As predicted in 2009, as the debates on SB 5688 and R-71 were raging and supporters of enhanced domestic partnership were crying they were not incremental steps towards full-blown same-sex marriage, a bill was introduced February 14, 2011 to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington State.
HB 1963, “Concerning civil marriages” was introduced by openly gay Democrat representative of the 49th legislative district, Jim Moeller and immediately gained the support of 41 fellow Democrats, giving the bill 42 sponsors out of the 56 Democrats in the house.
Likewise, openly gay Democrat senator Ed Murray introduced SB 5793, “Addressing civil marriage equality” in the senate. It too immediately gained the sponsorship of 14 out of the 27 fellow Democrats in the senate.
No Republicans have signed on to sponsor in either house at the time of this writing.
Believe it or not, I’d like to support these bills, but cannot in good conscience as they still discriminate.
If you look on page 3 of the bill, Marriage is redefined as “Marriage is a civil contract between two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.”
On page 4, it shows a broader list of prohibitions,
(1)Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:
(a) When either party thereto has a spouse living at the time of such marriage; or
(b) When the spouses are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole
or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law.
(2) It is unlawful for any man to marry his father’s sister, mother’s sister, daughter, sister, son’s
daughter, daughter’s daughter, brother’s daughter or sister’s daughter; it is unlawful for any
woman to marry her father’s brother, mother’s brother, son, brother, son’s son, daughter’s son,
brother’s son or sister’s son.
(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in
this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a), or
(2) of this section.
Of note, according to section (3) above, if marriage of kin closer than second cousin, whole or half blood is recognized in another jurisdiction, it will be valid in Washington State too, even though Washington citizens in that category may not legally marry.
I have to question, why are any of these discriminatory prohibitions still to be retained? If kin closer than second cousin would be recognized as valid if they were married in say, Kentucky or West Virginia, or wherever, why prohibit such marriage in Washington State? That is still discrimination, right?
After all, what harm is it to others if cousins, siblings or even parent and child of legal age marry? It can’t possibly have any effect on the marriage of others.
And, why an arbitrary age limit of 18? As previously noted, many of these same Democrats are sponsoring a bill to allow 14 year-olds to vote in school board elections. We all know that inevitably, that will be broadened once passed to vote in other elections.
We have been told for years that young and mid-teens having sex is normal and what they do, haven’t we? If they are mature enough to vote and make their own decisions in sexual matters, aren’t they mature enough to marry?
Other more enlightened nations have made moves to legalize incestuous relationships between consenting of age parents and siblings. They have cast off the prudishness of Puritans. Nations like France, Spain and Portugal no longer prosecute consenting adults for incest and other nations like New Zealand, Switzerland and Romania have made suggestions to end the Puritanical ban on incest between consenting adults.
Why must America remain mired in such a narrow minded view when much of the rest of the world has seen the light and opened their eyes to ending discrimination in all walks of life?
What possible business is it of others if first cousins, brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons or even a group of 4 or5 or more people marry? It doesn’t affect your marriage, does it? What possible harm is there in others declaring their love openly by a civil union of marriage?
It’s nobody else’s business and does nothing to denigrate your marriage, so why continue the discrimination?
Discrimination should not be justified on the basis of numbers supporting it, either. The overall majority in the South favored continuing the discrimination against Blacks and that was ended, as it should have been. Discrimination is not a numbers game, Wrong is wrong and discrimination is wrong, for any reason. It isn’t about numbers; it’s about any 2 or more people openly and freely declaring their love for each other.
I call upon representative Moeller and senator Murray to amend their bills and push for complete and open allowance of any civil union of marriage that any 2 or more people desire. It is high time any and all discrimination in marriage be ended, once and for all.
If they are unwilling to end all discrimination, they should withdraw these bills and leave marriage alone until such time they are willing to do so.
Bigotry for any reason is wrong and it is time things were corrected.