Polygamy

The Politics of Polygamy

Plural marriage meets the presidential race.

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McKay Coppins has a fascinating story in Buzzfeed on the politics of polygamy. The hook is that there are plural marriages in the recent family trees of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the most interesting parts of the piece involve the complicated allegiances of contemporary polygamists. Witness, for example, the left/right mosaic embraced by the Salt Lake man-of-many-wives Joe Darger, whose family

Alex Joseph, pictured here with nine wives and one baby, was the first member of the Libertarian Party to serve as the mayor of a town: Big Water, Utah, population 300.

strives for a sort of Christian wholesomeness that would seem to identify them with cultural conservatives. They hang placards with religious maxims on the walls, they abstain from alcohol, and they read scripture together as a family. They believe homosexuality is sinful, and they abhor abortion — earnestly bemoaning the absence of God in public life, and yearning for a return to "family values." In short, they live lives that even the most ardent Rick Santorum acolyte would approve of (with one obvious exception).

"We're about faith, family, and getting the government out of our lives," Darger said. "It's a quintessential conservative argument." Which is why it was so jarring when, about 20 minutes into the discussion he started dropping terms that were borrowed from another community that hasn't always gotten along with religious right: The gay rights movement.

"We made the decision as a family to come out," he said, at one point.

"All we want is our equal rights," he said, at another.

When finally asked whether he saw parallels between the gay marriage cause and his own, Darger didn't hesitate: "Definitely."

Gay rights advocates want nothing to do with the polygamists, having spent years batting down the right's argument that the freedom to marry could extend in unexpected directions. But to get polygamy decriminalized, Darger said he is modeling his strategy after the successes of that movement (which he supports on Constitutional principle).

This comment from Darger is pretty interesting too:

"We have an uneasy alignment with the traditional LDS Church," he said. "Traditionally, they have been the ones most easily wielding the bully stick. And so it's not like, 'Oh great a Mormon's coming to power.' Because Mormons in power have not necessarily been kind to us."

He's voting for Gary Johnson instead.

The article also discusses polygamy among African immigrants, plus "a deliberate shift toward polygamy in South Philadelphia's black Muslim community, where advocates say the lifestyle could effectively address common inner-city social ailments caused by children growing up without fathers." And I'm happy to hear about this burst of sanity out west:

From 1877. The caption says, "In Memoriam Brigham Young."

[W]hile Utah's strict anti-polygamy laws may have helped prove a point, experts say they also served to drive polygamist religious sects further underground, where malnutrition, incest, and child abuse regularly went unreported to the police.

The state began to change its tack in 2003, when Attorney General Mark Shurtleff implemented the "safety net" policy, urging polygamist whistle-blowers to come forward with crimes taking place in their communities, and promising not to prosecute otherwise law-abiding plural families. The new goal, said one state official, is for Utah polygamists to eventually function like the safest and most successful Amish communities in Pennsylvania: protected by organized society, but living mostly independent of it.

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  1. Vote for monogamy and other traditional American values, like freedom and free markets. Vote Gary Johnson

  2. They believe homosexuality is sinful

    Anyone wanna take bets as to what those sister wives are doing with each other?

    It seems to me that homophobia is almost always about where penises go.

    1. It should be called penisphobia. I have a rational fear of all penises that are not my own.

      1. Exophallophobia

      2. What about: Exophallophobia?

        1. Hating not having your penis in something? I suffer that too, every time I realize some hot young thing is a third of my age.

      3. I do not fear them, I pity them.

  3. Gay rights advocates want nothing to do with the polygamists, having spent years batting down the right’s argument that the freedom to marry could extend in unexpected directions. But to get polygamy decriminalized, Darger said he is modeling his strategy after the successes of that movement (which he supports on Constitutional principle).

    Equality for me, but not for thee. This is the biggest problem I have with the gay rights advocates.

    1. Yeah, it always weirds me out when talking to advocates of gay marriage, and I bring up my support of poly-marriages (I’m including both polygamy and polyandry).

      They act like I grew two heads.

      “BUT LOVE CAN ONLY EXIST BETWEEN 2 PEOPLE!”

      So… two people of the same gender.. totally natural. 3 people… abhorence against nature.

      1. Maybe it has something to do with conservatives screaming “What about polygamists!” as an objection to gay marriage.

        I’d distance myself from polygamy too.

        1. From the advocates I have spoken with, it is more “fuck em, let them fight for their own rights. But do not ask us to help.” Nothing to do with conservatives.

        2. I ask, “What about them?”, and then, since they typically (not invariably) bring up Biblical morality, I quote Scripture to them on polygamy. They don’t like losing a Biblical argument to a gay atheist, and they really, really don’t like being caught lying about their own holy book.

          1. They don’t like losing a Biblical argument to a gay atheist

            Losing a bout of nude Twister, on the other hand…

            1. Losing a bout of nude Twister…

              Impossible! Nobody loses at nude Twister!

              1. Sure they do: when they play it at the http://www.jezebel.com office party.

              2. Impossible! Nobody loses at nude Twister!

                Losing at nude twister is like not being able to get laid in France. It indicates a much bigger problem than the one actually cited.

