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Ban divorce? Ballot effort gets OK to gather signatures

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today authorized the backer of an initiative that would ban divorce to begin collecting signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment before voters.

John Marcotte now has until March 22, 2010, to collect 694,354 signatures of registered voters in order to get the measure on the ballot next year. The proposal would change the California Constitution to "eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California."

Couples could still get their marriages annulled under the proposal.

Here is the official text of the initiative:

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.

--Jessica Garrison

Comments () | Archives (168)

In light of California's progressive movement toward Family Values and protection of traditional marriage, this initiative should pass with flying colors. As a fellow Californian, I'll be voting in favor of it. If people would just read Jesus' own words in the Bible, they'd know how He would want us to vote on this.

At least this seems consistent to me. If marriage is so precious to heterosexuals that they, by vote in this state, won't allow non-heterosexuals to participate, then yes, make sure that their knot is tied forever.

Of course the reality is neither of these options makes any sense in the 21st century. California needs to stop the process of changing the Constitution by voter insanity and move civil rights back into the court system.

California, fix your stupid constitution once and for all to stop nonsense like this.

It's ridiculous this is even being reported. It's nice that we live in a society where a guy like this has the right to gather signatures for whatever he wants. That's about all that's worth saying.

If half of all marriages end in divorce, how could this possibly pass? Think about it. Don't get jerked around by sensationalist reporting.

Well intended ballot but it is silly. I'm all for preserving and strengthening traditional marriage but this is not the way. I would be more for people having to wait a year before marriage and another year before children; but, what happens when the children come before marriage. It is a circular argument with no good solution.

Wow are we living in a nazi state? Are you people kidding me? I know in your fluffy perfect little christian world women never get abused by the partners they once trusted and neither do children. Yeah, lets make it illegal for those women and children to escape their violent and oppressive situations.If someone is abusing you well tough luck sister. What a horrible idea. It would just cause murder and suicide to go through the roof. Anyone remember Henry the 8th? Yeah lets have a state full of that.Learn from history people....

Most religions won't back this. They don't believe people in a failed marriage, should be kept from trying again. In addition, this would be a financial boon for Nevada, as divorce used to be, when it took a year here with cause, and 30 days there. It isn't all that hard for California lawyers to be admitted to the Nevada bar, and practice matrimonial law. Naturally, that is where they will pay their taxes, buy homes, and spend their money. It's really beautiful around Reno.

I don't think this idiot idea will get on the ballot, but should it, it has no more chance of passing, than state paid for, one pound boxes of See's candy, for every elected official.

I don't think this idiot idea will get on the ballot, but should it, it has no more chance of passing than state paid for, one pound boxes of See's candy for every elected official.

None of you people really understand the message behind this bill. If people are going to use religion to ban gay marriage, then they should be using religion to ban divorce. He's calling out all the people that are willing to say what others are allowed to do with their lives, but won't follow that same set of guidelines for their own.

I am gay and will definitely be supporting this ballot initiative. We must protect the sanctity of marriage! (Seriously, I am going to do all I can to get this on the ballot)

I am gay and will definitely be supporting this ballot initiative. We must protect the sanctity of marriage! (Seriously, I am going to do all I can to get this on the ballot)

I love it! The marriage rate will go down and the murder rate will go up!!! People will have to take the "til death do us part" line very seriously when reciting their wedding vows!

Okay okay, dismiss it all you will, but you fools ignore the point. Perhaps it's really a prop 8 opponent trying to strike a point about the hypocrisy of conservatives here? Perhaps it might also be trying to say that government monopoly on marriage is wrong?

Did these thoughts ever cross any one of your hare-brained minds?

This is not really about banning divorce. It won't pass, and it shouldn't. It's about giving the pro-Prop 8 crowd a taste of their own medicine. Anyone who supported 8 to protect marriage and the family and is against this is a total hypocritical scumbag. It's about grabbing them by the hair, turning their heads to face the mirror, and making them take a damn good look at themselves.

Remember - marriage is religious, so if you pledge in front of God to stay married till death do you part, that is an oath. "Let no man put asunder" is part of the oath, so the State cannot condone divorce. This is a given.
California is a "sanctity of marriage" state, we passed Prop 8, so lets go ahead and pass this one too. The Church says no pre-marital sex, and no divorce, so if you marry, it's for life. We imposed our beliefs on gay folks, lets all live up to the morals we espouse, or are we just a bunch of hypocrites that only believe in gay bashing?

I'm signing this petition. Give the religious right a taste of their own medicine.

if gay people can't get married than married people shouldn't be able to get a divorce fare is fare

Brilliant. Make the Prop 8 backers choke on their hypocrisy.

This most certainly will not be a joke if it passes. Jeez it really sucks when people put your personal rights to a statewide vote, doesn't it? They should have used an automobile naming system like "Defense of Marriage LS" or perhaps a microprocessor naming system like "DOMA QUAD CORE XTREEM." The religious right are like the Borg - "You will assimilate..." I for one will not be voting for this.

Is this a slow day for news, or is the Celebrity Serial Marriage capital of the universe really this goofy?

You guys realize that this ballot initiative is somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek thing. Yes, its real, but it's also designed to poke fun at the religious right. If the religious right says gays can't marry because the sky would fall and "traditional" values would be ruined, then really, these same lunatics should also ban divorce.

If the nut jobs don't support this initiative, then it would once and for all expose the religious right as bigots. It would show that their opposition to same sex marriage is not based on saving "traditional values" but is based only on hatred and intolerance.

Since gays can't get married, this would still allow for same sex couples and other "domestic partners" or "civil unions" to get legally separated. This might even lead to an eventual social change where domestic partnership (or civil unions) becomes more appealing than marriage.

Have to agree with American1776...this has to be the dumbest ballot initiative ever. I'm hoping my fellow citizens of this great state will not even bother to sign the petition!

Ridiculous, totally & completely nuts. I hope that my fellow citizens of this great state won't even sign the petition!

This just proves what we all said about Proposition 8. Once you allow one group to pass such a rediculous prop, more will come with other bans.

Vote Yes on this Proposition! We need to protect the sanctity of marriage and keep traditional marriages alive forever and ever, and ever. Mormon Church, pull out that check book again.

It's amazing how many people who are commenting on this don't get what it is. For those of you who are really upset about this government intrusion and "how dare other people tell you how to live your life," did you vote for Prop 8? If so, are you getting the point or is it different because those were gays? Or is the cognitive dissonance not allowing you to make the connection?

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