Nobody Can Stop At One

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes to the Minnesota Bar Association:

To the Chairman:

The amendment to prevent gay marriage from being court-imposed on equal protection grounds, was defeated. Gay marriage is only a matter of time. Our statutes are mostly gender-neutral already, it won’t be hard to adapt to “spouse-spouse.” But after we substitute individual rights for Judeo-Christian tradition as our intellectual model for marriage, why should equal protection stop at two spouses?

A billion people live in plural marriages in Muslim nations. Minnesota has an active and growing Muslim population. Muslims in England and Canada have obtained government benefits for multiple wives on equal protection grounds. Why should equal protection stop at welfare benefits; why not all civil rights flowing from marriage, the same parade of horrors used to justify gay marriage?

Adapting the statutes for three spouses will be trickier than for two. Must the Senior Wife consent to adding a Junior Wife? Do the Junior Wife’s children receive less child support? When the Junior Wife divorces, does she get a third or only half of the Husband’s half? If one woman has two husbands, who pays child support? Who gets custody – the departing biological mother or the remaining primary caregiver?

Lawyers advise clients to make contingency plans; well, we should take our own advice. The Bar Association should establish a Plural Marriage Legislation Committee now, so we’re ready when the time comes. It’s only a matter of time.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

After all, why should be westerners be imposing our values on them?

And all those years we spent browbeating the H’mong out of child marriage?  What right did we have, really?

If two people – or five people, or one adult and a 13 year old girl – love each other, what right do we have to get in the way?

It’s about love, right?

9 thoughts on “Nobody Can Stop At One

  1. More like on a wooden nickel, Lars.

    Joe is being silly.

    The reason we will eventually have same sex marriage is that it is so very much the same as heterosexual marriage as to have no effective difference. The reason a society sanctions marriage is because it is a legal contract between consenting adults to form a kind of partnership, one in which there are sometimes children forming an additional part of that partnership.

    We don’t make law that sanctions the traditions of any one religion over other religions. It was the mistake that those who oppose gay marriage made – that they could impose their religious definitions on a secular contract.

    On that basis it is not going to happen that we legalize polygamy, polyandry or polyamory in the forseeable future. There is no distinct benefit in it, there is no acceptance of it and there is no societal benefit to it. Although serial monogamy is certainly similar in some respects.

    No, it is not only about love. No, adults marrying children is a very different thing than an adult marrying another adult. Children cannot consent to an adult relationship because they lack the capacity to do so with the understanding that an adult has. Those cultures that have engaged in child marriage around the world do so because their marriages are about propety and alliances — the same way it was when western cultures used to engage in child marriages (as was the case with a number of kings and queens, including the kings and queens of our primary founding nation, England). That is no longer the way marriage functions in developed countries, so that is no longer what we do in our legal definitions of marriage.

    It does however underline why it is we should not lock in a marriage definition in our constitution, because those patterns – like western European child marriage, which was legal for centuries – DO change and evolve.

    But Joe is a big one for selective fact cherrypicking, while routinely ignoring the larger context that dramatically alters the significance of those facts. So I would advise against taking him too seriously until he becomes more intellectually fair, objective, factual and honest, and less of a distorting cherrypicker.

  2. Doggy, you are the queen of “fact cherrypicking;” well, with the exception of the fact that you don’t rely on them! The legal contract between consenting adults argument is bogus! There are other legal means to accomplish what the GLBT radicals claim as the main benefit; making life decisions. It is called a “Power of Attorney!”

    And Joe, to answer your question about what wife gets what, they’ll get nothing because the Muslim men will most likely just kill them! That seems to be their universal solution to problems!

  3. Dog Gone condensed:

    “Marriage is because legal contracts”

    She’s not too sharp, but she can parrot a stupid argument.

  4. Sorry, but I am one Republican who wishes that the party drop opposition to gay marriage.

    I am a libertarian at heart.

    I understand that some want to keep the definition as a man and a woman for traditional reasons, but I just don’t agree with that.

    And please stop with the “what’s next, 3 people, or children , or animals” line of argument. It makes us look ignorant.

    Gays want two consenting adults to be able to be called married. They are not calling for anything else.

  5. Kinlaw, as I pointed out more than a few times in this space, I don’t disagree.

    I think conservatives need to do as Reagan did; fight the social battles in their personal lives, outside of direct political action. For one – if I ever get married again, I’m not getting a government license for it.

  6. “I think conservatives need to do as Reagan did; fight the social battles in their personal lives, outside of direct political action. For one – if I ever get married again, I’m not getting a government license for it.”

    Well said Mitch.

    Have a nice weekend. I am going to ignore politics for a week or two myself, take a break from it all.

  7. More of DG’s argumentum tl;dr.
    The reason we will eventually have same sex marriage is that it is so very much the same as heterosexual marriage as to have no effective difference.
    This sentence alone requires supporting arguments, and it is poorly written, as well. ‘ it is so very much the same as heterosexual marriage’, for example. Is it the same, or not?
    Studies by sociologists (for what they are worth) show that celibacy within marriage is not viewed as being important to gays. If you remove the expectation of children, and the expectation of celibacy, the institution of marriage is a hollow shell.

  8. I do not generally comment on my own posts but this one demands it. Dog Gone, I wrote on plural marriage, not child; don’t blame me for others’ comments.

    A contract to form a partnership need not be limited to two people so if marriage can be a partnership of two men, that excuse doesn’t prevent them from adding a third man to their marriage.

    Dog Gone admits the reason to keep marriage out of the constitution is to allow changing definitions of marriage to be adopted. Fine, but that concedes my point that plural marriage can come so we need to prepare.

    Minnesota has no general acceptance of the need to pray before before boarding an airplane, to wash our feet in community college restrooms, or for separate segregated swimming hours for men and women. But we have ask them and more because the Muslim population is small but assertive. serial monogamy differs from plural marriage only by timing, not a factor considered in equal protection arguments. 10 years ago, gay marriage was inconceivable; today it is inevitable.

    Dog gone’s optimism does not persuade me.

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