        3. Or you could accept that it may set back your movement a generation but remain logically consistant and respond …

          “Yes, what about them, what argument have you got against either of us that does not boil down to you think it is icky”?

          Then deal with the idiotic attempts to equate the situation leading to child brides and beastiality by pointing out that Marriage remains a contract and no one anywhere is arguing to give either dogs or 12 years the right to engage in contracts which would bar them from being married in the first place.

          1. Everyone gets tired eventually. Every time someone calls me a Randian I could sit them down and explain the subtle interplay of Objectivism with my own beliefs or I can tell them “No, I’m not. And Rand hated libertarians.”

          2. Polygomy almost inevitably leads to child brides because damn few adult women would actually agree to it. And old men always find young girls attractive.

            There is always going to be the outliers. But generally, you cannot have widespread polygamy without oppressing the fuck out of women. Every society that has practiced it on a large scale has also been wildly misogynistic.

            1. That says nothing about whether or not marriage between multiple people above the age of consent should be legal. You’re just saying that such a framework hasn’t been put in place before.

              Also, should Hef’s marriage to a 20-something be legal? Your ickiness argument seems to say no.

              1. I am not making an ickyness argument. Hef can marry any adult he likes. But he cannot and should not be able to marry a child.

                And such a framework is in place all over the world. And every single place where it is is a society that is horribly oppressive to women. It is the only way for the framework to work.

                1. So you say that a legal arrangement between consenting adults should be illegal in the US because in other countries women have been oppressed by being forced into polygamous marriages?

                  Does not follow.

                  Of course the best answer is, as always, get the state out of the marriage business.

                2. And every single place where it is is a society that is horribly oppressive to women. It is the only way for the framework to work.

                  This means that we can safely let polygamy be legal, and as long as we make the age of consent for marriage 18 we don’t have to worry about it.

                  Because if adult women will never choose it, then it will be legal but no one will do it. Right?

                  1. I think that what Fluffy says is most likely. If plural marriage were legal for adults over 18, I still don’t think many people would do it. Most people (at least those who want to get married) do want to be with just one person (or can’t handle the jealousy problems of trying to be with more than one). I don’t see polygamy becoming a big problem if it is legalized. In any case, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, I don’t see how it is anyone’s business.

                  2. I totally agree fluffy.

            2. It’s been seriously proposed for African-American women, and not just Muslims, because of the shortage of suitable potential husbands. As for the “every society” argument, correlation — even if it exists, since monogamous societies have also been wildly misogynistic — does not equal causation.

              1. It doesn’t equal causation, but it is good evidence of causation.

                And show me a polygamous group in the US that hasn’t resorted to child brides?

                1. “child brides”…Which is illegal and nobody is arguing it shouldn’t be.

                  Also, legalizing alcohol will lead to underage drinking.

                  1. Also, legalizing alcohol will lead to underage drinking.

                    I lived in both Wet and Dry places as a kid. You think legalizing alcohol leads to underage drinking? You should see all the underage drinking in Dry places. And all the money a science geek can make as a kid.

            3. No, it does not lead to child brides.

              In fact child brides and polygamy are both caused be the same factor, namely poverty in a society where all wealth is concentrated in a small number of very wealthy men (ie something resembling feudalism)

              Basically you have a world where only a very few men can even support 1 wife but the ones who can can easily support dozens.

              As far as not being able to find very many adult women willing to live like that, I beg to differ I have met quite a few women who would be perfectly comfortable in that arrangement as long as the man was capable of supporting them all because they were more interested in having a family and being financially supported than having to sexually satisfy the guy whenever he wanted it.

              The real problem with Polygamy is what the hell do you do with the large numbers of young men who simply cannot find anyone to marry (or even sleep with).

              That said what do you do when it is not 1 man and 6 wives but 3 men and 3 women who want to get married coequally to each othet and form a household?

              1. “That said what do you do when it is not 1 man and 6 wives but 3 men and 3 women who want to get married coequally to each othet and form a household?”

                Leave them the fuck alone and let them figure out how it will work?

              2. Rasilio,

                I have the money to support multiple women. Can you please give my wife a phone call?

                I think the numbers are pretty small. Most women are pretty possessive.

        4. Yeah, sorry, disagree. You either have scrupples or you don’t.

          To put it another way, I’m not a big fan of the Civil Rights people who said, “Oh, blacks should be equal to whites legally… but don’t worry about interracial marriage!”

          One was the logical outgrowth from the other. Have the balls to actually stand up and be a moral person, not just “get yours” and screw others who could benefit from your crusade.

    2. Seriously. I would have a much more favorable opinion of them if they were not so willing to throw everyone under the bus because the actual logical conclusion of their battle is unrestricted marriage of any number of consenting adults.

    3. It’s never “Equality for me, but not for thee.” It’s special treatment for me because…

  4. I bet the young blond wife gets more than 11.1% of the lovin’.

    1. I’m a bit disappointed in that harem. I guess I can see how he managed to find that many women willing to share a guy.

  5. Whatever

  6. If there’s one thing I won’t stand for it’s people I don’t know in places I’ve never been doing things I don’t like.

    1. “There’s only two kinds of people I can’t stand: bigots and hom’sexuals!”

