till death do us legislate

A friend of mine posted recently on facebook that she thinks divorce should be illegal, and even went so far as to urge her fellow friends to sign a petition aimed at putting the agenda of the 2012 California Marriage Protection Act on a future California ballot. Their initiative proposes to “remove the option of divorce and make nullification or the death of a spouse the only options for ending marriage in this state.”

I thought my friend was just joshing. I had always thought of her as an open-minded sort of gal, what with that naked fairy tattoo on the back of her neck. Surely she couldn’t be serious. People who get tattoos like that are usually pretty accepting of other people’s life choices, right? But no. She wasn’t kidding. So when I responded to her post (at the bottom of an ongoing thread of “till death do us part means for life” comments) I asked her something like: “What if someone is being abused by their spouse and needs to get out? Do you think they should have to stay married just because you don’t believe in divorce?” She never got back to me on that one.

I’ve combed over the CMPA’s website, dubbed rescuemarriage.org, and found mostly hate-filled, fallacious rhetoric in its articles and subsequent commentary threads. These are the people who passed Prop. 8 back in 2008, believing that marriage was an exclusive club for only straight religious types like themselves in need of “protection” from any homosexuals who would like to share equally in this ritual right.

Forget love thy brother. Forget love your enemies. CMPA’s poster boy, John Marcotte believes: “It’s better to stay together in a soul-sucking sham of a marriage, filled with icy silence punctuated with passive-aggressive hostilities than to admit you might have made a mistake.”

Proponents of “marriage protection” aren’t concerned with love and acceptance of others. They want to impose their agenda regarding marriage on anyone who believes a dissolution of marriage is their only option to get their lives back on track. Outside of death or a nullification clause (i.e. “A marriage may be nullified in specific instances such as those involving marriages between blood relatives, those involving parties under the age of 18, or those in which consent to marriage was obtained by fraud or force.”), they want to mandate that citizens be forced to remain in “a soul-sucking sham of a marriage” just to protect their idea of what the institution stands for.

What does marriage stand for to people who want to take the right to marry away from some and foist it forever onto others? Would it be wise to pass legislation that could potentially promote a culture punctuated by “icy silence” and “passive-aggressive hostilities”?

If there must be legislation concerning marriage in my home state (or any other state), why not require couples to go through intensive counseling before getting a marriage license? Or, better yet, require all couples to get matching wedding band tattoos if they’re truly serious about spending the rest of their lives together! No more trinkets that can be removed on a whim.



6 comments on “till death do us legislate

  1. jamie says:

    Honestly, I wish the government had nothing to do with marriage at all. Period. No marriage, no divorce, unless you go through some religious ceremony and are married in the eyes of your chosen religion. No religion? No marriage. Domestic partnership? Sure! Anyone can do it! Sign some legal documents and you’re partnered. Sign some more, and you’re un-partnered. It would have nothing to do with “marriage” and the relationship needn’t be sexual, either. Just that you want to join forces in the eyes of the state government. But that’s my take on it.

    • Amber Hudson says:

      How radical you are with your practical logic, Jamie. I think even religious zealots could get behind it, as I read quite a few comments on the “rescue marriage” website from people who think if you don’t get married in a church ceremony then you’re not really married.

      If there must be a call for marital legislation, why not have a system in which we distinguish cultural differences in our marriage rites? There could be a marriage license specifically for so-called devout Christians (who want to get married in stuffy churches), a license for pagan partnerships (a la woodsy barefoot rituals), and many, many more that cater to the specific needs of all cultures.

  2. Kana Tyler says:

    Scary! I shudder at the thought of being DOOMED (and I don’t use the word lightly) to stay trapped in my first marriage… Took me 14 years to get out, but I DID. And I say a prayer of thanks every day for that fact, and for my current husband…

  3. I think you need to read up on Poe’s Law, and then take another look at the site.

  4. Amber Hudson says:

    Without the winking smiley emoticon, what’s a woman to think of all that discriminating rhetoric (particularly within the commentary threads)?

    I admire it if you’re just being cleverly cheeky, and duping many into loving or hating the fear-based platform you espouse (including myself). Nothing better to get the lines of communication roaring than to wheedle the masses one way or the other.

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