Should California Ban Divorce?

For drastically different reasons, some on the left and right like the idea

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With the failure of a gay marriage bill in New York, progressives are searching for new methods to shape public opinion. But few have tried what John Marcotte is proposing: a ban on divorce. The initiative is a satirical statement flung at gay marriage opponents. Marcotte, with his tongue firmly lodged in cheek, argues that if California voters are so concerned about preserving traditional marriage, they should ban divorce. Interestingly enough, some traditional marriage supporters have responded positively. Here's what bloggers are saying:

  • Hilarious, writes Lilly Folwer at True/Slant: "I particularly like the slogan on the t-shirts he's selling: You said 'Til death do us part.' You're not dead yet."
  • Plays an Important Role, writes Emma Sandoe: "While likely to be deemed unconstitutional and impractical, the amendment will point out to California and the nation that there is no validity to the argument for 'preserving traditional marriage.'
  • Will Further Divide California, writes a blogger at Right Juris: "The movement for a California divorce ban has re-opened the wounds and division created by the Proposition 8 amendment that the people of California voted on last year."
  • Don't Ban, Tinker, writes Paul Thornton at The Los Angeles Times: "As for ending marriages, I'd be open to some tinkering with the 'till death do us part' system that results in too many expensive, drawn-out divorce battles." Half serious, Thornton suggests that "marriage contracts ought to be more like driver's licenses: Every few years, couples would have to renew them." He finds the idea intriguing, though not necessarily "practical."
  • Not a Preposterous Idea, writes Pat Krukenkamp-Maskell at The Examiner, weighing in on the conservative side: "If the community respected the sanctity of marriage, there would be no need for divorce. If men or women who left their families did not have legal recourse, perhaps they would be more of a mind to work out their marital difficulties.The solution to marital discord does not rest in banning divorce, but in preparing for marriage."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.