    2. How dare they!

    3. My personal preferences are an objective moral code bining on all of humanity. Plenty of people show that they think like this, but no one ever admits to it.

      1. *binding

        God hates people who don’t proofread.

        1. What* if ewe prooofreade, but donn’tt carre?#

  7. They hang placards with religious maxims on the walls

    You know who else …?

    1. (squints) Al Qaeda

      /Rumsfeld voice off

  8. Get the government out of the marriage business and the paying for people’s children business and let them call their private arrangement whatever they want.

    1. Get the government out of the marriage business and the paying for people’s children business and let them call their private arrangement whatever they want.

      This would be the best way to handle it, but unfortunately it will never happen. There are too many goodies tied up with gov recognized marriage.

    2. But, but, but if something is not defined, recognized and regulated by government, then it might as well not exist!

      1. That is just it isn’t it? If you can define it yourself and do it, which you clearly can, what the fuck do you care if the government recognizes it?

        1. But, but, but you can’t take someone to court for being intolerant!

          Tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance!

        2. See Ptah-Hotep at 11:08, final sentence.

          1. And that is a complete fucking myth. What goodies are tied up with marriage other than immigration?

            Outside of tradition or religious belief, there is not a single advantage to getting married. You pay higher taxes. You have to go to the court and get state permission to break up. You have have your government dictate your inheritance based on forced shares. You are immediately considered the father of your wife’s children even if they biologically not yours. You can be stuck paying alimony to a former spouse.

            There are no government goodies to being married. That is a complete lie that Libertarians tell themselves. I don’t know where it came from but it needs to fucking die.

            1. And that is a complete fucking myth. What goodies are tied up with marriage other than immigration?

              Really John? Look at the tax code sometime. Medical decisions, survivors rights, etc. These are the “goodies” I speak of, much more than just immigration.

              1. I will look at the tax code. The tax code fucks married couples. It is called the marriage penalty. A two income couple pays the rate of their combined income not their individual income.

                Survivor’s right is a burden not a benefit. It is the government telling you what you have to do with your property. If you are not married, you can make a will and divide your property up as you will. If you are married, you can’t do that. The government tells you what you can do with it. At best you are left with survivors rights to social security. BFD. We can add that to immigration. But that is a shitty tradeoff when you consider the other things you give up.

                The marriage is full of free goodies bullshit is the dumbest thing libertarians say.

                1. Survivors rights are keeping the assets you and your mate have built up during the time you were together without paying taxes on them when one or the other dies. Can a spouse be compelled to testify against another?

                  I did not say marriage was a good idea. I said there are “goodies*” in the law that apply only to legally married people. If you are going to have laws they should apply equally to all.

                  *goodies may not have been the best word to use, but there are certian benefits to being married from a legal standpoint.

                2. A two income couple pays the rate of their combined income not their individual income.

                  But they can always file separately, right? So wtf are you talking about?

                  Social Security survivor benefits? A widow can collect for the remainder of her life, even if she personally never worked. If it is the widow of an unrecognized lesbian marriage, she is shit out of luck. Single people can also not pass on this benefit. BFD? The “tax-penalty” is tiny compared to survivor benefits.

                  I don’t say anything like full of free goodies so you are positing your usual strawman, here. I say government has no business favoring ANY kind of personal relationships between adults.

                  1. Anytime SS comes up, John conveniently handwaves about it.

                  2. But other than tradition, social security, immigration, hospital visitation rights, and spousal privilege, what has marriage ever done for us?

                    My neck almost broke watching the goalposts shift from “complete fucking myth” to “OK, there are a few things, but they don’t matter, and they don’t outweigh the negatives.”

                    1. But other than tradition, social security, immigration, hospital visitation rights, and spousal privilege, what has marriage ever done for us?

                      There are these.

                    2. There are these.

                      Yeah, but what about the aqueduct?

              2. Ptah, I can assure you with a very high degree of confidence that there are no medical decision-making rights that are exclusive to spouses.

                In fact, the ultimate trump card for medical decision-making is the medical power of attorney, which will override even a spouse, and in which you can name anyone you damn well please.

                I’m not sure what you mean by survivor’s rights. In the property realm, you can have joint title with anyone (not just your spouse), and on your death they become the owner. I’m not an estate tax expert, but I believe that any property held this way transfers outside of the estate and thus free of taxation (could be wrong on this); regardless, its not a right that is exclusive to spouses.

                1. RC, if there is no medical power of attorney, who makes the decisions? It was always my understanding that the spouse that had final say.

                  As far as estates:

                  Marital Deduction: One of the primary deductions for married decedents is the Marital Deduction. All property that is included in the gross estate and passes to the surviving spouse is eligible for the marital deduction. The property must pass “outright.” In some cases, certain life estates also qualify for the marital deduction. IRS Form 706

              3. Spousal privilege in not having to testify against one’s spouse.

            2. Untaxed health insurance benefits from work. That’s why I’m married.

        3. What is the legal status of polygamy in the US? I know it’s illegal to enter into a state-licensed marriage with more than one partner. But what if you just live with a bunch of people and all consider yourself married and don’t give a fuck about getting it state-sanctioned? Will you be fucked with?

