In the spring of 2012, shortly after his hand was forced by Joe Biden, the White House called Robin Roberts to set up an interview to explain President Obama's evolution on the latest social trend in the institution-formerly-known-as-marriage. I have slightly revised the president's comments in the Robert's interview to project what the president could say to explain a future iteration of his views on marriage:
But I have to tell you that over the course of-- several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors. When I think about-- members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in [polygamous] relationships, [poly-sex] relationships, who are raising kids together. When I think about-- those soldiers or airmen or marines or-- sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf-- and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is gone, because-- they're not able to-- commit themselves in a marriage.
At a certain point, I've just concluded that-- for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that-- I think [poly-sex groups] should be able to get married.
When I meet gay and lesbian [thruples], when I meet [poly-sex thruples], and I see-- how caring they are, how much love they have in their hearts-- how they're takin' care of their kids. When I hear from them the pain they feel that somehow they are still considered-- less than full citizens when it comes to-- their legal rights-- then-- for me, I think it-- it just has tipped the scales in that direction.
I wish I could say that I am considering this topic on an entirely theoretical basis. However, this article appeared recently in the British newspaper, The Guardian:
Three Brazilians in love have their nation up in arms over whether their relationship, now enshrined in a three-way marriage, is legal. The public notary who conducted their marriage says there's no reason the threesome – or "thruple", as the internet has charmingly labelled it – shouldn't enjoy the same kinds of rights imparted upon two people who get hitched.
Is there anything in Obama's evolution towards same-sex marriage endorsement that could not be applied here? One who is sliding down a slippery slope begins to pick up speed, and the same is likely to happen here. Once the definition of marriage is changed, once "traditional marriage" became a pejorative to be mocked, all bets were off. Just as redefining "life" to not include the unborn has led to the extremes of abortion, even to the point where our current president once rejected legislation that would have outlawed allowing babies who survived botched abortions to die, so redefining marriage will lead to extremes.
Much speculation exists about what a second Obama term would hold. Even I doubt that we would see Obama fully embrace polygamous marriage within another four years. But how much more damage could be done to an institution that is already staggering under the weight of divorce, living together, and now same-sex marriage? The bottom of that slope is looking closer every day.