By Terry Vanderheyden

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2005 ( – Pro-family analysts are warning that, since the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in Canada and Massachusetts, polygamy is likely the next frontier in the advancing disintegration of the Judeo-Christian edifice.

South Dakota State Rep. Elizabeth Kraus, who proposed a constitutional amendment that would explicitly ban not only same-sex “marriage” but also polygamy, warned: “Once you open the marriage door to anyone other than one man or one woman, you haven’t begun to slide down the slippery slope. You’ve already hit rock bottom.”

Kraus’s proposed amendment reads, “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. The uniting of two or more persons in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other quasi-marital relationship shall not be valid or recognized in South Dakota.” The proposed amendment will appear on a ballot in South Dakota’s general election in November of 2006, as the proposition was already confirmed by both the House and Senate there earlier this year.

A New Jersey appellate court affirmed the traditional definition of marriage in June; it warned, however, that “The same form of constitutional attack that plaintiffs mount against statutes limiting the institution of marriage to members of the opposite sex also could be made against statutes prohibiting polygamy. . .” according to the written decision of appellate Judges Stephen Skillman and Anthony J. Parrillo, in Lewis v. Harris. “Indeed, there is arguably a stronger foundation for challenging statutes prohibiting polygamy than statutes limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex,” they added, highlighting that, as opposed to same-sex “marriage,” some religions condone the practice.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) meanwhile questioned, “Did the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned a Texas law against homosexual sodomy, open the door to polygamy?” They highlighted a February 3, 2005, Utah Supreme Court case that raised this issue. A young woman testified that she was pressured into a polygamist “marriage” at the age of 16 years old. See details at:Â

“Critics of polygamy denounce the abuses that can occur within polygamous societies, including statutory rape and underage marriage,” CWA’s Anne F. Downey wrote at the time. Downey pointed to Tapestry Against Polygamy (TAP), founded by former polygamist wives, who explain in their web site that “The Mormon fundamentalist tradition has been interwoven into Utah’s culture for so long that today it is being protected by the ACLU, local NOW, and much of the state of Utah as a religious freedom without any regard for the polygamous women and children whose human rights are being violated.”

“We’ve got some judicial activists all over the country, especially on the 9th Circuit [Court of Appeals], who would probably be ready, willing and able to include polygamy as a constitutional right,” warned CWA legal specialist Jan LaRue.

Meanwhile in Utah, a married fundamentalist Mormon couple has sued the federal government so they can marry another woman. Their attorney, Brian Barnard, argues that the US Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision legalizing sodomy should pave the way for his clients’ right to legal group marriage. Barnard said he is seeking a repeal of the 1878 decision that banned polygamy.

See related Washington Times coverage:


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