SECTION 1. Within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction, no marriage or similar family-establishing legal relationship:
— 1A. shall be contracted by or with, or recognized to exist for, a nonhuman;
— 1B. shall be contracted among, or recognized to exist for, any number of persons other than two;
— 1C. shall be contracted by or with a person already in such a relationship, nor may a person contract more than one such relationship simultaneously.
— 1D. shall be contracted between persons who are genetically closer than typical biological first cousins;
— 1E. shall be contracted by or with a person under the age of sixteen, unless that person shall have previously obtained legal emancipation.
SECTION 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce Section 1 of this article by appropriate legislation.
SECTION 3. The Congress shall have power to deny immigration and naturalization to persons who are married to, or in a similar family-establishing legal relationship with, more than one spouse; and to the spouses of said persons.
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To pretend there’s no “slippery slope” going forward regarding the definition of marriage is to deliberately bury one’s head in the sand. With the advent of same-sex marriage (which this Amendment does not attempt to roll back), the doors have been flung wide open for the courts to legitimize every other marriage variation we’ve previously put the legislative kibosh on. This Amendment’s purpose, then, is to keep marriage’s moorings from being loosened any further.
The five kinds of marriage this Amendment disallows are: marriages to nonhumans, group marriages, multiple marriages (e.g., polygamy), marriages to close blood relations, and marriages to children. (If you can think of another perturbation of marriage I’ve missed, by all means let me know.) If you want to scoff over any one of these variants and say, “Oh, come on! That will never be legalized!” go right ahead, but you have way more faith in human nature than I do. (Seriously. I’ve been on Twitter. Human nature has no floor.) One man has persistently sued for the right to marry his computer since same-sex marriage was legalized, and there have been several legal pushes to have a court bestow the rights of personhood upon nonhuman primates – rights which a sympathetic judge may decide includes the right to marry. In 2012, Brazil recognized a three-person civil union – is marriage next? In Utah, fundamentalist Mormons protest to keep their pseudo-polygamy legal. Meanwhile, several articles have been published describing instances of “genetic sexual attraction” between close blood relatives (whether siblings or even parent and child) who did not live together while one or both was growing up, and who established sexual relationships upon finally meeting. Marriage to children under the age of 16 actually is legal in about half the states already, with many of these states having no age floor whatsoever so long as there is parental and/or judicial consent. There’s really no reason to insist any of these forms of marriage could never see legalization in the United States. So if you don’t think they should be legalized, we must make it impossible for them to be, while there’s still time. As we saw in 2015, it only takes five judges to tell us our opinions – or even our duly-enacted laws – on the subject don’t matter.
The language “or similar family-establishing relationships” in each section prevents civil unions, domestic partnerships, common-law marriages, etc., from being similarly redefined. This prevents the “wedge strategy” that opened the door to same-sex marriage in California – i.e., legislatively granting “domestic partnerships” to same-sex couples that amounted to marriage in all but name, then having a court declare this “separate but equal” status unconstitutional such that full marriage rights must be granted – from being used to legitimize the variants of marriage this Amendment disallows.
Lastly, Congress can deny immigration and naturalization to those who have contracted multiple marriages outside the U.S., and to their spouses, so that U.S. courts would not have to jerry-rig family law to accommodate them, as we saw happen in the U.S. when persons in same-sex marriages moved to states that (as was permissible before Obergefell v. Hodges) didn’t recognize their marriages.
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The Cultural Bill Of Rights
–CBOR-7Y: The Seven Years Amendment
–CBOR-RF: The Religious Freedom Amendment
–CBOR-2A: The New Second Amendment
–CBOR-CP: The Capital Punishment Amendment
–CBOR-ED: The Eminent Domain Amendment
–CBOR-17: The Senate Restoration Amendment
–CBOR-SC: The Supreme Court Amendment
–CBOR-QV: The Qualified Voters Amendment
–CBOR-AR: The Anti-Reparations Amendment
–CBOR-GS: The Gender Standardization Amendment
–CBOR-MS: The Marriage Standardization Amendment
–CBOR-PM: The Protection of Minors Amendment