A better marriage-protection amendment

As she cast her vote in support of Maryland’s Question 6, upholding same-sex marriage, Laura Helmuth asked herself the question that so many of us have asked ourselves in recent years: Why the hell is it my business to vote on who gets to get married?

Besides, if we’re deciding by popular vote who does and does not get to marry, why is sexual orientation the dividing line? Helmuth suggests taking the 56,000 required signatures to petition for next year’s Question 6, limiting marriage on much more sensible grounds.

– Either of the two individuals fails to disclose to the other the existence of known sexually transmitted diseases, financial debts, or children

– Either individual has consulted Dear Prudence more than twice about his or her proposed spouse

– Either individual is using the relationship primarily to re-enact unresolved family-of-origin issues

– During a break-up in an on-again, off-again relationship, either individual discloses to his or her friends any behaviors that would make said friends queasy and sad during the proposed wedding ceremony

I might also add:

– Either individual has ever ended a sentence with the words, “but that’s okay, because [he or she] is my soulmate”

– Both individuals say “ekspecially” instead of “especially”

And Alabama’s Question 6 would have to specify that a couple can’t marry if they’re considering a wedding date on a Saturday during football season. I mean, that’s just stupid.

37 comments for “A better marriage-protection amendment

  1. November 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Can we have a limit against couples who get engaged in the middle of an almost breakup? The “Maybe things will get better if we get MARRIED!” clause?

    • amblingalong
      November 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      OH GOD YES

    • im
      November 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah, really, when has that ever helped?

    • Bagelsan
      November 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      If they plan to have a baby to make things better, can we deny their marriage and also rocket them to different planets?

  2. SamBarge
    November 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    How about no marriage for a couple who has physical or emotional abuse in their relationship?

  3. kajulash
    November 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    we shouldn’t be putting anyone’s rights up for a popular vote in the first place. I don’t understand how any of these initiatives are legal/constitutional. however, i am happy they ended up extended rights instead of limiting rights this time around. but what’s to stop them from putting marriage equality up for another vote?

    • (BFing) Sarah
      November 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Yeah, there needs to be a Loving v. Virginia type decision on this issue stat. So sad that each individual state can vote on whether they are going to be bigoted asshats. That said, I cried like a baby when they said prop 6 passed in MD–I’m just so proud to be from MD. And then I cried again the next day when I thought about how happy I was. And then I teared up again when my aunt told me that she and my uncle voted yes b/c she is so religious and I just wasn’t sure what she was going to do. So I’m happy…but I’m also sad that marriage is being put to a vote.

  4. Magpie
    November 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    No marriage if either party has made the proposal contingent on the other party going into rehab. (Especially if they are going to rehab “after the wedding…we don’t want the reception to suck because he/she is sober!”)

  5. E.
    November 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I found that comment about ekspecially to be ekspecially hurtful :(

    • Bagelsan
      November 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      Well, it’s like literally life-and-death important to be ekspecially careful when forming nukyular families. u cant mary just ne1. Yanno.

      *is shot*

  6. EG
    November 10, 2012 at 1:11 am

    If, at the reception, either member of the couple does any of the following:

    1) Seeking out any single female guest or member of the wedding party and badgering her into taking part in the bouquet toss;

    2) Seeking out any single female guest or member of the wedding party and announcing her singleness to other guests and/or members of the wedding party without her express prior permission;

    3) Seating any single female guest or member of the wedding party at a table without anybody she knows, but next to a single man, without her express prior permission;

    That couple’s wedding should be declared null and void, and they should be prohibited from marrying each other or anybody else for the following two years.

    Because, seriously. Don’t do that.

    • Kerandria
      November 10, 2012 at 2:39 am

      Because, seriously. Don’t do that.

      Seconded. I feel like there’s a story behind this..

      • EG
        November 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

        More than one, alas.

    • Beatrice
      November 10, 2012 at 11:18 am


      Does it count if they are badgering all the unmarried women, regardless if they are single or not? (I think it should)
      Especially if they threatening you with calling your name over the microphone unless you comply without fuss.

      • EG
        November 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

        That totally counts and is appalling. What’s going on there, anyway? Can’t people just be happy about your own marriage at your wedding? Why do they want to use it as an excuse to harass single/unmarried women whom they allegedly like?

      • Beatrice
        November 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

        It has to be perfect. Which apparently doesn’t include people actually enjoying themselves.

