Eventually, Andersen will fall apart under the weight of judicial opinion, and equal marriage â€“ the marriage which we seek to defend â€“ shall become a reality in this state.
Thats great George, propose legislation you know to be discriminatory, in an attempt to overturn other legislation which was ruled as non-discriminatory. What George fails to realize, is that in order to have the legislation overturned, it must first be approved by popular vote.
Sorry George, not going to happen.