Though social conservatives predicted the legalization of homosexual marriage would lead to other perversions of the institution, those adamant about passing such legislation wrote off those concerns as mere homophobia and bigotry.
As reported previously, though, leftists have been increasingly vocal in recent months in support of further expanding the definition of marriage.
One of the most shocking advancements of this advocacy came via an official decision made this week in North Dakota. Although the state is not one of the 17 – including D.C. – to recognize gay marriage, external laws nonetheless have unintended consequences for marriages within its boundaries.
The state’s attorney general, Wayne Stenehiem, presented his opinion earlier this month that a resident in a same-sex marriage recognized by another state may enter a concurrent heterosexual marriage in North Dakota. The decision came after the state’s marriage law was challenged by a gay man in Burleigh County.
A county official received a phone call from the man earlier this year, during which he inquired whether he could marry a woman in the state despite his involvement in a homosexual marriage registered elsewhere.
“I didn’t ask where this caller was calling from or where he planned on getting a marriage license,” said county recorder Debbie Kroshus. She did explain that the man could not legally divorce his ‘husband’ in North Dakota, though, because the union is not recognized in the state.
This loophole prompted Stenehiem to rule that the man – and anyone in his situation – could file for a marriage license as a “single/never married” person without breaking any state laws. The development opens the door for unimaginable abuses in the future.
DePaul University College of Law Professor Jeffrey Shaman alluded to this potential in recent comments.
“I think there are going to be more and more of these questions,” he predicted, noting that issues such as taxes, Social Security, or prosecution related to bigamy could result. As it stands, applicable laws become extremely nebulous when crossing state lines.
While the 10th Amendment rightly affords individual states the liberty to pass laws as they see fit, such legislation can and does have rippling consequences across the nation. The left’s mission to dismantle traditional marriage represents a prime example.
–B. Christopher Agee
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