Washington Initiative Requires Proof of Procreation From Married Couples

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Initiative 957, an initiative requiring all married couples to file “proof of procreation” within three years of a marriage, was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance in response to a ruling made by the Washington Supreme Court last year stating gay and lesbian couples could be prevented from marrying by the state because Washington has a legitimate interest in preserving marriage for couples who can procreate. I-957 has been accepted by Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed.

A press release from the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance states that I-957 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.

I-957 needs 224,800 signatures by July 6th to make it on to the November ballot.

36 Comments so far

  1. Sara no H. on February 4th, 2007

    Okay, so I’m over here cackling like a mad old bat and cheering on this initiative, and my housemate is pursing his lips and saying, “But that’s not fair to people who can’t reproduce.” And, probably because I’m not versed in disability rights and I’m too rapturous right now to employ any sound other than a glee-filled giggle, I can’t think of a single thing to say to that. Help me out?

  2. Tanja on February 4th, 2007

    That is ludicrous! WOW. Had I seen this on another website I would have assumed it was something from around 50, 60 years ago.

  3. alyssa on February 4th, 2007

    so now it’s no longer enough to screw gay couples over and they have to start screwing straight couples over too? rad.

  4. Carolyn in Baltimore on February 4th, 2007

    Ya know – if they are going to use the procreation argument to keep us from being able to marry it makes perfect sense, in that ‘take the logic to ridiculous extremes’ kind of way.

    As long as procreation is the states reason to encourage civil marriage, I will support this bill and similar ones in other states that have officially used this reasoning.

    As soon as the powers that be agree that married people are not required to procreate, then we can also get the WA Supreme Ct decision reversed.

    Discriminating laws and policies have consequences for straights. This is not the most ridiculous proposed (or enacted) law we’ve ever seen.

  5. christy kennedy on February 4th, 2007

    It’s an absurd but totally apt RESPONSE to an inane ruling that attempts to bar gay and lesbian couples from marrying because of their inability to procreate. They’re making a point here, and it’s a good one, no different than responding to “gays and lesbians are a threat to marriage” with, “okay, so let’s outlaw adultery, divorce, bad hair cuts and burned dinners,” also threats to marriage. Jeeze.

  6. john on February 4th, 2007

    My 16 year marriage would have been
    annulled 13 years ago. Due to
    medical issues during our marriage,
    my wife would be unable to remarry
    me, or, marry anyone else.

  7. me on February 4th, 2007

    Extended a little further and we can see somepredator getting into more trouble not because he kidnapped and raped some underage loli but because he pulled out and didn’t impregnate her? Or what, that his crime is reduced because she did become pregnant? And what about married straights having to prove not only “procreation” but that the married male spouce is the father? Would that be a crime of evasion?
    People are so wonderful and talented, they can multitask as in being bigots and stupid at same time (though I am not entirely sure those aren’t the same thing…)
    Poof of procreation… would doing it on the capitol steps at noon on a nice sunny day count? Nah, that sounds too appealing to me!

  8. mkb on February 4th, 2007

    Anyone who thinks this is absurd and ridiculous has the full support of the WA DOMA. Read their front page.

    Absurd? Very. But there is a rational basis for this absurdity. By floating the initiatives, we hope to prompt discussion about the many misguided assumptions which make up the Andersen ruling.

  9. Laura G. on February 4th, 2007

    Talk about the Government being in yout bedroom!

    So, if you and your partner-straight or gay-do not WANT children, you can’t marry or stay married? While that would have saved me a lot of trouble in the past (I didn’t want children), it would have taken the CHOICE of leaving the marriage away from me. (I left for other reasons.)
    I was under the inpression that Washington State was a more modern state than that!

  10. Doug in California on February 4th, 2007

    If this law passes, the State of Washington should pick up and move south east to be with the other redneck states.

  11. Keywest69 on February 4th, 2007

    Excellent!

    This means that men that have vasectomies and women that have hysterectomies will have to have their marriage status revoked.

    We also don’t have to “suffer” through “elderly marriages” any more. After all, grandma has passed menopause and can’t have kids, so, deny her any thought of spending the rest of her life with her second (or third?) husband… Actually, all marriages automatically get disolved after menopause!

    This will also put an end to all of those May-December weddings! No more litigation that Gramps new 21-year old wife just married him for his money.

    You’ll also want to buy as much Pfizer stock as possible! Viagra sales will go through the roof as men and women try to hang on to their last years of marriage before being force to either live alone or worse… LIVE IN SIN!

    Fertility clinic stock will also be a great buy as sterile couples in love will be desperate to get their “proof of procreation” certificate.

    Once all these folks have been certified as “unmarriable” just like gays and lesbians, the institution of marriage will be safe!

    Praise Jesus!

