The campaign to grant full equality to gays and lesbians suffered another blow earlier this week when the New York state legislature voted against same-sex marriage. It was a disappointment; marriage-equality proponents believed they had the votes to pass the measure.
According to The New York Times,
The 38-to-24 vote startled proponents of the bill and signaled that political momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage, even in heavily Democratic New York. It followed more than a year of lobbying by gay rights organizations, who steered close to $1 million into New York legislative races to boost support for the measure.
The measure was defeated by the usual combination of craven legislators and fear-mongering social conservatives who claimed that allowing gays and lesbians to marry would destroy traditional marriage. That argument continues to claim adherents, even though it has never made any sense. Traditional marriage has been in decline for decades — and gays and lesbians have nothing to do with it. (I know gays and lesbians had nothing to do with the dissolution of my marriage.)
However, if social conservatives are going to continue to fight marriage equality on the grounds that it would destroy traditional marriage, they ought to be willing to make a dramatic move to protect traditional marriage: ban divorce. About half of all marriages in this country end in divorce, and banning it would do more to (artificially) shore up the marriage rate than anything else.
So, a California man is trying to put an initiative to ban divorce on the ballot in that state.
The effort is meant to be a satirical statement after California voters outlawed gay marriage in 2008, largely on the argument that a ban is needed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage. If that’s the case, then Marcotte reasons voters should have no problem banning divorce.
“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.
Marcotte said he has collected dozens of signatures, including one from his wife of seven years. The initiative’s Facebook fans have swelled to more than 11,000. Volunteers that include gay activists and members of a local comedy troupe have signed on to help.
If social conservatives are serious about “protecting marriage,” they’ll work hard to ban divorce and the initiative will pass.