          1. As long as they are all adults, no. There is no law that says multiple adults can’t live together and fuck and do whatever they like. You couldn’t “hold yourself out as married” which basically means you can’t put a sign up in the yard “polygamous compound here”.

            As I said, you have to be a pretty big moron to get prosecuted. And indeed, the polygamy cults are always caught for child abuse and such.

            1. Actually, I think most of the prosecutions are for welfare fraud. They just don’t make fur lurid media expose’s.

          2. As John has said, you can legally have any legal or romantic relationships and agreements you like and pretty much no one will mess with you with a few exceptions.

            1) If you have kids, you are walking on very dangerous grounds, especially if you live in the bible belt. While it usually doesn’t happen all it really takes is a single teacher who thinks your lifestyle is icky and a social worker who believes it is abberent and therefore a threat to the child(ren) and you are looking at a world of trouble.

            2) If you are medically incapacitated or killed. While R C Dean tried to throw up the Medical power of attourney bit, it is nowhere near as binding as he seems to think it is and legally recognized family members have successfully gotten them thrown out and taken over decision making authority. So you could be in a nice situation where your “wive(s)/husband(s)” are barred from even visting you in the hospital while their parents who abhorr your lifestyle have usurped your decision making authority.

            1. 3) Living arrangements. Believe it or not there are laws on the books which could make it VERY difficult to find somewhere you could legally live. The laws were not created because of Poligamy or any other multiple marriage reasons but they bar more than n non related adults from living together under the same roof. There is also the fair housing act which actually requires a minimum number of bedrooms per person be present before a landlord is allowed to rent to you which could present a problem depending on specifics of the situation (for example, 1 man, 3 wives and 6 kids cannot legally rent less than a 5 bedroom house but good luck finding one of those which is remotely affordable)

          3. As John has said, you can legally have any legal or romantic relationships and agreements you like and pretty much no one will mess with you with a few exceptions.

            1) If you have kids, you are walking on very dangerous grounds, especially if you live in the bible belt. While it usually doesn’t happen all it really takes is a single teacher who thinks your lifestyle is icky and a social worker who believes it is abberent and therefore a threat to the child(ren) and you are looking at a world of trouble.

            2) If you are medically incapacitated or killed. While R C Dean tried to throw up the Medical power of attourney bit, it is nowhere near as binding as he seems to think it is and legally recognized family members have successfully gotten them thrown out and taken over decision making authority. So you could be in a nice situation where your “wive(s)/husband(s)” are barred from even visting you in the hospital while their parents who abhorr your lifestyle have usurped your decision making authority.

            1. Here’s a new one for the squirrels: I refreshed and found this over-lenght comment, in full (there’s a #3 coming!), in the preview box at the bottom of the page!

              1. The squirrels were going to let me post it as me for some reasons.

          4. As John has said, you can legally have any legal or romantic relationships and agreements you like and pretty much no one will mess with you with a few exceptions.

            1) If you have kids, you are walking on very dangerous grounds, especially if you live in the bible belt. While it usually doesn’t happen all it really takes is a single teacher who thinks your lifestyle is icky and a social worker who believes it is abberent and therefore a threat to the child(ren) and you are looking at a world of trouble.

            2) If you are medically incapacitated or killed. While R C Dean tried to throw up the Medical power of attourney bit, it is nowhere near as binding as he seems to think it is and legally recognized family members have successfully gotten them thrown out and taken over decision making authority. So you could be in a nice situation where your “wive(s)/husband(s)” are barred from even visting you in the hospital while their parents who abhorr your lifestyle have usurped your decision making authority.

    3. They can do that now. You have to be a fucking moron to get prosecuted under polygamy laws. There is nothing that says you can’t live with ten women and bang every one of them.

      And I will make this point every time. Unless you want to stop enforcing contracts, the government will always be in the marriage business. You just want to do it by contract law rather than by fiat in the form of marriage and family law.

      “Getting the government out of the marriage business” solves nothing and just shifts the debate to contract law rather than family law.

      1. “Getting the government out of the marriage business” solves nothing and just shifts the debate to contract law rather than family law.

        Which is what should happen. The gov should only concern itself with contracts, not families. The only time the gov should become involved with families is if there are aggressions against someone.

        1. But the effect of that is zilch. You still have the same debate. I could set up a contract law system that declared polygamous and gay marriage contracts against public policy and unenforceable. And even Libertarians would agree that contracts signed by minors or under coercion should be enforced. So it is not like every contract is enforceable. So we are right back to having the same debates we are having now.

          And the other problem is you have children. And unless you want to go to the old Roman system where children are the property of their parents, children have their own interests and can’t represent them so the state has to. And once again we are debating what contracts are and are not allowed.

          Libertarians are just amazingly thick headed about this stuff. Going to a contract system solves none of the debates.

          1. And even Libertarians would agree that contracts signed by minors or under coercion should be enforced.

            Er, what?

            1. Not be enforceable. Even libertarians would agree that some contracts are not enforceable.

              My mistake.

