It was December of 1992.
And the New York Times was furious.
In the November election that had occurred a month earlier, while most Americans were fixated on the presidential race between President George H.W. Bush, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and businessman Ross Perot, in Colorado something else was going on.
That something else was known as Amendment 2.
On election day, by a margin of 100,000 votes, Coloradans, in the words of the Chicago Tribune: "amended their constitution to outlaw ordinances in Denver, Boulder and Aspen that banned discrimination in hiring and housing on the basis of sexual orientation."
Gay rights groups were apoplectic. Barbra Streisand vowed a celebrity boycott -- no small threat in Colorado ski havens like Aspen where stars like Cher, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, and other Hollywood power names vacationed. The Times was frothing. So there was a decision to strike back at Colorado. Fumed the Times in a December 21st editorial titled "The Case for the Colorado Boycott":
Deciding where to go for a skiing vacation ordinarily poses no moral dilemma. But this winter it surely does. Colorado, site of some of the finest ski areas in the nation, adopted a bigoted anti-gay initiative last month, shattering the state's reputation for tolerance. Gay groups and others are urging a boycott; their call deserves to be heeded.
So the obvious question.
On Tuesday North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.
Within hours, leftist favorite Roseanne Barr was Twittering: "hollywood withdraw your productions from NC!"
But the biggest production of all scheduled for North Carolina isn't a Hollywood movie. It's the Democratic National Convention -- which will re-nominate the Obama-Biden ticket.
Will gay rights activists demand the Obama White House move the Democrats' 2012 convention? Now scheduled for September -- in Charlotte, North Carolina. A mere five months away.
Will the New York Times demand the Democrats boycott North Carolina -- a state on the Obama campaign's "must carry" list in the November race against Governor Mitt Romney?
To add fuel to this political fire, President Obama was outed by no less than his own Vice President Joe Biden on the administration's support for same-sex marriage. Biden took a hard-line position supporting gay marriage on Sunday -- forcing the President to come out yesterday and tell ABC News that his own thinking on the issue had evolved and yes, he too was now wholeheartedly supporting same sex marriage.
North Carolinians have a different point of view. Considerably.
So, again, the obvious. If both Obama and Biden are now supporting same-sex marriage, and gay activists take such offense at those whom they label "bigots" for refusing to support their conception of "equal rights" -- when will the calls to boycott North Carolina spread beyond Roseanne Barr? When will the Obama White House be pressured by gay activists to instruct the DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to pull the plug on a convention that will surely pump millions of dollars into the North Carolina economy? North Carolina -- a state that must surely now be seen by gays and the Times as a hot bed of bigotry and thus in need of moral shunning and financial boycotting?
Does the Obama campaign plan to insult North Carolinians -- or court them with a multi-million dollar convention because without North Carolina they may well lose the White House?
Uh-oh. Can you say "horns of a dilemma"?
There's also something else at work here.
How shall I begin? OK…. this way.
Jill Biden is hot.
And she's available.
I know, I know. She's "married" to Vice President Joe Biden.
But who cares about that? Certainly not her "husband."
With Vice President Biden's endorsement of gay marriage, Mr. Biden has done two things.
Yes, he's just made life even more difficult in this re-election year for President Obama, forcing the President's hand and raising the issue of moving the DNC convention out of North Carolina. But for all the hoopla in political circles, that's small potatoes. Very small.
The really big news here -- and it is really, really big news -- is that this gaffable Veep has actually done something of major cultural and historic importance in pushing Obama to a place he had clearly avoided up until now.
For the first time in history, both the President and Vice President of the United States have opened the door wide to the idea of the abolition of marriage. Not simply marriage between one man and one woman, but marriage period.
In fact, Joe Biden has become the second vice president -- the second after and including the Republican and conservative Dick Cheney-- to put the official vice presidential seal of approval on ending the institution of marriage as we know it.
Which is to say, marriage between one man and one woman.
Thereby opening the legal floodgates to legalizing polygamy, polyamory (group marriage) and any and all other combinations that cross the human imagination. Or, as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his Lawrence v. Texas sexual liberty case dissent: "bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity."
And in the unlikely combination of current political figures Obama, Biden and North Carolina's now infamous ex-Senator John Edwards lie stark, sharply personal reminders of the perils political and cultural for both candidates and American society itself.
Let's start first with the issue that so infuriates same-sex marriage advocates. That would be the "slippery slope" idea that recognition of anything other than one-man, one-woman marriage, heretofore the gold standard of Western Civilization's stability, inevitably will open the door legally to all manner of other marital combos.
All the way back in August of 2003, Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, did an extensive examination of what was ahead if what is now the Obama-Biden position in fact became the law of the land. The proximate cause of Kurtz's piece was the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, a case revolving around sexual liberty. Wrote Kurtz in the Weekly Standard (bold emphasis mine):
Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and "polyamory" (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female. A scare scenario? Hardly. The bottom of this slope is visible from where we stand. Advocacy of legalized polygamy is growing. A network of grass-roots organizations seeking legal recognition for group marriage already exists. The cause of legalized group marriage is championed by a powerful faction of family law specialists. Influential legal bodies in both the United States and Canada have presented radical programs of marital reform. Some of these quasi-governmental proposals go so far as to suggest the abolition of marriage. The ideas behind this movement have already achieved surprising influence with a prominent American politician.
