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Ban divorce? Ballot effort gets OK to gather signatures

October 23, 2009 |  6:10 pm

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

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