ABOVE: Representative Tom DeLay imagines the end of Jerry Springer episodes.
WASHINGTON-- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, (R-TN) formally reintroduced a revised Defense Against Potentially Obscene Marriages Act--a measure to officially screen marriage between potentially dangerous couples--for floor debate on Friday, sparking heated controversy among various interest groups.
The act, referred to as DAPOMA, would effectively put a stop to any and all types of marriage that could potentially be hazardous to children. DAPOMA’s provisions would forbid marriages between low-income individuals, the obese, the infertile, interracial couples, little people / “midgets”, and overall “white trash.”
During floor debate, Senator Frist argued that “we must prevent the possible mental damage done to the children of these individuals by stopping it at the source—the parents.”
“No longer can we allow the fat kid to be picked on in school because of his parents’ genetics, nor can we permit the poor to allow their kids to drop out of school due to their poor economic status.”
Some argue that preventing people from marrying due to theoretical damage is absurd.
“Saying that parents are dooming their kids to permanent damage just by marrying someone is ridiculous,” says Dr. Lauren Hunt, a University of Massachusetts psychology professor. She added, “Though, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jerry Springer off the air—those couples are really trashy.”
Jethro P. Harris, a 34 year old unemployed sewer inspector from Huntsville, TX, claims, “I’m gunna marry the girl I wanna, and I’m gunna have a son who’s the star quarterback for the high school and after that he’s gonna work for me when I git my farm and ain’t nobody gunna stop me.”
Proponents of the bill believe the minority’s claims are exaggerated. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) says, “It’s clear that these people shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Think of the lives that the poor children are going to have to lead—they’ll possibly be exposed to verbal assault, battery, and sexual harassment just because of their parents’ mate choices. That’s no way to live.”
Under current law, anyone can marry anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status or physical attractiveness, with the sole exception that the two parents cannot be of the same sex.