Standby for New Orders: #Polygamy, Charge!
Standby for New Orders: #Polygamy, Charge!
What a week for conservatives! On edge about the gun rights debate again, wrestling with sincerely held beliefs about heritage and heterosexual unions, and trying to figure out where we’ll get the money to pay for other people’s stuff. It’s just exhausting! Why are we always under attack and on the defensive? Can’t we have a truce, or at least a ceasefire for Pete’s sake?
Well, no, no we can’t. And just to prove it, POTUS treated us to a colorful light show meant to symbolize love equality. The subliminal message, as it always is coming from this administration is, “I won.”
So what’s next on the battle plan? (Don’t even talk to me about Battle Flags!) Well, plural marriage advocates are launching their first visible sorties, and the wounded haven’t even managed to hobble off the field yet. Yesterday, the Supreme Court once again usurped the people, and declared a fundamental right to same sex marriage. Pundits say that most Americans are on board with this outcome, but also that most people seem to think it was all about two people loving each other, and only two people. What many gay rights advocates conveniently left out of the charge toward same sex marriage was the deeply held contradictory position that many don’t care about marriage at all, except to the extent that they want the entire concept destroyed. Listen to Masha Gesson, a lesbian activist who admits that: Gay marriage is a lie; fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what is going to happen when it gets legalized; that she thinks marriage as an institution should not exist; and, she can’t think of a good reason why a child can’t have five legal parents (of course, she has three children with five parents).
But before they go that far, and really frighten people, the next horizon is very clearly, and not in an exclusively fringey sort of way, the move to legitimizing and sanctioning polygamy, which includes polygyny (one man, multiple women), polyandry (one woman, multiple men), polyamory or conjoint marriage (multiple women and men). Because we know Progressives like to rename things to fool the low information voters, you should also be familiar with the term ethical nonmongamy as interchangeable with any of the above terms.
While the opinion in Obergefell v Hodges (the 103 page opinion is here) clearly stated it only applied to unions between two people, its reasoning can equally be applied to multiple partners that are in loving relationships. Justice Kennedy stated:
The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.
The overall theme of the opinion is about dignity, and what would make the number three or four, or more, any less dignified than two? The number two is arbitrary in that light, so it logically follows that this is the next thing to be challenged. There doesn’t seem to be much in the opinion that provides a bulwark against that conclusion.
Activist Fredrik Deboer agrees:
Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy . . . .
This is not an abstract issue. In Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissenting opinion, he remarks, “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.” As is often the case with critics of polygamy, he neglects to mention why this is a fate to be feared.
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley, who represented reality TV’s original polygamists on Big Love, the Browns, agrees that today’s decision coincides neatly with the future recognition of these multiple partner unions, while also paralleling Lawrence v. Taylor that struck down a Texas sodomy law.
[M]uch of the language of the majority clearly resonates with our arguments against the criminalization of private consensual relations. It also speaks to the stigma that is borne by families in being excluded in society. That is an even greater danger when your entire family is declared a criminal enterprise merely because the parents chose to cohabitate as a plural family.
He added, “The important thing though is to recognize that the question in our case is closer to the issue resolved by the Supreme Court ten years ago for gay couples in striking down the criminalization of homosexual relationships.”
Ross Douthat of the New York Times is more hesitant to say that polygamy is knocking on the door, but he acknowledges that any socially conservative culture is mostly dead, and that the original gay marriage advocates, who denounced mutations of marriage beyond two same sex people will have to ask themselves the basic question of, Why us, and not them?
Can a cultural left that believes in proliferating gender identities and Bruce Jenner’s essential womanhood draw the line, long-term, when a lesbian couple wants to include their baby’s biological father in their legal family, or when the child of polygamists stands up in court to say he wants his dad recognized as his mother’s legal spouse? Is a culture where prominent men routinely have multiple kids with multiple wives across multiple decades going to permanently deny marriage rights to people who want the same thing, except all at once?
Fredrik Deboer says, “They’re trapped, I suspect, in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage.” Sounds like Masha Gessen isn’t the only one who has recognized this.
The argument advanced by traditional marriage advocates was never a very strong one – that marriage should stay the same because it’s always been that way. That’s a simplification of course, but the development of the argument was never allowed to be made to the public. Enduring arguments cannot rest on that idea – how would we ever improve anything if we always fell back as a general principle, “Well that’s how we’ve always done it.” The only reason to keep doing what you’ve always done is because it is a good idea to do it that way. The state of heterosexual marriage today is certainly nothing to herald. The better argument that never really got succintly verbalized was that marriage should remain unchanged because the union was based on moral law, before it was ever recognized in statutory law. But since morals are brushed off as stuffy religious interference, it’s easy to see why most of the public thinks this is a great day in America.
If the speed at which same-sex marriage gained acceptance is any guide, we probably have about 10, maybe 15 years until ethical nonmonogamy is also passe. I lack the imagination to know what is the next item on their agenda. But by looking at this map, it appears as if the left is coordinating the pincer attack with Islam: as soon as we acquiesce to Sharia law, we’ll already have the polygamy rules established.
Where polygamy exists today is shown in black: