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State Proposal: Married Couples Must Procreate—or Else!

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State Proposal: Married Couples Must Procreate—or Else!

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Recently, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld by a slim 5-4 margin the state’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage.

The court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Barbara Madsen, said limiting marriage to couples of opposite gender is warranted because of “legitimate state interest.” Justice Madsen’s implication was that defining marriage as a family with a mother, father and biologically related children is the ideal situation for procreation and childrearing.

In response to the ruling, this happened—Initiative-957 (I-957) was introduced. This bill would require men and women hoping to marry in Washington to be forced to prove their ability to conceive before they will be issued a marriage license. If enough support is rallied and the initiative is passed, marriages that fail to produce children within 36 months of their union will be annulled, and unions without biological children will be “unrecognized.”

Unable to elevate same-sex unions to the level of traditional marriage, proponents of same-sex marriage are determined to undermine traditional marriage instead. Such is their hatred for the long cherished institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

The man who filed I-957 said the motivation behind its introduction was to “display the discrimination that is at the heart” of the Washington Supreme Court ruling. He further stated, “Our intention is not to actually put this into law. All we want is to get this on the ballot and cause people to talk about it.”

Cheryl Haskins, executive director of Allies for Marriage & Children said I-957 is “dictating people’s choices in a way that is utterly ridiculous. It’s absurd.”

House Representative Jamie Pederson (D-Seattle) is one of five openly homosexual legislators who recently sponsored a measure to allow same-sex marriage. The measure may soon come to a vote on the Senate floor.

However, Mr. Pederson opposes I-957 on different grounds. He said, “For the same reason I don’t think same-sex couples should be excluded from marriage, I don't think heterosexual married couples should be forced to procreate.” In other words, both positions are an imposition on an individual’s right to choose.

Does such logic under the banner of choice have a reasonable end? Is there any social issue on which people should not be allowed to choose? Is taking a stand for morality or traditional values intolerant of others?

To ensure I-957’s inclusion on the ballot in November, 224,800 signatures must be gathered by the July 6 deadline. Regardless of whether it is included this time, marriage and the family unit are teetering on a precipice in the state of Washington. You may wish to read David C. Pack’s booklet The Purpose of Marriage – Ever Obsolete?

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