Patt Morrison for July 29, 2010

If you want to “save” marriage, should you outlaw divorce?

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Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

To truly protect marriage, should divorce be banned? One man is trying to get just that on the ballot

“If marriage is so sacred, why do half of them end in divorce?” and “How is my gay marriage affecting the health of your heterosexual one?” are common refrains from those in the anti-Prop 8 camp. John Marcotte is gearing up to put an end to that argument. The founder of is collecting signatures to get a new initiative on the November ballot—one that would amend the California constitution to ban divorces throughout the state. According to the proposed ballot language, the initiative “changes the California Constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California” and while doing so, “preserves the ability of married couples to seek an annulment.” A Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance’s summary both predict it will result in “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.” Marcotte’s point might be tongue-in-cheek, but his efforts are sincere. How will it frame the next wave of gay marriage arguments and what does it say about the current state of political discourse in the golden state?


John Marcotte, author of the “California Marriage Protection Act” & founder of

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