              1. Even libertarians would agree that some contracts are not enforceable.

                Right. When there is duress involved or when one or more of the parties lacks capacity.

                What does that have to do with civil unions for all?

                1. Because we have the same debate. Who gets to have a civil union? Libertarians say everyone. Others say only straight couples. It doesn’t settle the debate. It just changes its venue.

                  1. Who gets to have a civil union?

                    People who want to enter into the contract who are not under duress and who have capacity.

                    Same as any other contract.

                    1. Sarcasmic,

                      You are just saying “if the other side would agree with me the debate would be over”. Sure. But so what?

          2. I could set up a contract law system that declared polygamous and gay marriage contracts against public policy and unenforceable.

            If you were to do that, then yes, we would be right were we are now. But if you say all contracts entered into by consenting adults lawful, the problem disappears.

            As far as children, as long as the children are not being aggressed against, then the state has no business getting involved. If they are aggressed against, then you have the same situation you have now with respect to violations against someone. The state steps in and prosecutes.

            By making it a simple contract rather than a “religious” contract, you take away that objection.

            1. But if you say all contracts entered into by consenting adults lawful, the problem disappears.

              Well yeah, if everyone would just agree with you the problem disappears. No kidding. But if everyone would just agree that all marriages entered into by adults are valid, the problem also disappears. We are having the same debate, just changing the terms.

              1. We are having the same debate, just changing the terms.

                You’re moving the goalposts, Red Tony.

                The current “debate” (which is disingenuous anyway because the ones who want to redefine marriage claim it’s about legal protections but refuse any compromise that doesn’t include the word “marriage”) would end if the word “marriage” was take out of it.

            2. While John is right that you could declare polygamy/gay contracts against public policy and unenforceable, I think that this particular battlefield would be much more difficult for the SoCons to win on.

              Its free of the radioactive word “marriage”, and starts from a different and widely accepted premise (that contracts should be enforcable).

              Of course, the fact that it also doesn’t give the same social/governmental sanction/approval as “marriage” is exactly why the socons and the gay activists will reject it.

              They aren’t after legal equality; they are after the blessing of the Almighty State.

              1. While John is right that you could declare polygamy/gay contracts against public policy and unenforceable

                My problem with that talking point is that you can do that with any contract.

                “Your contract is premised on whites-only. Unenforceable”, for example, is something we do all the time.

                That doesn’t make it right.

          3. Going to a contract system solves none of the debates.

            It certainly would expose the fact that the arguments offered by the anti- side are baseless.

            What’s the argument against one man appointing another man his medical representative in a living will?

            It sure as hell can’t be that letting the man do that will somehow destroy civilization.

            If you reduce marriage to its contract elements you demysticize it. And the anti- side is completely invested in marriage’s mystical elements, so when you demysticize it you destroy their position.

      2. Well, considering that pretty much every non-get-the-gov-out-of-the-marriage-business argument always boils down to a semantic argument over the definition of marriage (because they don’t really have anything else), making the whole mess into a dispute about the issuing of contracts sounds like an improvement to me.

        1. But, but, but the contract is worthless unless it is called a “marriage”!

          So what if it would give equal legal protections to all the different groups of people involved?

          It’s not equality unless it’s “marriage”!

          1. It’s not equality unless it’s “marriage”!

            That’s the same argument on both sides, so it really doesn’t smear gay marriage advocates all that much.

            Civil unions for everyone, you get to call your civil union arrangement whatever you want.

            1. Civil unions for everyone, you get to call your civil union arrangement whatever you want.

              Personally I agree. But the SSM supporters will tell you that it isn’t true equality unless you can take someone to court for not calling it a “marriage”.

              1. Well, they are wrong. That we have shitty civil rights laws and courts that take nonsense as an argument isn’t an argument for not allowing SSM, it’s an argument to reform those laws.

                It a lot like those people who are all for ending the War on Drugs, but not until we dismantle the welfare state. They’ve placed an improbable condition on a basic natural right to control your body. It’s like getting a green tax credit for agreeing to give up your car as soon as you can ride a unicorn to work.

                1. Well, they are wrong.

                  Not only are they wrong, they are dishonest, because their response to not wanting to redefine marriage is accusing the other party of opposing equivalent legal status, yet they refuse any equivalent legal status without the word.

                  1. So? That some people want something right for the wrong reasons is not an argument.

                    That they want to re-define “marriage” has the same weight with me as the camp that will resist any definition at all cost. Which is none. No weight.

                    The nomenclature war is a run-of-the-mill culture war on both sides. There is nothing at stake, and no one can really ever win it. Who cares?

                    1. They want to redefine “marriage” so they can haul people into court for holding different beliefs.

                      Not tolerating intolerance, and all that.

                      It’s about freedom of thought.

                  2. … is accusing the other party of opposing equivalent legal status…

                    The other side *does* oppose equivalent legal status. It’s specifically a plank in the GOP platform that they reject civil unions. It’s not just a homosexual agenda boogeyman.

        2. Not really. We just have the same debates. Are gay marriage contracts or polygamous contracts enforceable or against public policy? That is the same debate we are having now.

