Meanwhile, in Utah…

…and the rest of the other, lesser 49 states, of course.

A Federal judge has dealt a blow against traditional marriage from another angle, ruling that Utah’s anti-polygamy laws are unConstitutional as written.  While he stops short of completely dismantling the law, he does leave a lot of reinterpretation for what constitutes marriage moving forward.
Put another way, the judge is drawing a distinction between cohabitation between multiple people, and the attempt to procure multiple marriage licences for a single person.  Bigamy laws are broken when one man asks for more than one marriage license for himself.  They are not broken, according to this judge, when multiple consenting adults cohabitate and choose to describe their relationship as ‘marriage’.  
Of course, this isn’t going to last long.  Many states for years have recognized that two people living together as husband and wife, though without the marriage license, ought to be treated as married for practical considerations – common law marriages.  If you act married long enough, then you are married – and the protections offered to spouses ending a relationship are offered to the parties in the common law marriage.  
It will be readily argued that there is no fundamental difference, legally, between two people having a common law marriage and three people.  Or four, or five, or six, or whatever.  All the parties deserve the same protection that common law marriage laws attempt to provide.  A few legal challenges and sympathetic judges later, and suddenly polygamy is legal as common law polygamy.  and if we’re going to recognize it as common law, then it isn’t fair to not treat it as actual marriage.
So, just in case you thought that all the ruckus about gay marriage was really about sexuality, no, I don’t think it is.    By the end of all of these legal challenges and rulings, marriage as we have known it in America for over 200 years, and in the rest of the world pretty much since the beginning of humanity, is not going to exist.  No outside observer will be able to distinguish the unique duties and privileges and obligations of raising healthy children as the defining intention of marriage.  Anybody will be able to marry anyone (or anything), or more than one person (or thing).  This is what happens when marriage is separated from it’s purpose of raising healthy children and turned into an arbitrary expression of personal will.
And it will happen much sooner than anyone really believes possible.  

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