As 2013 comes to an end, it seems many of the implications of the breakdown of our law and culture surrounding marriage and family are playing out in accelerated fashion. Judges flaunt amendments protecting marriage and dismiss laws against polygamy.  What will it mean for religious liberty and freedom of speech as our society continues to explore uncharted waters without a moral compass?

Federal Judge Brings Polygamy Back to Utah

In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ “slippery slope” arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional. In his 91-page opinion in Brown v. Buhman, on Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down Utah’s law making polygamy a crime. In so doing, he may have opened Pandora’s Box.

As a condition for becoming a state in 1896, Congress required Utah to outlaw polygamy, which is marriage between three or more persons. This case involved a family of fundamentalist offshoots of nineteenth century Mormonism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints disavowed polygamy in 1890, and again in 1904, but some splinter groups continue the practice.  – See more at http://www.frc.org/op-eds/judge-cites-same-sex-marriage-in-declaring-polygamy-ban-unconstitutional

While the decision in Brown v. Buhman by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups stops short of mandating legally-enforceable plural marriages, it relies on a line of reasoning utilized to impose same-sex marriage to require the state to allow polygamous “spiritual marriages” and “religious cohabitation” and ultimately tees up the issue for the US Supreme Court to further redefine marriage. The case stems from the relationship of “Sister Wives” who claim “marriage” to a single husband and are featured on a prominent cable television network.

“This decision is the next step along the path blazed by same-sex marriage advocates who have convinced federal judges to transform the societal norm of marriage as the union of one man and one woman designed primarily for the benefit of any children produced of their union into an institution that recognizes intimate, romantic relationships between consenting adults,” said Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage (NOM). “For years, we have warned of the importance of preserving the norms of marriage and its definition as the union of one man and one woman. Now we see the next step in the path of consequences for abandoning those norms.  Left on its current course, in a few years marriage could be unrecognizable.”

Brown explained that the decision stops short of imposing state-sanctioned polygamous marriages because the plaintiffs in the case did not specifically seek such relief. However, Brown said that with this decision advocates for polygamist marriage tee up the issue for the US Supreme Court to find polygamists entitled to official state-recognition of their plural ‘marriages’ just like gay and lesbian couples have been able to do in several states that have redefined marriage. The polygamy decision relies in large part on the same legal rationale utilized to impose same-sex marriage. “There’s no doubt that the arguments for same-sex marriage were a template for this case,” -See more at: http://www.nomblog.com/38639/#sthash.dy65CqVE.1PRHwr52.dpuf

Utah judge strikes down state’s marriage amendment: could force same-sex ‘marriage’ nation-wide

A federal judge struck down Utah’s constitutional marriage protection amendment on December 20th, 2013, a decision that threatens to overturn state marriage protection amendments in every other state in the union.

Friday’s decision means that half of all the 18 states that presently recognize same-sex “marriage” have done so by judicial decree.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby, who was appointed by Barack Obama last year, wrote in his 53-page decision that laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals “demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.  Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

He twice cited the Supreme Court’s ruling this summer that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was motivated by animus, or the “bare…desire to harm” homosexuals. He agreed with Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent that it was impossible not “to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.”

If upheld, Shelby’s decision could overturn the constitutional amendments in 28 other states that forbid same-sex “marriage.”  -See more at http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-appointed-judges-ruling-in-utah-could-overturn-every-state-marriage-p

 

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