The following arrived from Citizen Link:
It’s what many marriage supporters have been trying to point out for months: The redefinition of the institution could pave the path to legalized polygamy.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a legal opinion Thursday basically saying that a man who married another man in another state, may obtain a marriage license — with a woman — in North Dakota. That’s because same-sex marriage is not recognized in North Dakota.
Quite true, that last part. North Dakota was one of the states to pass a constitutional amendment back in 2004 restricting civil marriage to “man-woman couples” (we may wish to return to a discussion of how that happened).
Also, AG Stenehjem was responding to a hypothetical question. There is no actual man in a North Dakota case, a detail omitted by Citizen Link.
But it’s this framing, quoting a Breitbart columnist, that really impressed me with its capacity for expressing the exact opposite of reality by stating bald, incontrovertible facts. This is a work of art.
“The ‘Sister Wives’ family that won the Utah suit only have one marriage license among them, and do not wish to receive any more,” Martel said. “The man in the North Dakota case wants two marriage licenses, and the right to proclaim himself single on legal documents until he receives his second.”
Correct on both counts. The Brown family in Utah was not seeking legal recognition of plural marriage. And given that the hypothetical North Dakota man’s out-of-state marriage is not recognized by the State of North Dakota, and the State of North Dakota considers him to be legally single, why wouldn’t he be eligible for a marriage license that his state would recognize?
Here is the issue: I think everyone would have to agree that the agenda of Citizen Link and its ideological siblings has been to enforce, by legislative and other means, a definition of marriage restricted to one man and one woman.
It is that agenda that’s wholly responsible for the criminal prosecution of the Browns in Utah, not for seeking multiple civil marriage licenses, but for publicly “holding themselves out” as married, and for the result that the unconstitutional prong of the Utah law was struck down. And it is that agenda that’s wholly responsible for North Dakota’s refusal to recognize a marriage performed in another state. Citizen Link even manages to point out the source of the problem: “The [DOMA] ruling did not affect Section 2, which says that no state is required to recognize another state’s redefinition of the institution.” This – and the fact that North Dakota regards this hypothetical man as legally single – is the very result Citizen Link has fought so long and hard for. Why are they complaining about the AG opinion?
Sorry, Citizen Link – but you can’t have it both ways. If your objection is that this man will “have two marriage licenses,” then you are accepting the legitimacy of his marriage to another man. The alternative is concurring with the authority of North Dakota to consider him single. Pick one.