Serious about preserving marriage? Why not outlaw divorce?

A modest proposal from a Tennessee Democrat.


Tim Grieve
July 19, 2006 5:21PM (UTC)

As the House of Representatives wasted time Tuesday on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage -- it has already been defeated in the Senate, so it has no chance of getting out of Congress this year -- Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis took to the floor to say he would vote against the measure because it doesn't go far enough.

If the sanctity of marriage is to be preserved, Davis deadpanned, Congress should "outlaw divorce" and make adultery "a felony." In addition, Davis said, "We should prevent those who commit adultery or get a divorce from running an office. Mr. Speaker, this House must lead by example. If we want those watching on C-SPAN to actually believe that we're serious about protecting marriage, then we should go after the other major threats to the institution."

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As Judd Legum notes at Think Progress, at least 29 members of Congress are divorced, but there is "no official data on how many members have committed adultery."

Correction: You know those people who read something in the Onion and, thinking it's serious, get themselves whipped into a right proper lather? Maybe we're guilty of something like the reverse. We said that Davis said he'd vote against the amendment because it didn't go far enough. What we should have said was that Davis, a Democrat from Tennessee, voted for the amendment even though it doesn't go far enough. The roll call vote is here.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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