          1. Nope. Because unless you are solely motivated by bigotry, civil unions are a fine compromise. Of course, if we just called in incorporation, the social aspect evaporate completely.

            1. All you are saying SF is just agree with me and do it. Sure. I don’t have a problem with it. But so what? Some people do. That is the whole debate. Some people don’t want civil unions and consider them to be anything but a compromise. And civil unions is hardly getting the government out of marriage. It is just changing the forum.

              1. Some people want to put me in jail for smoking pot. I seriously don’t give a single fuck about what they think as long as they can’t force it on me.

                That some people want to deny civil unions is not a reason to not have them. My relationships, actions, and thoughts aren’t not required to please everyone else.

                1. SF,

                  My point is that you don’t want to get the government out of marriage anymore than the anti- gay marriage people do. You just want the government enforcing something called civil unions rather than marriage. Good for you. But don’t pretend you want the government out of marriage.

                  1. Since so much of the arguments is over the definition of marriage, then shifting the debate doesn’t mean I don’t want the government out of marriage. I’d like them out of the civil union business as well, but that seems to be something a huge number of people aren’t willing to give up.

                    “Civil unions” are a compromise between keeping marriage defined as something that it has only been for a very narrow slice of time in the grand sweep of history or allowing anyone to incorporate in away they please. Or not incorporate and live however they want as well.

                    1. I’d like them out of the civil union business as well,

                      How would they do that? At some point people are going to break up. At some point people are going to fight over kids and property and such. And that is going to end up in court. And we are going to be right back where we started.

                    2. Well, either you accept that we have to have some sort of socially defined union of two people for the purposes of co-habitation or you don’t. Those arrangements can be spelled out in contracts other than a “marriage contact/civil union contract.”

                      Marriage/CV law is just a sub-set of contract law, there’s not reason is can’t be totally subsumed.

                    3. Marriage/CV law is just a sub-set of contract law, there’s not reason is can’t be totally subsumed.

                      Wow. Can I get a slow clap for that sentence?

                      Marriage/CV law is just a sub-set of contract law, there’s no reason it can’t be totally subsumed.

            2. We have so many serious incursions on our freedoms these days that it absolutely flabbergasts me that so many people want to fight over whether gays can have the honor of getting the official government stamp of “married.” Really? That’s the fight we’re going to focus on while the government destroys what’s left of our freedoms?

              1. Because being able to express all my sexual behavior and preferences without anybody being offended is the most important thing in the world!

                1. Because being able to express all my sexual behavior and preferences without anybody being offended while being able to sue anyone who is offended is the most important thing in the world!

                  ftfy

                  1. Then get rid of public accomodations discrimination law.

                    1. I can’t abide single “m” accommodators.

      3. Unless you want to stop enforcing contracts, the government will always be in the marriage business.

        And, using that definition, government will always be in the landscaping business or any other business that involves contracts and lawsuits.

        Fallacy of equivocation, imo.

        1. Red Tony likes fallacies.

        2. That is a bullshit analogy. Marriage is nothing but form of a contract. The government doesn’t go out and participate in marriage. It just recognizes certain arrangements.

          1. Sets and subsets.

            The term “marriage” is the subset of civil unions that involve two people of the opposite gender.

            The SSM crowd want the term “marriage” to apply to all civil unions, effectively making the term “marriage” meaningless.

            I don’t think it’s the role of government to put force behind semantics, but that’s just me.

          2. Marriage is nothing but form of a contract. The government doesn’t go out and participate in marriage. It just recognizes certain arrangements.

            Exactly. Which is why it is bullshit to say the government is “in the marriage business” if all it is doing is enforcing contracts which happen to relate to marriage just the same as it is enforcing contracts which happen to relate to landscaping or professional services or anything else.

            1. if all it is doing is enforcing contracts which happen to relate to marriage

              That is effectively all it does now. You guys just don’t like how it does it and thinks that if you just call it a “contract” rather than a “marriage” things will be all better. No they really won’t be. You will just be fighting the same battles over contracts that you are fighting over marriage now.

              1. That is effectively all it does now.

                If you think the government says I can only have one landscaper, or that the landscaper must be a member of a particular group, or that it will not recognize my contract with a landscaper if it fails those requirements, I submit that you are mistaken. You are also mistaken if you believe the government doesn’t impose such restrictions on marriage.

                1. Mohawk is right.

                  John is effectively arguing that atomizing marriage into its contract elements won’t solve the problem because his side would just begin comprehensively discriminating with regard to what contracts will be enforceable.

                  Um…good luck with that, bro.

                  1. Are you retarded fluffy. You don’t think the government can’t and won’t comprehensively discriminating in contract? WTF do you think licensing laws and monopoly and child labor laws are you half wit? Government could ban gay marriage contracts just as easily as they ban gay marriage.

              2. John, the point is that with marriage licenses, the government is determining the terms of the contract for the people involved. All we’re saying is let people decide the terms of the contract themselves, rather than having to get a license from the government

                1. Calidissent,

                  The contract is only good if you can enforce it in court. You can sign whatever contract you want right now. The only issue is can you enforce it in court if one of you breaks it.

