February 23, 2007


Caption: These guys would do OK.

We interrupt Goat Rope's ordinary social commentary to pass on this truly random news item.

It has to do with the politics of marriage.

(St. Paul famously said that "it is better to marry than to burn." But then, he was single.)

Anyhow, check this out:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage.

Under the initiative, 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.

Evidently, some people got tired of hearing that marriage is for procreation only and decided to call that bluff.

“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," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “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."

Holy jujitsu, Batman! As the saying goes, turnabout is fair play.

NOW FOR A REAL FAMILY VALUE THE "FAMILY VALUES" CREW DOESN'T CARE ABOUT. A recent study of child well being by UNICEF found that the US and Great Britian trailed other advanced democracies:

The far-reaching analysis by UNICEF didn’t measure just family income, but also focused on meaningful factors such as whether kids live in two-parent homes, whether they eat dinner together as a family, whether they’re bullied or have fights at school, whether they’re obese, whether they dabble with drugs and sex, whether they’re vaccinated against diseases, whether they’re delinquent, and many other indicators.

Holland and Scandinavia scored at the top among 21 affluent nations — while the United States ranked 20th and Britain 21st. A top UNICEF researcher said the poor showing of the bottom pair stems partly from their worse income inequality and worse government programs such as day care and medical insurance.

“What they have in common are very high levels of inequality, very high levels of child poverty, which is also associated with inequality, and ... poorly developed services to families with children,” British professor Jonathan Bradshaw said.

Isn't it ironic that the legions that rise up in defense of so-called "family values" as a rule don't care about things like this?



Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

As much as I and my denomination support same-sex marriage, that initiative is absurd. Yeah, I understand where it proponents are coming from, but it is still asinine.

The results of the UNICEF study have bothered me since I first read them. Of course, they came to me as no surprise. My years of work as a social worker and my recent experiences in trying to establish a program to assist homeless women and children informed me of the problem in here in the U.S.

El Cabrero said...

My sense is that they are just having fun with that one.

The UNICEF thing reminded me of that column Jeffrey Sachs had in Scientific American a while back comparing economic performance in English speaking countries with weak safety nets and Scandanavian countries with a social-democratic approach. I think I goat roped that one in January.