In early September, I heard Sacramento's own John Marcotte had filed a petition with the California Secratary of State.
John is trying to get a voter's initiative onto the 2010 ballot here in California.
We spoke on September 9th.
Rob Cockerham: John Marcotte. You've filed a petition with the Secretary of State, in an effort to get a voter's initative on the California 2010 ballot.
John Marcotte: Yes. Filed the paperwork on September 1. It's the "2010 California Marriage Protection Act." I am trying to ban divorce in the state of California.
RC: Ok. So your act, if it became law, would make marriage undissolvable.
John: Exactly. The only exception would be if the marriage was "voidable" -- if you married an 8-year-old, you don't get to keep her. She goes back on the shelf. You can't marry the mentally incapacitated, etc.
RC: Ah, ok, so most normal marriages would be irreversable.
John: 99.99% of all marriages would be set in stone. It's a return to traditional values.
RC: Wow, that is amazing. Could it really happen? What steps remain to make this initiative into a valid, enforced law?
John: I am trying to extend the good work done with Proposition 8 last year. It could really happen. The United States has not always had divorce as an institution the way we do now. As a ballot initiative it bypasses the legislature and the governor. It's the will of the people made law.
RC: How long has divorce been around?
John: As a concept, pretty much forever, but in the past, divorces were at the very least difficult to get and frowned upon by society. Now they pass them out like Tic-Tacs.
RC: Who is providing the bulk of funding for this initiative?
John: It began as a self-funded initiative, but we've been collecting donations and already recouped a fair percentage of the filing fees. We hope to collect more donations and maybe start selling t-shirts, etc. to raise more funds.
RC: Are you going to hit the streets collecting signatures for the initiative?
John: We're going to set up a table in front of Wal*Mart and ask people to sign a petition to protect traditional marriage. We're going to interview them about why they thing traditional marriage is important, and then we'll tell them that we are trying to ban divorce.
People who supported Prop 8 weren't trying to take rights away from gays, they just wanted to protect traditional marriage. That's why I'm confident that they will support this initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that are diminished. To not support it would be hypocritical.
We're also going to collect signatures in front of "Faces," the largest gay nightclub in Sacramento.
RC: Can gay and unmarried people sign the petition to make this California Law?
John: Anyone can sign the petition as long as they are a registered voter in California.
Sinners signatures work just as well as saints.
RC: I think about half of the 10 commandments are against the law in California. Are you trying to increase that percentage?
John: Being gay is a sin, but it didn't even make the "top 10." I can't covet my neighbor's wife...that's close, but it doesn't hit the nail on the head.
RC: This initiative does seem like it would "Protect Marriage", but if two people decide to not be married anymore, shouldn't they be in charge of their own lives?
John: Sometimes other people need to sacrifice in order to protect my ideas about traditional marriage. It's just a fact of life. It's not about their soul-sucking sham of a marriage, it's about what we value as a society. We live in a divorce-promiscuous society.
It's on the television, it's in movies, the newspapers. It's even in our kids textbooks.
RC: Sounds like you'd like to shield kids from learning too much about divorce.
John: I don't want the government teaching my child is "cool" or "legally permisable." That's a conversation that should happen in the family. It's the parents' role to teach the kids about reality -- not the state's.
RC: well, this is a bold step. Do you think you face a strong opposition?
John: The opposition will always be there. The secular progressives, gays and MSNBC hosts -- but we beat them once with Prop 8 and we'll beat them again. If people are thinking about getting a divorce, just remember "Hell is eternal, just like your marriage was supposed to be." Jesus still loves you if you get divorced, just not as much as before.
RC: What about people who are currently married? Will this law apply to them, or only new marriages?
I'll try to get a "win" by banning divorce and save that for 2012 -- when Sarah Palin will be president and/or the end of the world will occur.
RC: Thank you. We are almost done, and I appreciate you typing your responses.
John: No worries.
John's website is rescuemarriage.org
Check out his t-shrts at rescuemarriage.org/buy-a-t-shirt
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September 10, 2009.