Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced a ballot measure in Washington State, USA 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, partially on the grounds that marriage is tied to having children.
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 state Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Barbara Madsen concluded that "limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state's interests in procreation."
Gregory Gadow, who filed the initiative, said the argument is unfair when you're dealing with same-sex couples who are unable to have children together.
"What we are trying to do is display the discrimination that is at the heart of last year's ruling," he said.
Supporters must gather at least 224,800 signatures by July 6 to put it on the November ballot.
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.
Massachusetts is the only US state to allow same-sex marriage, while Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont have civil unions. (AP)
1. annul v.t.
廢除 (fei4 chu2)
例: The regulations on horses aren't very useful anymore, so they've been annulled.
2. prompt v.i. /v.t.
促使 (cu4 shi3)，激勵 (ji1 li4)
例: The teacher prompts quiet children to answer questions.
3. ineligible adj.
無資格的 (wu2 zi1 ge2 de5)
例: If you take steroids, you are ineligible to compete in sports competitions.
4. discrimination n.
歧視 (qu2 shi4)
例: Many people will experience discrimination at some point or another.
麻州是美國唯一允許同志婚姻的州，康乃狄克州、紐澤西州與維蒙州則有公民結合。（註︰civil union 意指同志伴侶的法定結合）。