Alex Blaze

Yes, Some People Are Actually Against Divorce

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 10, 2013 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: divorce laws, Iowa laws, no-fault divorce, pro-marriage religious right, protecting divorce, Republican Party

One of the less talked about hobby horses of the marriage movement (the anti-gay one) is that they're actually against divorce for straight people. They'll make exceptions for rape and incest and life of the mother... I mean, domestic violence and adultery, but they really don't like the idea of people living with and making families Thumbnail image for get-divorced.jpgwith the people that they want to.

Divorce is popular since most people don't want the risk legally enforced "til death do us part" implies, so Republicans try to hide that religious right position in the same place that they hide the "ban contraception" stuff. But every now and then their hostility to divorce comes out:

Proving that once again the Republican Party is beyond parody, a bill being considered by the Iowa state House would "prohibit [married] parents of minor children from getting a 'no-fault' divorce" and would require married parents of minor children "to show a spouse was guilty of adultery, had been sent to prison on a felony conviction, had physically or sexually abused someone in the family, or had abandoned the family for at least a year."

Great idea! I can't think of something an abused spouse would rather do than to start a long legal proceeding against the person who is violent to them. The surprise is when "reasonable doubt" means that the victim is still married to a person who's probably angry that they were arrested and prosecuted.

All around great policy.

Again, no-fault divorce is awesome and it's a 20th century achievement that barely needs protection because of its obvious awesomeness. People should be allowed to divorce for whatever reason, on whatever whim, because the rest of us have no right to force anyone to stay married who doesn't want to be married.

It's something to think about the next time someone trots out the "straight people are already ruining marriage with divorce!" argument. No, dear, they're celebrating marriage by freeing themselves up for another one.

The alternative is to be like France, where I've met more than a few gay men still married to their wives from before coming out because divorce - even amicable divorce - is an expensive and onerous process. What interest the state has in keeping those couples together I can't begin to fathom.

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