Friday, March 17, 2006

Three Ain't Always a Magic Number

Alan Stewart Carl has a great retort to Justin Gardner's case for polygamy based on a column by Katherine Kersten, a conservative columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She trots out the tired old argument that any approval of gay marriage would lead to polygamy.

Now, I know some gay men who are in polyarmous relationship and it works well. But I agree with Alan: most of these polygamous marriages are exploitative of women. Gay marriage is basically the same old, same old, just with two people of the same sex. In theory it might seem nice and wonderful, but in reality , for the most part, is not as nice.

Also, this doesn't help those of us are gay and want to be married at some point. The far right can use this to tell us that we are a threat and lead America down a path to Sodom. Middle America is trying to deal with gay marriage; it would be difficult if not impossible to get Americans to deal with guy who wants to marry three women.

I think, those who care about gay marriage needs to stay away from this polygamy trap.


Shay said...

The polygamy issue won't go away, especially since it is being considered in places like Canada and the Mormons here in USA are raising it as an issue in the aftermath of various gay marriage battles. And if one allows two people of the same sex to marry on the basis of freedom of choice and government should not intervene in consenting adults' lives, then one cannot logically bar three or four people from entering a marriage.

I support people's right to enter gay or polygamous marriages. If that is people's choice, then that is their choice. Gay rights supporters would do better to just be consistent in the message. Ducking the dodging the issue simply looks inconsistent.

Yogi 's World and Music said...

There appears to be more than one "special interest group" (if that's the label we want) who have something to gain by a favorable ruling on gay marriage.

However, the court can specify that a gay marriage ruling does not apply to polygamous or group situations. Then these other groups would have to fight their own battles in the courts.

I think that is the way to go. I think that allowing gay marriage does not necessarily increase the percentage of gay people in society, nor does it have any connection to other kinds of sexuality.

Scientific research tends to support the theory that a small percentage of any primate population will be gay, regardless of the social structure.

For those who haven't progressed to the 19th century yet (let alone the 21st) human beings are primates. Hello, Kansas??

So I say, let it be. No worries. Our society has real problems to solve. Gay rights isn't one of them. Give them their rights.

We have starving people, the environment, wars, and the educations of our children to worry about. These are actual issues that need solving.

That gay rights is even an issue reflects a deep psychosis in our society.

For the record, I'm hetero, but I have common sense. The fact that gays want to marry does not make me want to be gay, believe it or not. I don't see it as causing the downfall of western civilization.

Can we move on to the actual issues now?

plez... said...

Conservatives (i.e. Republicans) are a strange lot. They harp about individual responsibility, smaller governement, state's rights, ad nauseum. In the next breath, they are slobbering on about teaching abstinence (in the place of sex education), bigger government via tax breaks and incentives for the super rich, much bigger governement with the addition of the Department of Homeland Security, protecting the unborn by abridging abortion rights (with no regard for the welfare of these obviously unwanted children) and eliminating funding for stem cell research, and how gay marriage and polygamy will destroy the Traditional Family!

Supreme Court Justice Scalia (and his little buddy, Justice Thomas) want to codify and legislate ANYTHING that isn't expressly written into the Constitution along with how the government can strip your right to privacy (see Roe v. Wade). I know those two justices are salivating for the day that they can write the majority opinion for that one!

I still don't understand why anyone would be concerned with what other concenting adults are doing in the privacy of their homes. Maybe it's just me, but if you want to have a harem and you can find the requisite number of concubines who'd like to participate, more power to ya. I agree with Yogi, there are far more pressing issues that are tearing this country apart than the pursuit of personal (and possible hedonistic) freedoms.

dorsano said...

I don't see how recognizing two people who are committed to a monagmous relationship

leads to recognizing three or more people committed to a polygamous relationship

that sounds a lot like the "slippery slope" argument which is a logical fallacy (not logical).

Shay said...

It is not a slippery slope argument. Rather, it is those who argue for gay marriage but not for polygamy (or vice versa) who are illogical. Why should government sanction monogamy over polygamy, anymore than government should sanction heterosexual marriage over gay marriage? Both involve issues of freedom of choice of consenting adults. To argue one and not the other makes gay marriage supporters look inconsistent (polygamists point to the Bible in differentiating themselves from gay marriage; gay marriage does not have that argument). Not to mention that polygamists are leeching off gay marriage arguments, in the same way that gay marriage activists have leeched off the Civil Rights Movement when both should argue their case on their own merits re: freedom of choice and consenting adults.

dorsano said...

Why should government sanction monogamy over polygamy

That is a broader question

anymore than government should sanction heterosexual marriage over gay marriage?

but that last part doesn't follow logically.

The issue for the courts is equality under the law - given that the government does sanction monogamy it shouldn't discriminate based on sexual orientation (or religion or ethnicity or much else).

I'm not too keen on advocating for polygamy myself and I don't feel that advocating for equal treatment of same sex couples under the law compels me to do so.