Marriage – Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

Written by Suzanne Olden on December 20, 2013

There are times when it is just impossible not to say “I told you so.” This is definitely one of them. I can’t tell you how many discussions and arguments I’ve gotten into over the last several years over gay marriage and the inevitable consequences of redefining traditional marriage. Specifically, when conservatives like me would point out that opening that particular Pandora’s Box would mean that other types of marriage, like polygamy, would be next. The response from gay marriage supporters? “That would NEVER happen! It’s illegal! It’s different! That subjugates women and abuses children. Gay marriage is all about equality.”

Sigh, guess what? IT’S HAPPENING. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

DOMA was struck down this summer and the left rejoiced. Those of us on the right saw the writing on the wall and warned of what would happen: legalization of polygamy and furtherance of religious intolerance. Response from the left? It’ll never happen. The Advocate called warnings “hyperbolic” and “erroneous.” Except they weren’t. Recent court rulings are proving those “hyperbolic” and “erroneous” warnings were not so “hyperbolic” and “erroneous” after all.

A ruling in Utah is proving that the legalization of polygamy prophecy was anything but “hyperbole.” On Friday, a federal judge gutted Utah’s laws outlawing polygamy. He called them a violation of the free exercise of religion which means they are unconstitutional. Just to give some historical context, in order for Utah and a handful of other western states to become states, the Federal government required them to ban polygamy, calling it “barbaric” and a “twin of slavery.” Slavery! Can you even see anyone getting away with THAT comment today?

Fast forward to 2001, where several Mormons filed suit over the bans. The laws, while not completely overturning bans on polygamy, achieved one key hurdle for those who support polygamy: decriminalization. Bigamy, which is the holding of multiple marriage licenses simultaneously, is still illegal. Generally, when those who practice polygamy get married, they have one marriage license with the first spouse, then marry religiously, but not “legally,” the other spouses. An example of this, and the ones who brought the suit, would be the Kody Brown families from TLC’s reality series “Sister Wives.” Kody has a marriage certificate and is legally married to Meri, his first wife, and then subsequently religiously married his other three wives but didn’t get marriage licenses. He is a polygamist, but not a bigamist.

One consequence of this ruling will be that it gives justification and vindication to leaders of fundamentalist Mormons, and other religious sects, to promote these kinds of “marriages” through coercion and fear. People like Warren Jeffs. Jeffs was a fundamentalist Mormon prosecuted and imprisoned for “marrying” girls as young as 14 or 15 and impregnating them. He was prosecuted for child abuse.

The question that begs asking is why wouldn’t the next step be to fight for polygamous marriages to teens in the name of religious freedom? That is exactly what door this ruling opened. Given that the current administration, and most liberals, have no problem with giving 14, 15 and 16 year olds contraception, the ability to have abortions and access to the day after pills without parental consent, it isn’t a stretch to say that they are “old enough to make such decisions” about marriage.

The next logical step after that, and in concert with the SCOTUS Lawrence ruling (which this current one relied heavily upon), is allowing pedophiles to marry children. Remember that teens are children, under legal definitions. I can hear it now: “THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!!!” Because polygamy would NEVER be ruled legal… really? You still want to go there?

Now let’s talk religious intolerance. Did you hear about the Colorado ruling that is forcing a baker to make a wedding cake for a gay couple? And this is in a state where gay marriage is still illegal! That stupid Christian had the nerve to stand up for his faith and say that making a cake would be participating in a gay marriage, something his religious beliefs won’t allow. Darn good thing the courts are willing to infringe on his First Amendment rights and tell him otherwise!

An administrative law judge in Colorado has ruled that Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop must “cease and desist from discriminating” against gay couples. He must violate his religious beliefs or face fines or jail if he doesn’t. A New Mexico judge made the same ruling against a photographer. Never mind there are other bakers or photographers willing to provide services to them. They MUST be forced to capitulate! Screw their faith!

And the argument that it’s just like saying he has to serve people of other races and it’s the same thing? Yeah, the whole “born that way” thing is being scientifically debunked. So, if you are gay, you can demand that a person of faith capitulate to your choices, but if you are a person of faith, you have no choice as to whether you can violate your beliefs? I’m thinking the tolerance only is flowing in one direction here. I think that’s called religious intolerance.

We told you so.

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Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.