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Proposed Ballot Measure Would Ban Divorce in California?

Morgen on October 24, 2009 at 12:10 am

File this in the “only in California” department. The California Secretary of State today granted approval to begin collecting signatures to the proponents of a ballot measure which would ban divorce in California . Here is the official summary of the measure from the California Attorney General:

ELIMINATES THE LAW ALLOWING MARRIED COUPLES TO DIVORCE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California.  Preserves the ability of married couples to seek an annulment.  Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government:  Savings to the state of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually for support of the court system due to the elimination of divorce proceedings. (09-0026.)

My immediate thought was this has to be a joke. And indeed it is, albeit one which seems to be well orchestrated. It turns out that the ballot measure is the work of one John Marcotte, who has put together quite an impressive web site promoting this measure: RescueMarriage.Org. If you haven’t figured out yet where this is headed, the “About” page on Mr. Marcotte’s site gives the game away: is the brain-child of concerned Christian and political activist John Marcotte, who felt strongly that Prop 8 did not go far enough in protecting traditional marriage. With the help of attorney’s and friends, Marcotte is attempting to ban divorce in the State of California. 

Yes, apparently Marcotte is among the (now bitter) minority of California voters who opposed Prop 8 last year, which re-established the traditional definition of marriage in California. And so this new ballot measure is apparently an attempt on his part to call out Christians who oppose gay marriage for their hypocrisy in not seeking to ban legal divorce. Or something to this effect.

And indeed, Marcotte appears to have confirmed his “joke” in an email response to the Political Blotter blog which questioned him on this earlier this evening:

Boy. It really hurts my feelings when people doubt my sincerity like that. I just think that sometimes other people have to sacrifice in order to protect my ideas about traditional marriage. I like to think I am just extending the good work of Prop 8 and taking it to its logical conclusions. Prop 8 wasn’t about taking away rights from gay people, it was about ‘protecting traditional marriage.’ That’s why I know that we’ll get all those Prop 8 supporters to back my initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that get diminished. To not support me would be hypocritical.

Marcotte is certainly entitled to his opinion and to promote this measure via his web site and however else he chooses to do so. I only hope that no additional state funds are expended on what can only be described as a cynical and frivolous measure.

Update: I’m probably going to regret giving them this PR in the morning – but some people may find this funny. A mock PSA from their site:

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Nope, still don’t feel bad about the victory on Prop 8 last year.

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Category: Absurd & Outrageous |

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