The Next Phase of the Culture War is Coming


#1

Growing up in a religious household for most of my life, I had always heard that polygamy would come after gay “marriage.” I was never fully convinced that this would happen, even though I did not actively support same-sex marriage. If you asked me about my opinion on the issue a few years ago, I would respond: “Not sure/don’t care.” In fact, I even voted that way on a forum poll in 2011.

Only in the last year have I become concerned with this issue. I think that if equal protection under applies to the right to marry someone of the same gender, it must also apply to the right to marry more than one person. More and more, I see the inherent problems in redefining a basic social institution.

But this is a shocker. I wasn’t expecting people to openly argue in favor of polygamy before they’ve officially triumphed over supporters of traditional marriage. But here it is:

Legalize polygamy: Marriage equality for all. - Slate Magazine

Recently, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council [reintroduced a tired refrain](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=03AKmrj3ABA#%21):  Legalized gay marriage could lead to other legal forms of marriage  disaster, such as polygamy. Rick Santorum, Bill O’Reilly, and other  social conservatives have made similar claims. It’s hardly a new  prediction—**we’ve been hearing it for years. *Gay marriage is a slippery slope! A gateway drug! If we legalize it, then what’s next? Legalized polygamy?*

**

**We can only hope…

Yes, really. While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too.** Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice.** More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.**

Many people argue that there is no such thing as a “healthy, responsible” polygamous family, particularly for the children born into one. “Children are harmed because they are often set in perennial rivalry with other children and mothers for the affection and attention of the family patriarch,” argued John Witte Jr. in the Washington Post. “Men with lots of children and wives are spread too thin,” agreed Libby Copeland in Slate. The earnestness of these arguments is touching but idealistic. Men in monogamous marriages can’t be spread too thin? Children in monogamous families don’t rival each other for the attentions of their parents? Two-parent families are not the reality for millions of American children. Divorce, remarriage, surrogate parents, extended relatives, and other diverse family arrangements mean families already come in all sizes—why not recognize that legally?

**And if she wants to marry a man with three other wives, that’s *****her damn choice.

                                                                 We have a tendency to dismiss or marginalize people we don’t  understand. We see women in polygamous marriages and assume they are  victims. “They grew up in an unhealthy environment,” we say. “They  didn’t really choose polygamy; they were just born into it.” Without  question, that is sometimes true. But it’s also true of many (too many)  monogamous marriages. Plenty of women, polygamous or otherwise, are born  into unhealthy environments that they repeat later in life. There’s no  difference. **All marriages deserve access to the support and resources  they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners  are involved. Arguments about whether a woman’s consensual sexual and  romantic choices are “healthy” should have no bearing on the legal  process. And while polygamy remains illegal, women who choose this  lifestyle don’t have access to the protections and benefits that legal  marriage provides.**..

                                                             **The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual  marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage  between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct”  than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though  polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value  unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups  among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every  same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting.  *We’re not done yet.***

The words are in bold for both emphasis and ridiculousness. I laughed at some of this because it is so ridiculous! When someone told me when I was 8 that in Massachusetts people of the same gender could get married, I thought they were joking. It seemed so wrong and laughable.

This is the next phase of the culture war, and we must be on guard.


#2

Just like I laughed at PC the first time I heard it - didn’t think people would be stupid enough to buy it.


#3

And you are now laughing at the laws and traditions of over 100 countries AND religions which permit and respect polygamy. You KNOW that the Mormon Church was FORCED by the government to give up polygamy in rxchange for Utah statehood…forced to give up their RELIGIOUS belief. Note that there is also ample evidence of polygamy in the Old Testament. Who made you the “decider” about what marriage is?


#4

I knew you would come to this thread.

Polygamy is wrong because it demeans women (see Afghanistan). Societies that practice polygamy are the ones with very low views of women.


#5

That’s polygyny, the taking of multiple wives only. Polygamy is simply multiple spouses. The gender doesn’t matter. And really, if they’re all consensually entering into a marriage, why can we tell them no, legally? Religious marriage, I mean. Legal marriage, maybe not so much, just because the legal benefits and entitlements are designed for two people, so more aptly you’d have to assign multiple 2-person marriages.


#6

Finally, prohibiting polygamy on “feminist” grounds—that these marriages are inherently degrading to the women involved—is misguided. The case for polygamy is, in fact, a feminist one and shows women the respect we deserve. Here’s the thing: As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that’s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that’s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well—I suppose that’s the price of freedom.

With that logic, she should also be on board with prostitution and pimping. And the porn trade. Yeah, you’re a real champ for the fair sex, woman…


#7

Right. Plural marriage was legal here in the United States 150 years ago, and would probably be legal everywhere by now if the Federal government hadn’t intervened.

Firstly, you’re talking about polygyny, as Trekky pointed out. Second, plenty of feminists support plural marriage.

People have seen it coming for decades because they know there is no Constitutional grounds for denying it. The only reason it’s not legal now is because the Federal government overstepped its authority. It has nothing at all to do with same-sex marriage. There is just no argument to ban it other than “the law must adhere to my religion.”


#8

LB, please don’t post entire articles or such large quotes from articles. Please edit your quote to just the few paragraphs (2-6 should do, depending on paragraph length). This is for copyright law and fair usage purposes, not RO manglement being arbitrary.


#9

Ok, got it.