A few diners at the Capitol Hill Pagliacci on Broadway spotted Gregory Gadow designing a banner on his laptop for the ultra-conservative-sounding Defense of Marriage Alliance (the group Gadow created to run his brainchild, Initiative 957). One young woman in particular began talking—at an intentionally elevated volume—to her friends about "all the bigots who were trying to prevent same-sex people from getting married."

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Gadow, a chubby-cheeked, 39-year-old computer technician for a Seattle brokerage, approached the table and produced a draft of his initiative—a proposed set of changes to the Defense of Marriage Act that are so conservative he hopes they'll topple it. "She just glared at me," he said. "But one of her tablemates started reading it, started giggling, and finally said to her friend, 'You've got to read this.'"

"Political speeches or sit-ins just do not really sink in," Gadow says. It's humor, he believes, that's needed to rejuvenate the struggle for gay marriage after the blow of Andersen v. King County, the 2006 state supreme court decision that justified the legislature's decision to outlaw gay marriage by saying marriage was about procreation. So Gadow—who doesn't personally have a man he's looking to marry at the moment—is taking the legislature's intent and the court's ruling to its logical extreme: All marriages that do not produce a child within three years will be automatically annulled if I-957, which was approved by Secretary of State Sam Reed on January 25, is made law.

But, unsurprisingly, it won't be. Stuart M. Jay, a professor at the UW School of Law, says what Gadow already knows: Since there is no compelling state interest in controlling people's reproduction, the initiative is "blatantly unconstitutional." Even if by some miracle it were passed, the courts would have to strike it down, which would actually be a victory for Gadow, since it would cut off Andersen at the knees.

Assuming that the 224,880 necessary signatures can be obtained by July, a much more likely scenario is that it will be voted down, which, Gadow claims, would also be a victory: "We would hold up those votes as votes against the premise that the Andersen decision is based on."

Though Professor Jay commends I-957 as a clever way of pointing out "what's so stupid about the Andersen opinion," he says he wouldn't sign it. "I'm in favor of gay marriage, but it's offensive to me because it works on somebody's reproductive rights." Jay is a special case—he wrote Washington's Reproductive Privacy Act—but concerns like his will pose significant difficulties for Gadow and his team of about 15 to get the necessary public support to mock Andersen on the ballot.

Gadow's response to the legal criticisms? More humor: "The supreme court has ruled that this is exactly what marriage is. If anyone has any complaints, they should take it to the supreme court."

Though he's been active in queer rights (among other causes) since high school in Tucson, Arizona—even serving as a test subject for possible HIV vaccines—I-957 is Gadow's first foray into what he's calling "political street theater." He hatched the idea 10 years ago when President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, but it was the Andersen ruling that pushed him to act: "There was a tremendous feeling of betrayal from the court using this right-wing illogic as the basis for their ruling." The pun enthusiast warns that if this goes well it could be dangerous. Plans for a proposed divorce ban and an initiative to make any couple with a child automatically married are in the works.

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