      4. There is nothing that says you can’t live with ten women and bang every one of them.

        Uh…in the state where I live cohabitation by opposite-sex, unrelated people is illegal and my understanding is that many states have these laws. Surprised you don’t know this (not really, but pro forma).

        Now, I will grant that it’s probably unenforceable post-Lawrence.

        Also, this leads to the perverse situation where hetero cohabitors are forced into common-law marriage if they illegally cohabit.

        1. Hetero couples have been forced into common law marriage for years and also into defacto marriage through palimony laws. And guess what, gays are buying all of that bullshit with gay marriage.

          In all seriousness, gays are absolutely nuts to want marriage given the state of our family law in this country. You really want to be subjected to a palimony suit because you let a gay friend sleep on your couch for a few years Tonio? You really want to be paying alimony to the next boyfriend you have?

          I am being completely serious when I say that gays are better off without marriage. The only reason I got married is because the person I wanted to marry insisted on it.

  9. Don’t forget to attend the multi-partner “fuck-in” at Chick-Fil-A to protest their bigoted stance against polygamy!

    1. Why, yes, the discomfort of monogamous SoCons with their Mormon allies is rather delicious to watch.

      [passes popcorn bowl]

      1. Stop destroying America, Tonio.

  10. What is the point of polygamy if your wives all end up to be butch looking lesbians?

    1. Few women who have a choice would choose to be polygamous. That is why these religious sects always end up marrying off children. Get them married before they are old enough to object.

    2. you won’t have to do all the woodchopping?

  11. I shudder to think how much money that household spends to heat water.

  12. Gay rights advocates want nothing to do with the polygamists, having spent years batting down the right’s argument that the freedom to marry could extend in unexpected directions.

    That’s a pretty broad, shaky, and notably unsourced, claim that McKay Coppins is making. IOW, “citation needed.” Sure, I’ll grant that the majority of those advocating for marriage equality for same sex couples just wish the poly people would go away, and for the reason that Coppins mentioned.

    However there are many of us who have the libertarian sensibilities and intellectual honesty to realize that we can’t advocate for same-sex marriage without also advocating for poly marriage.

    So enjoy kicking the stuffing out of that straw man, guys.

    1. Andrew Sullivan for example swears up and down that gay marriage does not and cannot equal polygamy. I don’t doubt your integrity on this issue Tonio. But my sense is you are in the minority on this.

      1. And I know that. Acutely. Thanks for brightening my day (both you and Sug).

        1. Tonio you were the normal person I was harassing Tony about the other day. Yes, not all gay people or even most are like Tony, thank God.

      2. And I know that. Acutely. Thanks for brightening my day (both you and Sug).

    2. many of us who have the libertarian sensibilities and intellectual honesty to realize that we can’t advocate for same-sex marriage without also advocating for poly marriage.

      I think it’s the utilitarian streak–even among some libertarians. There’s a group that’s always trying to calculate what’s best for society–and if the freedom to gay marry is a net positive and the freedom to marry multiple wives somehow is a net negative? Then one’s okay and the other one isn’t.

      Even among gay marriage supporters, they talk about how children who are adopted by gay couples are better off than children who are left to twist in the foster care system. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to work that way for children in polygamous marriage–especially when you add in that they’re supposedly married off at a young age in polygamous systems…

      Anyway, I’m one of those nuts who thinks freedom is qualitatively better than the alternative. I’d support the freedom to bear arms, and the freedom to smoke cannabis, etc.–regardless of whether they were in society’s best interests.

      Once people accept that neither people nor their rights exist for society’s convenience, it gets a lot easier to see that using the government to discriminate against same-sex couples and using the government to discriminate against polygamous marriages is the same thing, but there are a lot of people out there who are hostile to the idea that our rights don’t exist for the rest of society’s convenience.

    3. Google “gay marriage slippery slope polygamy”. Mixed in with the socons arguing that it is, indeed, a slippery slope, you will find plenty of people arguing that it is not and, by extension, that polygamy should not be legalized.

      1. I’ve heard “It’s not a slippery slope!” a whole lot more than not. And there’s no way I’m buying that a significant minority of gays are libertarian in any real sense.

        1. [Squirrels, please let this one through.]

          And there’s no way I’m buying that a significant minority of gays are libertarian in any real sense.

          OK, I haven’t seen any numbers (too busy to look up) on percentage of libertarians either in the general population, or in the GLBT population, but can we agree that the percentage of gay libertarians corresponds with the percentage of libertarians in the general population.

          We are often overshadowed by the numerically superior gay lefties who get the most media attention, but we’re out there.

          1. Interestingly, many of you are Objectivists.

          2. Well, naturally I accept that. Welcome to the most disgusting minority of them all!

      2. I only say that it is a slippery slope to polygamy because it’s true. I am not saying it, however, like that’s a bad thing.

        1. This is where I am. I personally think polygamy is nuts, but if consenting adults want to do it, so what? Obviously, this business of forcing little girls into these relationships isn’t okay.

  13. I’m all for individual liberty, but polygamy runs up against the biology problem.

    Births are about 50/50 male/female, and when high-status men start taking multiple wives, other men are deprived of potential partners. Marriage tends to civilize young men, and when you have a bunch of them still single with little chance to find a bride, that leads to trouble in society.

