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California Divorce Ban Gets Approval for Signatures

It’s hard to figure out exactly where John Marcotte is coming from.

Here is what is clear: he took a logical idea, developed a cause around it, established a website, created a firestorm of support and just got authorization from the Secretary of State in California to move forward in getting signatures to put his cause on the ballot next November.

His cause? Eliminating the right to divorce in the state of California, called the California Protection of Marriage Act 2010.

In earlier interviews Marcotte has said a divorce ban is “the next logical step after Proposition 8 to protect the sanctity of marriage.” He believes if people supported Prop 8 but not this measure, they are hypocrites.

His website, rescuemarriage.org, appears on one hand to be very supportive of the mindsets behind Proposition 8; but if you read closely you may notice the writer’s tongue planted firmly in his cheek while he drafted each of the essays on the website. What’s more comical are the comments on each essay. They go all the way left and all the way to the right, as people shift in their seats trying to figure out exactly where Marcotte is coming from while they feign support of a cause they don’t quite truly understand.

A Facebook fan page was set up on September 1st and it already has 6,588 fans. He’s sold hundreds of shirts that say “You said till death do us part. You’re not dead yet!" and has been booked on both left and right leaning shows in an attempt to clarify his position. He is often questioned regarding his seriousness of the matter. The Facebook page says the group is “protecting traditional marriage by banning divorce.”

In a recent interview, Marcotte was quoted as saying “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.”

But is Marcotte anti-gay? Anti-anti-gay? Everything about him, his comments, his cause, his social networking - is completely ambiguous. Personally, I think he wants it that way to show how ridiculous we all are.

A rally is planned at noon on November 14 at Cesar Chavez Plaza (J Street and 10th) in Sacramento, to launch the now official, state-sanctioned petition.

The group must get 700,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the 2010 ballot. The proposed act would amend the state’s constitution, to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced. They could, however, still seek annulment (if they qualify).

The measure is widely supported by proponents of gay marriage, to make a point that those who argued for Proposition 8 last year may not in fact, want their own rights taken away in order to “protect the sanctity of marriage.”

The 2010 California Protection of Marriage Act’s Facebook page is offering ride-shares to the capitol area for the November 14th rally, so people can attend from all over the state in order to “meet like-minded folk.” It might be interesting to see just who these like-minded folk might be.