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Marriage predates any known human government. It is not open to debate except where lunatics have taken over the asylum and can’t see any difference between John and Mary tying the knot and John and Fred playing house.

Utah, which had a Mormon population that advocated polygamous unions, was denied statehood until it passed a law ensuring that only one-man-one-woman marriages would be recognized legally.

The key case was Murphy v. Ramsey (1885), in which the Supreme Court upheld Congress’ right to make polygamy and bigamy illegal in U.S. territories and a requirement for statehood:

“For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.”

World magazine culture critic Gene Edward Veith notes that the homosexual drive to gain marital benefits is destroying marriage itself as people abandon commitment and embrace the “gay” notion of serial monogamy with “sex partners”:

“This sort of reductionism - a spouse is nothing more than a sex partner, so a sex partner is the same as a spouse - misses the point of what marriage is and what its role in society amounts to. … marriage is being defined down. As marriage becomes unnecessary - not just for job benefits but for adopting children, inheriting property and being socially acceptable - the whole nation will be ‘living in sin.’ “

Hoover Institution research fellow Stanley Kurtz has chronicled the acceleration of societal uncoupling from marriage in Sweden:

“Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. … Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more. Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood.”

By declaring his intention to allow radical judges to find a “right” to homosexual “marriage” in the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Obama is pouring gasoline on a bonfire that is destroying the legal protections of marriage - and civilization itself.

Robert Knight is a Washington Times columnist, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and the author of “The Truth About Marriage” (, 2010).