Maine’s Existing Marriage Law “Findings and Purposes” – No Kids = No Marriage?

There was a very thought provoking letter in today’s Kennebec Journal.

I am writing to express my support for LD 1020. My fiancé and I were born and raised in central Maine, graduating in the same class from Winslow High.

Even though I am one woman wanting to marry one man, the Maine statute as stands does not represent the marriage that I hope to have with my future husband.

Not only does the statute discriminate along the basis of gender, but in claiming in its “Findings and purposes” that the function of marriage is procreation, it suggests that individuals who choose not to or cannot have children are not fulfilling the intent of their marriage contract. This does not belong in state law.

My marriage will be the most important decision I make. The flowers, the music, the location — none of these matter as much as our marriage contract.

I do not condone prejudice, discrimination or a narrow view of what a loving commitment means, and I do not want these beliefs unnecessarily inscribed in my civil wedding.

Exclusion is the right of religious institutions that will still be able to do so in their respective churches without penalty.

The Maine community that I hold dear is one of warm and open-minded people. The current statute does not best represent the great state of Maine, the spirit of its people, nor does it represent me or my ideal of marriage. I truly hope that the Marriage Equality Bill passes so that I can, without reservation, marry in Maine.

Meg LeMay

Augusta

The author raises the very valid question of procreation embodied in statute- “Even though I am one woman wanting to marry one man, the Maine statute as stands does not represent the marriage that I hope to have with my future husband.”

Not only does the statute discriminate along the basis of gender, but in claiming in its “Findings and Purposes” that the function of marriage is procreation, it suggests that individuals who choose not to or cannot have children are not fulfilling the intent of their marriage contract. This does not belong in state law.

The text of the actual current Maine statute is below the fold along with some logical extensions of the intent and purpose of the language.  

 

 

1. Findings. The people of the State of Maine find that:

A. The union of one man and one woman joined in traditional monogamous marriage is of inestimable

value to society; the State has a compelling interest to nurture and promote the unique institution of

traditional monogamous marriage in the support of harmonious families and the physical and mental

health of children; and that the State has the compelling interest in promoting the moral values inherent

in traditional monogamous marriage. [1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

[ 1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW) .]

2. Purposes. The purposes of this chapter are:

A. To encourage the traditional monogamous family unit as the basic building block of our society, the

foundation of harmonious and enriching family life; [1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

B. To nurture, sustain and protect the traditional monogamous family unit in Maine society, its moral

imperatives, its economic function and its unique contribution to the rearing of healthy children; and

[1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

C. To support and strengthen traditional monogamous Maine families against improper interference from

out-of-state influences or edicts. [1997, c

1. Findings. The people of the State of Maine find that:

A. The union of one man and one woman joined in traditional monogamous marriage is of inestimable

value to society; the State has a compelling interest to nurture and promote the unique institution of

traditional monogamous marriage in the support of harmonious families and the physical and mental

health of children; and that the State has the compelling interest in promoting the moral values inherent

in traditional monogamous marriage. [1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

[ 1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW) .]

2. Purposes. The purposes of this chapter are:

A. To encourage the traditional monogamous family unit as the basic building block of our society, the

foundation of harmonious and enriching family life; [1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

B. To nurture, sustain and protect the traditional monogamous family unit in Maine society, its moral

imperatives, its economic function and its unique contribution to the rearing of healthy children; and

[1997, c. 65, §2 (NEW).]

C. To support and strengthen traditional monogamous Maine families against improper interference from

 

SO-

Some interesting questions are immediately raised –

If a heterosexual couple marries and does not procreate is their "marriage" subject to revocation?

If any woman enters into heterosexual marriage after menopause, is she engaging in tax fraud by taking full advantage of the marriage exemptions while certain that she will not procreate?

Can any man marry legally after a vasectomy?

Shouldn't any use of contraceptives when married be viewed as a direct violation of the marriage statute?

Shouldn't the State of Maine monitor all marriages and invalidate any which do not result in progeny after a period of say 2 years? (this is an obvious protection of the state's "compelling interest" clause)

In the event that LD 1020 is defeated, perhaps I shall begin a campaign to enforce not just the letter, but the absolute spirit of the existing statute. 

Wouldn't that be fun! 

 

 

out-of-state influences or edicts. [1997, c

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