  12. Gregory Gadow on February 4th, 2007

    The purpose of our “Defense of Marriage Initiative” is to ridicule the bigots who have been saying for years that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation. We don’t want I-957 to go into effect, we only want to get it on the ballot and bring the unacknowledged bigotry at its heart out for public inspection. We also want to force the right wing to explain this position, and I’m happy to say that the fish are starting to nibble (read http://www.faithandfreedom.us/weblog/2007/02/procreation-or-annulment.html if you dare.)

    It would be nice if we could get this initiative passed, because the Washington Supreme Court would be forced to strike it down. If that happened, the previous court ruling we are mocking would have to be struck down as well. But even if it goes to the voters and fails (and it will probably fail by the largest margin in state history), the public discussion (and entertainment of watching the bigots founder) will still be a win.

    If you want to learn more about WA-DOMA and I-957, or if you are a Washington voter who would be interested in circulating petitions, or especially if you have some money you want to give us, visit our website at http://www.wa-doma.org.

  13. Corey Williams on February 4th, 2007

    If this passes, I’ll just laugh. More and more people are choosing to stay single or cohabitate rather than get married. The only reason my wife and I got married was for the visa, so that I could live in the UK with her. Going on five years and the only patter from tiny feet around her comes from the three cats.

    But the chance of this passing is pretty close to nil. They need almost 250k signatures before July? Is that because they’ve been working on it for a few months now and they only have 200? Keep in mind all the moronic things other states try to pass every year. Like in Texas where someone will always introduce a bill to secede from the union.

  14. Corey Williams on February 4th, 2007

    Sorry, read the story without reading posts. My bad.

    After reading the post by Gregory Gadow, I can honestly say that I do support the effort. Maybe people in other states can get started on their own.

  15. sttake on February 4th, 2007

    Well, I thought this was hilarious when I read it but I really like the idea of the Washington Supreme Court having to invalidate it and then justify their gay marriage ban–though I don’t doubt they would try to invent a new, even more twisted rationale for their double standard.

    This would be a great initiative to export to a Bible Belt state where the right wingers might even support it–only to discover that they alienate most of their state’s population with their extremism.

  16. 2ndlaw on February 4th, 2007

    And will the state, or the authors of this…thing, pay for the upkeep of said ‘procreate’? The only thing preventing hubby and I from having eagerly desired offspring is that we cannot afford to house them, let alone feed and clothe them. (We live in L.A., 2bdrm house costs over 1/2 a million dollars….)

  17. NoOne on February 4th, 2007

    About time something like this come along. I would vote for this initiative and sign any petition. It may be absurd, but I say to those who want to be able to vote on whether or not gays are allowed to marry, well I want the right to vote on whether or not heterosexuals are allowed to marry!

  18. Someone Else on February 4th, 2007

    To Gregory Gadow: Hilarious!! Great idea – expose their positions as ridiculous when driven to their “logical” conclusions!! Good luck with this – I’m looking forward to the media feeding frenzy over this – should be entertaining! I wouldn’t go trying this in Kansas, though – it would probably backfire!

  19. Amy Alkon on February 4th, 2007

    Let’s also end marriage privileging — allowing only married couples to give their partner their social security or other benefits. There’s a great book — UCSB prof Bella DePaulo’s Singled Out, that addresses some of this stuff.

    I’m straight, but I don’t believe in marriage, yet have a partner I’m committed to. I’d like to see a system like the PACS in France — to grant rights to people in relationships like mine (pension, right of inheritance, right to visit in the hospital and make medical decisions, etc.). But, as the magnet my gay best friend gave me says: “Let gay people marry. Why can’t they be miserable like the rest of us?”

    And, as long as GLBT people can’t marry, well, if you’re getting partial rights…shouldn’t you only be paying partial taxes?

  20. JeepersFreepers on February 4th, 2007

    I think this is hysterical, I love it! Wish my state would do this. I’m single het and I’d vote for it.

    One thing, it doesn’t go far enough. Once a married couple’s kids turn 18, the state should no longer recognize the marriage any longer since the raising of children is no longer present.

    Come to Illinois, and I’ll stand in front of wal-mart in the freezing cold collecting signitures for you guys!

    Best wishes!

  21. JeepersFreepers on February 4th, 2007

    Forgot to add -I’d make a big banner with “Defense of Marriage Act is under attact! We need your help!” Then surround it with flags and crosses. heh I’d also wear a lapel pin with a picture of jeshus.

  22. sallyh on February 4th, 2007

    I love this idea–and I’m a straight married woman, who’s had one kid and a hysterectomy.

    I told my husband about it, and he said, great, we’ll just happily live in sin :)

  23. JeepersFreepers on February 4th, 2007

    This is making me so excited I can’t spell and now I’m stalking you.

    On the same day that I have my little stand for freedom display, I would have my friends do the same thing a few feet away.

    Only their banner would read “Gays Demand Marriage Now!”. Both of our signing statements would be three pages long, not my fault if we confuse the jesus freaks.