(Note: The "American politician" in question was former Vice President Al Gore, who with wife Tipper had written a 2002 book called Joined at the Heart, which redefined a "family" as not one of blood or law but just "joined at the heart." Mr. Gore and Mrs. Gore, it should be noted, announced in June 2010 that their 40-year marriage was ending in divorce, their hearts apparently un-joined.)
Just as Kurtz predicted, with same-sex marriage making rapid progress (legalized already in some states, under consideration in others), the push for legalizing polygamy has gained speed, both legally and culturally.
On the legal front, here is George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley making the case for legalizing polygamy in the pages of -- where else? -- the same-sex marriage supporting pages of the New York Times. Turley is not writing here in some abstruse academic sense. He is in fact the lawyer representing a polygamist man named Kody Brown -- and Brown's four wives and sixteen children. The objective is to overturn Utah's laws making polygamy illegal.
The Browns may be familiar to you as they are the stars of a TLC cable channel show called Sister Wives. You can see them in this clip at YouTube that was uploaded by -- drum roll please -- the Ellen show. Yes, that would be Ellen DeGeneres, the famously gay comedienne who is herself married to her lesbian lover in precisely the kind of relationship President Obama and Vice President Biden are lionizing. If there is any doubt of the cultural campaign now underway to make polygamy acceptable and of the implicit connection between the same-sex marriage movement and the ultimate abolition of marriage itself, this one clip should erase those doubts. That's before, of course, one even gets to the HBO show Big Love that starred Bill Paxton as a polygamist with a collection of wives.
Turley's article, "One Big, Happy Polygamous Family," describes the Brown marriages in question this way:
One of the marriages is legal and the others are what the family calls "spiritual." They are not asking for the state to recognize their marriages. They are simply asking for the state to leave them alone.
He goes on to say (with bold print for emphasis mine):
While widely disliked, if not despised, polygamy is just one form among the many types of plural relationships in our society. It is widely accepted that a person can have multiple partners and have children with such partners. But the minute that person expresses a spiritual commitment and "cohabits" with those partners, it is considered a crime.
We should fight for privacy as an inclusive concept, benefiting everyone in the same way. Regardless of whether it is a gay or plural relationship, the struggle and the issue remains the same: the right to live your life according to your own values and faith.
Let's be candid here, shall we? Brutally candid.
At this very moment, what is one of the most dramatic trials in all of America? Yes indeed, the trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Edwards twice a very serious presidential candidate (2004 and 2008) and, in 2004, coming within 100,000 votes in Ohio of being Vice President John Edwards under a President John Kerry.
Forget all the legal hoopla over whether Edwards broke campaign finance laws. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. In this space we have no idea and will await the jury's decision.
The real question is something entirely different. When one adds the views of Obama, Biden, and Turley to the leading liberal cultural indicators that are HBO's Big Love and the gay Ellen DeGeneres happily embracing the polygamous Kody Brown and wives on her popular TV show -- one has to ask:
Why is there so much fuss over John Edwards and his relationship with Rielle Hunter? Why was his late wife -- very much advertised as a tolerant left-leaning feminist -- so furious with her husband for having hot sex and a baby with another woman, Ms. Hunter? What was Elizabeth Edwards' problem? Didn't she understand Rielle Hunter was her "Sister Wife"?
And why in the world did Maria Shriver demand a divorce from husband and ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Just because he had a baby with the housekeeper? Can't housekeepers be Sister Wives too?
And now that we're into this subject, remember when all the Liberals said that Bill Clinton's repeated womanizing problems were "just about sex"? Why in the world was Hillary so upset with the poor guy? What was it with Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey and all the rest that kept Hillary from understanding that in reality, while she may have been First Lady, she was in fact Wife Number One in Bill's one, big happy polygamous family of Sister Wives?
The only possible explanation for the fury of Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Schwarzenegger and Mrs. Clinton was that they each quite separately and vividly felt their husband's marital adventures had not a damn thing to do with any "Sister Wives." Rather, each of these out-front liberal women saw what their husbands were doing -- what Kody Brown is doing -- as a full-on assault on their own marriages. And they raised hell because of it.
Here is a news account of the testimony of an Edwards aide, Cristina Reynolds, who was present when Mrs. Edwards learned about the National Enquirer story saying her husband was having an affair with her Sister Wife Rielle Hunter:
Reynolds recounted what happened after John and Elizabeth Edwards arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on that day in October 2007 when the National Enquirer broke news of his affair.
By that time, they were in separate cars, and "Mrs. Edwards was very upset."
