Last week many in the country and around the world celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the unconstitutionality of the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’. The court’s overturning of this legislation opened the door for legalized same sex marriage around the country. Much celebration ensued as a result of this decision as no more could a ‘spouse’ be defined as a part of a heterosexual couple.
What many (most?!) are failing to overlook is that the removal of the definition of marriage between a man and a woman means that there is *no* definition of marriage. A change in definition is a removal of the original definition which, in turn, means that the definition is not static but is fluid. As such, it is not enough for those who believe in ‘marriage equality’ to decide that ‘equality’ *only* applies to them. Once the door of ‘discrimination’ is opened it cannot be arbitrarily closed.
The courts have ruled that it is a form of discrimination to refuse to allow same sex marriages and allowing the door to open on states to pursue this option again. So what does that mean for marriage? If same sex marriage is permitted and it is discrimination to refuse ‘equality’ to those who wish to marry someone of the same sex – then what happens when polygamists go to court to argue that they are being discriminated against? If we have decided that marriage no longer means a relationship between a man and a woman, then – technically – any form of ‘marriage’ must now be accepted or face the risk of being discriminatory.
Think it sounds far-fetched? Not so much…
The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.
And what happens when parents and children decide to marry each other? What about 6 women and men deciding to ‘marry’ one another? Would it be okay to discriminate against those who believe that they should have the right to marry in the previous examples?
‘Oh, that would never happen.’ Would most discussing the idea of same sex marriage 50 years ago have believed that we would be redefining marriage at this point in time?