Same-sex marriage supporters introduce measure requiring heterosexual couples to have children

Monday, February 5th 2007, 8:19 pm
By: News On 6

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced a ballot measure that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years or have their marriages annulled.

The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its Web site that the initiative was ``absurd'' but hoped the idea prompts ``discussion about the many misguided assumptions'' underlying a state Supreme Court ruling that upheld a ban on same-sex marriage.

The measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage license. Couples who do not have children within three years could have their marriages annulled.

All other marriages would be defined as ``unrecognized,'' making those couples ineligible for marriage benefits.

The paperwork for the measure was submitted last month. Supporters must gather at least 224,800 signatures by July 6 to put it on the November ballot.

The group said the proposal was aimed at ``social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation.''

Cheryl Haskins, executive director of Allies for Marriage and Children, said opponents of same-sex marriage want only to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

``Some of those unions produce children and some of them don't,'' she said.