New Effort to Protect Marriage: Ban Divorce

Divorce ban is unlikely to pass due to opposition from married couples

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    A Sacramento man wants to find out just how serious Californians are about that whole "'Until death do you part" thing.

    John Marcotte, a 38-year-old married father of two, is making the case to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California.

    And he's making his satirical statement by borrowing an argument used in support of another ban. When California voters outlawed same-sex marriage in 2008, supporters of Prop 8 said it was needed to protect the sanctity of marriage.

    "Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more," Marcotte told Southern California Public Radio

    Marcotte's proposal would amend California's constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced while allowing married couples to seek an annulment.

    He needs more than 694,000 by March 22 for the measure to appear on next year's ballot. Marcotte said his wife's is among the dozens of signatures he has collected.

    Even if that happens, it's unlikely to pass -- possibly because divorce has a lot of support among people involved in marriages. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the divorce rate is at 47.9 percent. That figure doesn't include the six states, including California, that gave up reporting divorce rates to the center.

    Divorce even has its own magazine with links to attorneys and dating services. A Southern California issue is available.

    The executive director of the California Family Council told SCPR that Marcotte's plan is "impractical." The Family Council supported Proposition 8.

    A spokesman for Restore Equality 2010, which wants to repeal Prop 8, said they back Marcotte's message but won't be joining the push to ban divorce

    "We find it quite hilarious," Jeffrey Taylor told SCPR.

    That's a compliment for Marcotte, who runs a comedy website that includes a list of the Top Five Republican Gay Sex Scandals.