Hold The Straw

One of the least useful arguments against gay marriage was “so it’s about love?  So if you love your goat, or a child, you could marry them?”

Neither goats nor children (age of consent laws notwithstanding) have standing to sign contracts, of course.  It’s kind of a strawman.

But the other, inevitable part of the argument is “so what about polygamy?”

Remember – it’s all about love, and civil rights.  And groups of people most definitely do sign contracts.  So who are we to hold our antiquated “monogamous” standards over polygamists’ heads?

No, it’s not a strawman

What’s magical about the number two?

In fact, you could argue that there is an even better argument for polygamy than for same sex marriage. For one thing, there’s a long tradition (just look at the heroes of the Old Testament.) It’s also intimately tied to religious practice, which means that by prohibiting polygamy, we might also be undermining the “free exercise thereof.”

Why should we impose our values on others?

Now, you might say that there is historical evidence to support the fact that polygamy is bad for women and children. This is sophistry. The truth is that right now about half of all marriages end in divorce, and lots of kids are already struggling, so it’s not like traditional marriage is a panacea. Besides, nobody is forcing you to be a polygamist. This is a choice.

And unlike gay marriage, which is entirely a modern Western social construct, Polygamy has occurrred througout human history, including our own. 

There are practical reasons, too. It’s harder and harder these days to make ends meet. As a man, I can only imagine how much more efficient it would be to have one wife in the workforce and another wife at home with the kids. This would be much better for the children than shipping them off to some nursery school. And having three parents is a lot better than having just one … or none.

Yesterday’s SCOTUS decision, and last fall’s election in Minnesota, had clear-ish verdicts; “marriage” is “about love” and “civil rights”.

So what – legally – is the difference between a monogamous and polyamorous family unit, since those are the standards?

13 thoughts on “Hold The Straw

  1. Boy did you miss that one. It’s not about love Mitch, it’s about sex; deviant sex to be precise.

    I have male friends I love, but I don’t want to bugger them….that’s because I’m not homosexual.

    There are people out there that like to have sex with animals (Mongrel Cur’s hubby comes to mind), but there really isn’t anything to be gained by normalizing that particular perversion…probably.

    But age consent laws will be challenged; count on it. And normalizing polygamy is already in the works.

  2. The difference is whether the state is interested in proving it will be negatively impacted by the modification to marriage laws..

  3. I like the bit about comparing the historic wrongs of polygamy to divorce. Because invading your neighbors, killing or castrating their men, and enslaving their women in your harems is hardly any worse than two people getting a divorce. Or something like that. I’m sure that banning the behaviors needed for polygamy will be every bit as effective as legalizing prostitution but banning pimps has been around the world.

    In other words, not at all. It’s made the problem worse.

    I think Swiftee is also correct about pedophilia being normalized after that. The law is more or less moving from “protect the next generation” to “romance” as a reason for family law. It would follow that protections for children will be in danger with this kind of thinking.

  4. Mitch:

    I’ve been engaged basically over the last day with one (it has become two) about the US Supreme Court Rulings.

    I’ve noticed while these people talk with comments I believe in equal rights and gay marriage doesn’t harm me that don’t want to deal with two of the points I’ve made:

    One, how is it equal rights that in California if I voted no (and in theory got my way) on proposition 8 I could have a lawyer walk into a federal court room and defend my position, but the US Supreme Court said that if I voted yes on proposition 8 I couldn’t have my lawyer come in and defend my position.

    And two, well if you want to say that more than 50% of the public supports gay marriage then you should favor abortion laws being changed since more than 50% of the public believes that abortion is wrong.

    I can’t imagine why they don’t want to address those two points while they are thrilled with their victory.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  5. If you read Kennedy’s ruling on gay marriage, it should set precendence for polygamist marriage.

    Instead of saying the fact that where gay marriage is illegal, the law applies the same to everyone. Gays and straights can marry opposite sex people, neither gays nor straights can marry their own gender.

    But Kennedy said that since gays want to marry same sex, then the law is not equal. How can you argue then that polygamists aren’t discriminated against? Kennedy says that whatever desire you have to marry, society has to change the laws to meet that.

  6. If the host allows an off-topic item, you folks should read the St Paul paper article on the warehouse tax. Includes this note:
    “Stephen Lawrence, president and CEO of Lawrence Transportation Services in Red Wing, said a 6.5 percent sales tax on his company’s services would put them at a competitive disadvantage with firms in neighboring states, none of which has a warehousing tax. He said his business is considering building facilities in Wisconsin. Red Wing Shoe Co. has put “on hold” plans to build a $20 million distribution center in Red Wing because of concerns about the new tax”

    And to show the attitude of Minnesota Democrats……in the comments, someone tells the businesses to go leave the state if they don’t like high taxes. He meant it in a good riddence sort of way.

  7. Our society is falling at mach speed into the abyss of moral decadence. Damn them to hell the ones that are taking us there.

  8. It will be interesting to get the take of those who are pro-homosexual marriage on the inevetiable polygamay issue. The maneuvering, wiggling, and double-triple talk will really be interesting. While intellectually they will have to support it, it will likely end in a “Because I said so” type response, more quadruple talk, or the usual name-calling.

    I suspect that age of consent will stay the same as there is no real way to qualitatively overcome a quantitative (age) standard. “Love and equality” chants can lull the dull, but it’s really hard to romanticise “I am carnally attracted to children.”

    Of course, if the pedophile voting block can pony up enough money or votes at a convenient time, I know someone who’d be about due to evolve again.

  9. There was an interesting point made in an essay in, I believe, First Things. The point was that our friends on the Left believe that mankind is an animal. A creation of nature and natural laws, and nothing else.
    Yet alone in nature it views mankind as less than perfect. They don’t think of horseshoe crabs, or leopards, or whatever, as deeply flawed and in need of correction. But they do think of people that way.
    It’s not completely a phenomenon of the Left. The Libertarian Right, and the ‘post-humanists’ also believe that we are not quite suited to our nature.

  10. Pingback: LIVE AT FIVE: 06.28.13 : The Other McCain

  11. Vice and immorality is a subjective concept, and most people in advanced nations no longer consider homosexuality immoral or a vice, but rather an innate characteristic of a sizable minority. I realize you don’t agree, but a broad consensus continues to grow opposed to your thinking on the subject. Society collectively hasn’t changed our minds on most other acts traditionally considered immoral, so we’re not going to change those laws.

    Marriage is worth rewarding with tax and survivor benefits because it is a good bargain for society. Marriage partners provide child and elder care in return for tax benefits worth much less. But we don’t extend those survivor benefits to the children. Children are the default beneficiaries of an estate, but the estate can be directed wherever the deceased wished, and the state reserves the right to tax that estate. It is key that both partners in a marriage eventually die. If we allowed groups to marry, fresh blood could constantly be added to the ‘marriage’, including the children once they reached adulthood. Survivor and other tax benefits would allow wealth and power to accumulate in ‘married’ clans, some of which would rise in importance to challenge the power of the state. The nuclear family is a useful unit to the state because of its economic benefits, but also because its scope is limited and finite. Group families would see society revert to a more tribal or clan-based state, with terrible implications for individual rights and free markets.

  12. You seem to believe, Emery, that the political state is coterminous with ‘society’, that it has a unique competence to determine what is good for ‘society’ (rather than itself), and to act on those determinations.
    This is a strange thing to believe. It is not based on anything like evidence.

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