    For added fun, the two groups could pretend to heckle each other. No matter which petition the shoppers sign, we’re getting the signitures! Oh yeah, I can play that ol republican spin game too.

  24. Transcending Gender » Blurbobacious on February 5th, 2007

    [...] From Gregory Gadow at Daily Dose of Queer: The purpose of our “Defense of Marriage Initiative” is to ridicule the bigots who have been saying for years that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation. We don’t want I-957 to go into effect, we only want to get it on the ballot and bring the unacknowledged bigotry at its heart out for public inspection. We also want to force the right wing to explain this position, and I’m happy to say that the fish are starting to nibble. [...]

  25. [...] Washington Fundies Are Insane A peek above our garters to Viviane (way NSFW!) for this story: [...]

  26. award tour » proof of procreation on February 5th, 2007

    [...] daily dose of queer » Washington Initiative Requires Proof of Procreation From Married Couples. oh my. [...]

  27. KevinM on February 6th, 2007

    I could go into my views… but find it too stupid to argue logically on this.

    It just makes same sex supporters appear as ignorant as the defense of marriage act crowd seem to be.

    Congrats

  28. Catherine on February 6th, 2007

    I guess I would be a “liberal Christian” since I don’t see gay marriage as a threat to my own .. but I digress … this initiative is beyond stupid. I already have the government wallowing around in enough of my life. I really don’t need “big brother” telling me to “start poppin out babies or else”. omg …

  29. [...] Via Daily Dose of Queer [...]

  30. scott on February 6th, 2007

    Whatever it takes to prevent homos from marrying and adopting (and as a result needlessly traumatizing the children). And yes, I would disown my daughters if I found out (or they told me) that they were CM’s

  31. Debbie on February 8th, 2007

    The people in Washington must be insane? How many people will leave the state or not visit because they will have to prove they are married w/children. My husband and I would be in trouble-married going on 3 years with no kids. Most people are too immiture to have kids so the population of the state should be happy people aren’t having kids. anyone for the Bill should have their head examined!!! So what if you adopt, is this considered procreating for a married couple–they didn’t “have” the child and prove their blood flows threw that child. Shame on Washington!

    I think anyone who wants to marry should, just because I married a man doesn’t mean I’m any happier than the next couple. And if a gay couple wants to adopt, who am I to stand in their way, there are a lot of children out there than need homes–if someone is a loving single, married, or gay couple…get out there and adopt.

    I would much rather see people happy than sad becuase they can’t get married or have kids. Think about putting your kid up for adoption and that kid never getting adopted because there is no one out there allowed too love them because no one can meet the governments stipulatons.

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

  32. alexis on February 11th, 2007

    I think that this is sad. I have been married for 12 years (to a loving man, as if it is the governments business) and have no children. I have known since I was 14 that I could not have children due to medical problems. In Washington they are saying that I can not be married because nature has seen fit to make me unable to have children.
    There are so many women out there that can not have kids already that are so upset and now the government wants to make them even more sad and depressed. WHAT A SHAME.

  33. Nicole on February 15th, 2007

    I am a female who has about a 25% chance of becoming pregnant, via the natural way or through a clinic. Just because I might be unable to procreate does not mean that I am not able to love. Love knows no color, sex or religion. My body belongs to me and God, not the state. If they get to say that I am not allowed to marry just because I might not be able to bear children, then I get to say what kind of sex they have, when they have it and who they have it with. I would also require those in positions of power to file in triplicate the Permission to have sex without procreation form. Let’s see how far the law would go then….

    All those who belive this law should pass are sick, prejudical, twisted and un-American and will feel the rath of millions of scorned women

  34. Nicole on February 15th, 2007

    Oh, yes…BTW Scott, who posted on 2-6-07, (read post below), a STRAIGHT set of parents can screw up a child more than a GAY set of parents. This is OBVIOUS to the rest of us but not too you. Don’t you belive that DISOWNING your OWN BLOOD would be more tramatic to your daughters than them telling you WHO THEY ARE?
    STRAIGHT people don’t know what it’s like to be HATED because you were born.
    Get a life, grow up and go learn something other than the load of bull you seem to feed everyone you come into contact with. I only PRAY that your daughters don’t listen to a WORD YOU SAY!

    DEAL WITH IT

    scott on February 6th, 2007
    Whatever it takes to prevent homos from marrying and adopting (and as a result needlessly traumatizing the children). And yes, I would disown my daughters if I found out (or they told me) that they were CM’s

  35. [...] News tip from listener Tim Washington Initiative Requires Proof of Procreation From Married Couples Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance [...]

  36. cheyenne on June 28th, 2008

    It’s difficult to believe these people don’t understand the reason behind the initiative: Sara no H.’s ‘housemate’; Tanja; Alyssa; Laura G.; Doug; 2ndlaw; Kevin M.; Catherine; Debbie; Alexis; Nicole; and I couldn’t tell if Scott was snarking.

    Just sad. And you know there are millions of these peole out there.

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