(OPINION) A pro-family California organization is warning that a proposed state constitutional amendment to eliminate the traditional definition of marriage from state law could potentially open up “Pandora’s box” to legitimize polyamorous, incestuous and child marriages.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5), which aims to repeal Proposition 8’s language that states marriage is only “between a man and a woman,” was introduced by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Evan Low to protect same-sex marriages. If passed, in its place, the state constitution would provide that, “The right to marry is a fundamental right.”

However, the California Family Council (CFC), a conservative advocacy group, believes the wording of ACA 5 is too open-ended and will lead to the normalization of non-traditional marriage structures that could harm children’s development.


“In a society like ours, you never can count on what people are willing to do for legal and financial and political reasons,” CFC President Jonathan Keller told Fox News Digital in an interview. “And ACA 5, again, eliminates any of those safeguards, and it opens up Pandora’s Box.”

“You could have siblings getting married. You could have nephews and nieces marrying uncles and aunts. You could have, potentially even mothers and fathers marrying each other, or mothers and children, or fathers and children marrying each other,” he said.

Following Prop. 8’s passage in 2008, the measure faced legal challenges and a refusal by state officials to defend it, effectively suspending the legislation.

Although it remains part of the constitution, it has not been enforceable for over a decade, Keller said. After Roe v. Wade was overturned in the summer of 2022, California Democrats decided to revisit the law’s language out of “fear it would go into effect.”

“And that’s how we got this new initiative,” Keller said of ACA 5.

The concern comes as the Oakland City Council approved polyamorous relationships in April, protecting “diverse family structures” from discrimination. The Berkeley City Council passed a similar proposal in May, paving the way for more recognition of nontraditional relationships in the liberal Bay Area.


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