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Minister Warns Polygamy Could Follow Gay Marriage Bans

3/26/2013, 6:02 p.m.

A local critic of same-sex unions has warned that in the event the Supreme Court rules to strike down gay marriage bans, polygamy would follow.

Bishop Harry Jackson, a minister at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., who waged a vigilant fight against the District's gay marriage mandate and a similar effort last year in Maryland, said during a recent interview on the Christian Broadcasting Company's CBN Newswatch, that he believes conservatives could win at the Supreme Court.

"I think we can win it," Jackson said. "I think the real issue is the religious liberty issue and the issue of whether we can practice marriage as we believe it on an ongoing basis. Remember that if same-sex marriage is allowed to be mandated by fiat, if you will, at the Supreme Court level for all of America, then, right behind it, polygamy and many other forms of marriage will automatically sweep the land within just a matter of a few years." Meanwhile, on

Meanwhile on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court justices considered a provision that defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of deciding who can receive a range of federal benefits, some of the jurists who weighed-in the previous day on the meaning of marriage, wondered aloud if the court had moved too fast to address whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.

While Justice Sonia Sotomayor said there may be value in letting states continue to experiment, Justice Anthony Kennedy - who holds the decisive vote on a closely divided court -- voiced sympathy for the children of gay and lesbian couples.

"There's some 40,000 children in California that live with same-sex parents," he said, as the justices debated during Tuesday's landmark hearing, the state's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. "They want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important."

If the justices choose to rule broadly, they could overturn Prop 8 and in doing so invalidate every other restriction on gay marriage in the country, according to Fox News.

Justice Kennedy also spoke of uncertainty about the consequences for society of allowing same-sex marriage. "We have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history or more," he said, speaking of the long history of traditional marriage and the brief experience allowing gay men and lesbians to marry in some states.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. warned that the court should not move too fast.

"You want us to step in and assess the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones and/or the Internet?" he said.

Many of the questions directed to Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for opponents of same-sex marriage, concerned whether there was any good reason to exclude same-sex couples from the institution.

Justice Elena Kagan, for instance, asked how letting gay and lesbian couples marry harmed traditional marriages. "How does this cause and effect work?" she asked.

Cooper said that "the state's interest and society's interest in what we have framed as 'responsible procreation' is vital."

Theodore B. Olson, who represented the ban's challengers, said California's ban on gay marriage "walls off gays and lesbians from marriage, the most important relationship in life."

(Sources: The New York Times, Foxnews.com, On Top magazine)