Secretary of State Debra Bowen just announced that John Marcotte of Sacramento, the proponent of a new initiative, may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure:
ELIMINATES THE LAW ALLOWING MARRIED COUPLES TO DIVORCE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California. Preserves the ability of married couples to seek an annulment. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Savings to the state of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually for support of the court system due to the elimination of divorce proceedings. (09-0026.)
As a colleague who shall remain nameless just noted, the state might realize hundreds of millions in savings but “conversely, the homicide rate would soar.”
Marcotte must collect signatures of at least 694,354 registered voters by March 22 in order to qualify his measure for the ballot.
UPDATE @ 9:20 P.M.: Steve Weir’s comment (#2) is dead on; see the proponent’s Web site.
UPDATE @ 10:10 P.M.: And, this just in from Mr. Marcotte himself, in response to my query:
“Boy. It really hurts my feelings when people doubt my sincerity like that.
“I just think that sometimes other people have to sacrifice in order to protect my ideas about traditional marriage.
“I like to think I am just extending the good work of Prop 8 and taking it to its logical conclusions. Prop 8 wasn’t about taking away rights from gay people, it was about ‘protecting traditional marriage.’ That’s why I know that we’ll get all those Prop 8 supporters to back my initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that get diminished.
“To not support me would be hypocritical.”
And there you have it.