Under the guise of protecting family, we shall destroy it
The wingnuts have accomplished squelching the marriage rate by getting gay marriage banned in 11 states, and now they are working to make sure that more straight people avoid marriage altogether and choose to forgo having children altogether as well. I'm not sure if this is their intent, but that's what they'll accomplish if people like Bryce Christensen get their way.
While Christensen doesn't oppose the campaign to enact state and federal bans on gay marriage, he worries it's distracting from immediate threats to marriage's place in society.
"If those initiatives are part of a broader effort to reaffirm lifetime fidelity in marriage, they're worthwhile," he said. "If they're isolated - if we don't address cohabitation and casual divorce and deliberate childlessness - then I think they're futile and will be brushed aside."
(The "casual" part is an out--your divorce is casual. When well-off male wingnuts sue for divorce, it is always necessary and difficult.)
My first thought upon reading about a push for making divorce harder to get and therefore available only to those well-off enough to afford it was, "Holy shit! No marriage for the Mouse!"
See, I feel bad even thinking that, because I am certain I have Mr. Right and I wouldn't want to jinx myself by having to consider the possibility, however remote it seems to me now, that he might not be in the future. And that's exactly the sort of superstitious guilt-tripping that the wingnuts count on when they push for these things. It's hard to stand up and say, "I want the right to leave my man with ease should I ever come home to find him with a woman in my bed who is definitely not the Mouse." You know, because that's almost like saying I don't trust him.
But of course I do trust him. I just know that life is long and shit can happen and I want to be safe.
No-fault divorce laws are marriage and commitment-affirming. If you are with someone that you can leave with relative ease, then you are essentially choosing that person everyday. I know that my boyfriend is snoozing away in our bed not because he's legally required to, but because he wants to be there, and that is a comfort in and of itself. Staying together because it's the law seems to be the same as trusting someone because you follow that person around.
I can see why you might marry with today's laws, if only for the rights that come along with it. But to marry without an escape hatch? That's inviting fear and doubt into your life. Banning divorce may not make the marriage rates go down, because most people do that little trick on themselves where they say that divorce isn't a possibility in their lives because their love is greater than that. But I bet there are enough people with their heads screwed on tightly enough to see that no-divorce means marriage is a trap and choose to go without. So making divorce harder or impossible will probably make the number of people living in sin go up, which I know is not what the wingnuts want.
I can see something similiar happening if they push laws banning contraception. A lot of people aren't going to acquiesce, and say, "Yes, my sex life is naughty, naughty, naughty! I'm only doing it missionary position for the purpose of procreation from here on out!" No, they are going to see this coming and realize that they may have to make a decision--to sterilize themselves while it's still legal or not. Tell people, like the religious right seems to want to do, that their choices are now or never, many will pick never.
As angry as all this makes me, I am still somewhat amused by the religious right's religious devotion to the idea that they can legislate until a wicked woman like me morphs into an obedient and constantly pregnant devout Christian who refrains from reading the Bible but asks her husband to explain it to her. But I do see how their proposed laws are going to turn a lot of independent women who want to marry and have children into women who just abandon marriage and children altogether rather than lose their rights. And I am amused by the picture of this woman, whose face is telling me a story of someone who hpes by taking away someone else's chance to be happy, then maybe she will finally get to be happy.