In what will prove to be a momentous year for marriage, the U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of cases involving marital status in four states (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) and will judge whether the citizens of these states and all others have the authority to maintain the traditional meaning of marriage or be forced to accept novel, alternative versions of the institution.

The ruling, expected to be rendered by late June, has the potential to dramatically alter marriage as we know it (and have known it for thousands of years). At stake in the matter is whether individual states and their citizenry have any say-so in determining what kinds of relationships they must certify as valid marriages.

A vast majority of states, 30 in total, have state constitutional provisions that acknowledge time-honored parameters of marriage and succinctly define it as a union between one man and one woman. The upcoming decision by the Supreme Court will inform whether states will be allowed to retain this historical understanding of marriage.

The significance of this Supreme Court ruling cannot be overstated. Should the High Court resolve to set aside state constitutional amendments upholding the traditional form of marriage, every state in the union will be obliged to sanction (signifying state approval of) same-sex unions and supply attendant benefits. This result alone would trigger a seismic shift in the cultural landscape, but the after-shocks of any such decision promises to bring even greater change.

As any candid leftist will tell you, the fight for so-called “marriage equality” does not end with same-sex unions. It is a humble beginning.

Polygamy is up next. In addition to the equal protection arguments advanced by homosexual marriage proponents, polygamists will also urge religious freedom as reason for further tinkering with the definition of marriage. If the Supreme Court compels states to interpret marriage in a way that leaves room for same-sex unions, polygamy supporters will easily walk through the legal door that has cracked.

“Full” marriage equality will also encompass polyamory, which is polygamy plus, contemplating any number of partners and sexes in one legalized union.

The march for marriage equality will carry on from there, with advocates climbing one hill after another and each hill being easier than the last. And, marriage, upon being encumbered with various, additional meanings, will get to the point where it can no longer sustain any fixed definition. Marriage will become a malleable notion, subject to fit any circumstance people can dream up.

Once the Supreme Court pries open this Pandora’s Box of marriage, all of the evil contained therein will be unleashed. No conceivable form of marriage will be dubbed too extreme – whether it be unions with animals, between adults and children, or any other marital concoction. The term “marriage” will know no bounds; as a consequence, it will lose its import and societal purpose.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves with dire predictions. Despite what you might have heard from pundits, the justices have yet to rule on these marriage cases.

I, for one, am cautiously optimistic the Supreme Court will understand and appreciate the ramifications of their decision and rule in favor of states, and the people, letting them uphold marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman, as long as they choose to do so.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will realize this Pandora’s Box ought to be kept firmly shut.

Posted by Nate Kellum