Warehouse C
Parental Responsibility
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Humor Found In Proposed Parental Control Laws

By James Donahue

A gay activist group in Washington state last year attempted to turn the tables on ultra conservative courts and rulings blocking same-sex marriages by pressing a voter initiative on a very unique idea. They asked for a law requiring heterosexual couples to have children within three years or have their marriages automatically annulled.

In Texas a Republican state lawmaker introduced a bill that would make it a crime for parents to fail to show up for scheduled parent-teacher conferences while children are in school.

While both proposals tickle the absurdity in stretching the powers of state laws, they make a point, which we believe the people involved in promoting them were intending. There is a need for common sense when it comes to drafting laws involving the love of humans for one another. The current marriage laws are archaic and need to be stricken from the books, and parents who have children need to accept full responsibility for nurturing and raising them. That includes full involvement in their education.

That said, lets look more closely at the proposals and perhaps find the hidden jokes in them while doing so.

The Washington initiative by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, circulated a petition to force a vote in the next regular state election on a proposal that would expose the absurdity of a state Supreme Court ruling that banned same-sex marriage.

As explained by Gregory Gadow, the petition organizer: "For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation. The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine.

"If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Consequently the group proposed a law that would limit marriage to men and women who bond solely for the purpose of having children. If such an initiative ever got on the ballot, and won voter approval, it would require couples to prove they can have children before they can even get a marriage license. And after they are joined in marriage, they would have three years to produce a child or the marriage becomes automatically annulled.

The proposed Texas bill, introduced by Baytown Republican lawmaker Wayne Smith, would have made it a misdemeanor subject to a fine for parents who play hooky from scheduled conferences with the teachers of their children.

Smith said he was concerned that working parents claim they are too busy, or unable to get away from their jobs to keep those important appointments with the teachers during parent-teacher conferences, and hopes the bill will force them to get more involved.

Another factor throughout the states along the Mexican border is the problem of illegal aliens, whose children attend public schools. In many cases the parents are afraid to show up for these meetings. For them it is another confrontation with government authority at a time when they are trying to avoid being discovered.

We admit, Smith's bill does not conceal a joke. While it seems to be stretching the powers of state government to create such a law, it serves to point out a growing social problem in America that needs to be resolved in the home, rather than in the courts.

If couples dare to have children in these trying times, they must be prepared to bear the full responsibility for raising, educating and providing for them. Anything less is, indeed, a crime.