People who support traditional marriage often say gay marriage will lead to polygamy. This fails as an argument not because it’s false, but because it will not persuade anyone who does not already agree. Sure, a gay marriage supporter may dismiss polygamy as a slippery-slope argument, or say that no one is calling for that, or may simply deny that it will lead to polygamy; but those replies are only for appearances. There are essentially zero supporters of gay marriage who have any objection to polygamy or anything else, as long as it only involves consenting adults. Now, polygamy may not become widespread enough that poly rights activists demand the right to marry, or the state may refuse to let people with multiple partners have insurance benefits, but that won’t be out of respect for the sanctity of marriage.

Contemporary civil marriage is like Poland; it doesn’t have a defensible border. No-fault divorce was the end of civil marriage as an institution. Gay marriage is just the enemy forces occupying the capital. Over the last hundred years marriage as understood in the US has changed so much that it has ceased to mean anything, except religiously or personally. People for years have been able to get married, or not, and stay married, or not, or cohabit with any person or people who will have them; it makes no significant social or legal difference. The only lifestyle choice that draws a hostile eye is non-Muslim religious fundamentalists practicing polygamy, and that’s only because people suspect minors are being coerced.

UPDATE: A point I haven’t heard elsewhere, from 3 Non-religious Reasons to Oppose Gay Marriage

“Not too long ago, we were told (about once ever 20 minutes or so here in the Bay Area – YMMV) that marriage was just a piece of paper at best, and at worst was a the perpetuation of misogynistic patriarchal hegemony, nothing more than institutionalized rape. Homosexuals, in particular, made constant hay over the stupidity of ‘breeders’, specifically and pointedly mocking those of us married with children. We got the point: Marriage, in the opinion of vocal homosexuals and other enlightened thinkers, was stupid and vile, and not getting married was a primary *positive* feature of the gay lifestyle.

Well? Where is that Greek chorus now?


7 Replies to “Polygamy”

    1. Should I have said Czechoslovakia instead of Poland? I wonder; if they were given all they demand, where would they start pushing the envelope then?

        1. Doh! Corrected, thanks.

          Although I’d have thought you were being facetious.

          “Hartman’s Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation states that any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror.”

  1. I am really getting tired of hearing about this, but since you put in your two cents and I think you might be a reasonable person, I’ll put in mine.
    The whole issue would disappear if we just replaced the term “gay marriage” with something like “civil domestic partner contract”. We are supposed to have separation of church and state here, so let’s do that. Marriage is no business of the government’s, it’s essentially a religious issue. Let the churches enforce it as they see fit.

    1. I don’t think the name change will happen, nor would it satisfy anyone if it did. Gay activists specifically want their relationships to be declared “marriage.” Tolerance hasn’t been enough; no functional equivalent has been or will be enough. Gay unions must not be merely allowed, but blessed – by the State, by any tax-exempt organization, by everyone — loudly. People must be denied promotion if they fail to support “equal rights” with enough enthusiasm, and lose their jobs if they say gay sex is bad. It must become mandatory that everyone praise and affirm gay sex. Everyone must somehow be made to believe it’s a wonderful thing.

      The State will define marriage as it pleases, and judges will enforce it as they see fit. Some churches will simply go along; some will recognize a sacrament of holy matrimony independent of civil marriage. If things continue as they have, churches that refuse to recognize as equivalent to real marriage whatever the State defines will be subject to legal disabilities, and at some point dissenters will lose their tax exemption. It might be wise for Churches to stop performing civil marriages as agents of the State. I doubt many will do it though. They’ll wait until federal non-discrimination law requires them to perform same-sex weddings, and then many will comply.

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