© Copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

After marrying, my Mom tried diligently for four full years to give birth to a child.  She went from specialist to specialist.  Batteries of tests were run, and then, re-run.  Although she and my father were both fertile and they were a couple that thoroughly enjoyed intercourse, they could not seem to produce a baby.  My Mom, a scientist at heart, concluded that perhaps, she was not fecund when most women were.  Perchance her cycle was different.  Once considering that possibility was enough.  From then on, she was able to plan her pregnancies.  My Mom gave birth to three children, none born in the first three years.

Apparently, if a Washington State initiative passes, couples such as my parents would be required to have their marriage annulled.  “Naturally,” gay partnerships, would not, could not be considered.  Obviously, such a union would not be classified as marriage material.  The Religious Right, may have felt embolden after the state Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage, however they did not propose a plan to go further.  They did not restrict what constitutes marriage in a manner that might seem feasible to them.  Numerous pious persons say the bible deems the purpose of matrimony is procreation.  Thus, the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance took action.

This organization, [WDMA] has filed papers stating

marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children.  Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as “unrecognized” and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

Organizer Gregory Gadow proclaimed in a printed statement, “For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation … The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine.  If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage.”  As absurd as this measure is, it may have purpose.  Profundity is always welcome and wise, though the dynamics for introducing such depth could go awry.

I have other relatives, friends too, that though bountifully able to produce babies struggled to do so.  Many discovered they could not produce.  For one or both the machinery was not as it was meant to be.  Infertilty is common.  Some couples, when first married cannot afford to give birth to a newborn.  Times are tight.  They plan to become parents; however, for now there is a need to wait.  Many fathers and mothers want to provide a secure and stable home for their offspring.  They are building a nest egg and attempting to establish a foundation.  Furthering their family is in the plans; it will be, though in the future.  First, they need to find the funds.  Down payments on homes are steep.

Some persons purposely choose not to have children.  They may marry late.  They may fear being the best of parents; theirs were not.  There are a myriad of reasons for not bring children into a marriage.

There is much to be considered when preparing for progeny.  Customs and conventions do not always equate to wisdom.  

That being said, I am baffled.  Conservatives claim the Progressives want too much government in their lives.  Yet, when it comes to “privacy” issues, it seems the traditionalists want greater restrictions, even, or especially, in the bedroom.  They actively wish to stamp out sex, unless the intent is to procreate.  The Right seeks to further scrutinize what goes on in the boudoir.

Supporters must gather more than 224,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Opponents say the measure is another attack on traditional marriage, but supporters say the move is needed to have a discussion on the high court ruling.

Perhaps, enthusiast are not working to change the law.  Perchance they are only wishing to discuss how ridiculous the people in America are.  When, we as a nation, determine the definition for family we forget circumstances within our own.  I understand the logic; I fear unexpected results.

Please peruse the Initiative . . .

Initiative 957
If passed by Washington voters, the Defense of Marriage Initiative 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.

  • Consider this assessment.  Fewer Americans married with children – Census Bureau statistics show that married people with children account for 25% of American households.  USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education),  Then, make your own.  What does “marriage” mean to you.

    Contemplate the references . . .

  • Wash. initiative would require married couples to have kids.  NorthWest Cable News.  Associated Press.  Tuesday, February 6, 2007
  • Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance.
  • Statement by Gregory Gadow, Sponsor of I-957 (the Defense of Marriage Initiative).  Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance
  • Defense of Marriage Initiative Accepted by Secretary of State  Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance
  • Married Without Children Marriage Partnership.   Christianity Today International  Fall 2003
  • The State of Our Unions, The Social Health of Marriage in America 2006.  Essay: Life Without Children.  By Barbara Dafoe Whitehead Dav.  2006
  • Childless: Some by Chance, Some by Choice,  By Nancy Rome.  Special to The Washington Post. Tuesday, November 28, 2006; Page HE01
  • pdf Childless: Some by Chance, Some by Choice,  By Nancy Rome.  Special to The Washington Post. Tuesday, November 28, 2006; Page HE01

    Betsy L. Angert

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