"She stormed off and collapsed into sort of a ball in the parking lot," Reynolds said.
Reynolds and another aide took her into a bathroom, so she could compose herself. But Elizabeth stormed out and said "something to the effect of, 'You don't see me anymore,'" Reynolds recalled.
She then ripped off her shirt and bra.
"He (John Edwards) didn't have much of a reaction at first," Reynolds said. "We tried to cover her up and take her back into the bathroom."
Elizabeth didn't get on her flight to Iowa. She instead went back home with Reynolds and another aide."
So let's see what we have here.
President Obama and Vice President Biden are now firmly on record supporting gay marriage. Mr. Turley and others are hard at work using gay marriage as a legal can opener to allow polygamy. And un-legalized, in effect polygamy (or bigamy) was what John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton had going for themselves -- all three behaving precisely as Kody Brown is behaving but without the fuss. Until, that is, the political spotlight drove their problems into the public eye. And for whatever reason, one will never see Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver or, were she still alive, Elizabeth Edwards, prancing happily onto the stage of Ellen's show with their husbands and fellow Sister Wives.
We haven't even touched on polyamory yet.
Stanley Kurtz investigated it in that 2003 article, saying this about both the movement itself and also how it was modeling its demand for legal recognition on that of gay marriage (again, the bold print for emphasis is mine):
Unlike classic polygamy, which features one man and several women, polyamory comprises a bewildering variety of sexual combinations. There are triads of one woman and two men; heterosexual group marriages; groups in which some or all members are bisexual; lesbian groups, and so forth. (For details, see Deborah Anapol's "Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits," one of the movement's authoritative guides, or Google the word polyamory.)
Polyamorists are enthusiastic proponents of same-sex marriage. Obviously, any attempt to restrict marriage to a single man and woman would prevent the legalization of polyamory. After passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, an article appeared in Loving More, the flagship magazine of the polyamory movement, calling for the creation of a polyamorist rights movement modeled on the movement for gay rights. The piece was published under the pen name Joy Singer, identified as the graduate of a "top ten law school" and a political organizer and public official in California for the previous two decades.
Taking a leaf from the gay marriage movement, Singer suggested starting small. A campaign for hospital visitation rights for polyamorous spouses would be the way to begin. Full marriage and adoption rights would come later. Again using the gay marriage movement as a model, Singer called for careful selection of acceptable public spokesmen (i.e., people from longstanding poly families with children). Singer even published a speech by Iowa state legislator Ed Fallon on behalf of gay marriage, arguing that the goal would be to get a congressman to give exactly the same speech as Fallon, but substituting the word "poly" for "gay" throughout. Try telling polyamorists that the link between gay marriage and group marriage is a mirage."
Here, if you're interested, is the link for Loving More, the "flagship magazine" for the polyamory movement.
And here is what Loving More says about polyamorous relationships in a section titled "What we believe":
Loving relationships and healthy families can come in many beautiful and valid forms. How people choose to experience relationships and love is an individual and personal choice. Through education about polyamory and other relationship or love styles, we hope to allow people the freedom to be open and honest about their personal love and relationship choices, without fear of the prejudice or hardships that being non-traditional can bring. Through education, publicity and research, we intend to open the door to freedom and safety for those who choose polyamory as individuals and as families.
Which raises the question of the startling relationship to the beliefs on gay marriage as expressed here:
"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction -- beyond that."
That's right. That's Vice President Joe Biden.
And this is President Obama:
"You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it."
Really? And if those heterosexual kids were "much more comfortable" with all of this... do they share their girl friends and boyfriends because they are so comfortable? Chances are high they would react just like Elizabeth Edwards or Maria Shriver or Hillary Clinton.
What has happened here is that Obama and Biden have now officially, at the top level of the U.S. government, opened the Pandora's Box of relationships. Setting America on the road to one thing, one very leveling thing:
The abolition of marriage.
Gay marriage is being used as the ultimate lever to legalize polygamy and polyamory.
And if anyone believes this kind of behavior if legalized doesn't affect their own heterosexual marriage, they should read that testimony from the Edwards trial one more time. The testimony as to the reaction of North Carolinian liberal Elizabeth Edwards when she found out she had a Sister Wife named Rielle Hunter:
"Mrs. Edwards was very upset…. She stormed off and collapsed into sort of a ball in the parking lot…. She then ripped off her shirt and bra…. We tried to cover her up and take her back into the bathroom."
So the questions:
Will the Obama White House and gay activists call for boycotting North Carolina as gay activists and the New York Times once demanded a boycott of Colorado?
Will polygamists and polyamorists step up the pressure to demand recognition -- the same recognition, the same equal recognition -- from the Obama-Biden ticket that has now officially been given to gays?
Will Jonathan Turley write another Op-Ed for the New York Times demanding that recognition for Kody Brown and his Sister Wives?
If I called Jill Biden and asked her for a date, would Joe Biden care? What if George Clooney hit on her? Would Joe Biden care?
What do you think?