    • MrRabbit
      November 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Urghh, I hate the bouquet toss and being pushed into it. It’s so humiliating and meat markety. Also, I feel like screaming, I’m queer and you f*****s won’t even legalise same sex marriage so f*** your flowers!

      • Bagelsan
        November 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

        so f*** your flowers!

        This gave me a mental image, so thanks for that. -_-

    • Lolagirl
      November 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

      1) Seeking out any single female guest or member of the wedding party and badgering her into taking part in the bouquet toss;

      How about just not doing the bouquet toss at all? Ditto with the garter nonsense and bride/groom cake feeding. We skipped them at our wedding and have been to a few since then that also skipped them completely. Because let’s face it, they’re goofy and sexist.

      • EG
        November 13, 2012 at 10:09 am

        There’s nothing wrong with goofy, in my mind, and if people are enjoying them, what the hell, have a party, it’s their wedding. But respect people who don’t want to do them. Don’t drag us over or make a big scene, that’s all I ask!

  7. November 10, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Joking aside (and I’m hoping this is not too much of a tangent), this was sort of my concern about putting marriage equality up for a vote and having it pass (though I voted for it and am overjoyed that it passed!). I was worried that marriage equality passing by popular vote would embolden those like Chris Christie who says that it should be up for popular vote. Fundamental rights should not be put up to majority vote.

  8. Odin
    November 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    If Minnesota’s anti-gay amendment had passed, I was fully intending to write to my state legislature reps and ask them to bring forward a bill to prohibit state recognition of marriages if the couple’s “song” is “Every Breath You Take”.

  9. Angie unduplicated
    November 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

    …if any member of either party’s extended family has ever benefited from litigation against the other party. This discourages insanity rumors promulgated behind a spouse’s back.

    #6 should include Vol Nation, but Caperton will have a hissy fit.

    • November 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Whuh? I’ll extend it to the entire SEC, if we can get the votes. And I don’t hate Vols; I’m about to have one for a sister-in-law, and the only time we’ve ever had issues was when she tried to put Vol cheerleader uniforms on my brother’s Boston terriers after Georgia lost to Tennessee in 2009.

    • samanthab
      November 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      I believe “hissy fit” derives from the word “hysterical” and so counts as a misogynist trope. Also: it’s kind of condescending!

  10. Stella
    November 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Ppl seem to think it IS their buisness when musims think having more than one wife should be recognized.

    • Odin
      November 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

      I’m going to call strawman here. I know corporations are legally people for the purposes of contracts, but I’m pretty sure no one anywhere advocating for museums to be allowed to marry.

      By the way, I have a new rule for protecting marriage. People who let the air out of your tires because they don’t like your “Vote NO: don’t limit the freedom to marry” bumper sticker shouldn’t be allowed to marry. On the grounds of they’ll be teaching their children that the correct response to disagreement is vandalism.

      • Rhoanna
        November 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

        I suspect Stella mean Muslims, with the reference to polygyny. And ze does have a point, about opposition to polygamy among some liberals, or those who support same-sex marriage.

    • im
      November 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm


      I kind of wonder how, legally, polygamous marriage would *work*. It seems complicated, and also highly, highly subject to manipulation.

      • EG
        November 13, 2012 at 9:11 am

        Monogamous marriage is also pretty subject to manipulation.

  11. (BFing) Sarah
    November 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I think that you should add “criminal history” to the first one, too. Criminal history should totally be disclosed.

    Oh and I think you should be barred from marriage if you do not know the proposed marital partner’s middle and/or last name.

    And I think there should be a presumption of non-valid marriage if the couple has known each other for less than a month (believe me, I’d like to make that time period MUCH longer, but I know lots of people who would protest b/c “tuh-woo wuh-ve” and all of that b.s.).

    • Samanthab.
      November 11, 2012 at 5:19 am

      What if your partner can’t pronounce your last name? My boyfriend can’t pull off my last name to save his life. I guess he’d have to work on that if we got engaged. The funny thing is that I have an English last name, albeit Old English. Everyone pronounces it wrong because they want to read it as French or German. /Digression

      • November 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

        Meh.. not being able to pronounce isn’t the same as not knowing.

  12. Marissa123
    November 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Wait, why do we need any kind of marriage protection?

  13. im
    November 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Mainly because there is no way we are going to win that battle in a hundred years. Unless we become the subjugated and culturally-imperialized victims of superior aliens or something.

    • Bagelsan
      November 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Or Jill becomes our feminist overlord!

      Aaanyday now…

Comments are closed.