    And don’t counter “but, but polyandry.” It’s rare.

    1. “I’m all for individual liberty, but polygamy runs up against the biology problem.”

      Yeah, there’s no biology problem at all with gay sex. In the words of advice from Early Cuyler to Rusty(Squidbillies) “don’t forget that sex happens in the butt”

      1. don’t forget that sex happens in the butt

        It does? I thought it happens in the bathroom at the club. Or in your Mom’s bedroom.

    2. I’m all for individual liberty, but…

      No you’re not.

      1. So when powerful elite males in a community start bogarting all the females, that has no impact on any other men?

        1. WTF country do you live in dude? “Bogating” all the females? I mean yeah, Clooney and Pitt and a bunch of CEOs could, if they even wanted to find a bunch of gold-diggers to group-marry them. But you really think this would be a large scale problem in the US? 21st century American women, of their own free will, choosing en masse to live in a 1 male-many female marriage?

          We’re not talking about making it mandatory, sheesh. It will always be a tiny minority as long as no coercion is involved, which would, of course, remain illegal.

          1. It will always be a tiny minority as long as no coercion is involved,

            1. Polygamy is part and parcel of coercion. It’s endemic in the religions that endorse it, because young women are seen as a product their families or religious leaders can give away for political or economic reasons. Saying “polygamy is fine, just no coercion” is like saying “you may roam at free, hungry dingos, just don’t eat any babies–that’s illegal.”

            2. Overall national impact, not that much, sure. But polygamy often occurs in communities, and in these communities it certainly does upset the balance of single men to available women. Why should we allow those young men to be treated like shit?

            1. albo, you are making a utilitarian argument that people living how they want is a bad idea. You aren’t going to get very far with that in libertarian circles.

              Additionally, one-man/one-woman marriage was a deeply misogynistic system for thousands of years, and is still one in many parts of the world now. Should be ban 1-1 marriage as well?

            2. Polygamy is part and parcel of coercion. It’s endemic in the religions that endorse it, because young women are seen as a product their families or religious leaders can give away for political or economic reasons.

              Not all polygamy, and therefore you may not* indulge in group punishment because of a few bad actors

              * IAW standard libertarianism

            3. Sure.

              Too bad.

              Right now if you’re a young guy and nobody wants to marry you, what’s your recourse? None.

              Tough shit.

              “Other people should have their choices restricted, so that one of them will fuck me out of desperation” – this argument doesn’t exactly bowl me over.

        2. “So when powerful elite males in a community start bogarting all the females”

          Those poor weak females being bogarted is definitely a problem we must face.

          1. “Hey, it’s my turn with the female! Stop hogging all the female!”

    3. I don’t see any biology problem. A man can get all five of his poly-wives pregnant, can’t he?

      In fact, polygamy is a pretty common arrangement amongst pack animals. The alpha male gets all the chicks.

      What you’re talking about isn’t a biological problem with polygamy, its a social problem.

    4. Actually the answer is not Polyandry but Polyamory which has about as many advocates and practicioners as Polygamy does. Polyamory solves that problem by having marriages with any number of men and any number of women involved in them.

      That said, if you trust in markets to solve other problems why would you not trust in markets to solve this one?

      Simply put in a free society (as opposed to a feudal one where wealth was legally restricted to a few powerful individuals) as the ratio of available females fell the “cost” attracting each additional one would rise to the point where no MAN would bother persuing multiple wives and the women would easily convince multiple men to share them.

      Just because polyandry has been rare on historical terms does not mean it is any less likely to occur in a free market setting, the reasons it was rare was simply because legally only men had status and women were historically just property. Remove those restrictions and free markets would solve all such issues.

    5. You’re perfectly correct of course-polygyny is by far the most common form of polygamy (and any proponent of evolutionary biology can explain why this is so) and the surplus of unmarriageable males is a problem that no advocate of polygamy has ever given a good answer to (other than to hell with them, which is essentially a refusal to take the problem seriously).

      You’re slightly incorrect about the biology though: there are about 104 males born for every 100 females, so there is a natural shortage of females to males in any given population. Now, there are studies that show that homosexuality if somewhat more prevalent in males (which moderates the problem somewhatt) and males are less likely to survive to adulthood, but even so a majority of those who would like to be married, but cannot find a partner are males. Polygyny would exacerbate that problem and polyandry is probably not workable for a variety of reasons.

      1. That’s great information to have in a conversation where people are advocating polygamy. Because in this one we are just saying that if you and willing others want to engage in polygamy, it’s none of the state’s business.

        1. Yes, fine-saying that people should be free to engage in polygamy is all well and good and is probably the correct position for those who value freedom above all else.

          That doesn’t mean that there won’t be negative consequences or that the results of a change in social policy won’t suck for a portion of the population. Is there some problem with bringing that out?

  14. What the fuck is an anti-polygamy law? As far as I know the situation is, you either have a state-sanctioned marriage or you don’t. Is it illegal in Utah to live with 10 women and call them your wives? Are people actually getting fraudulent marriage licenses?

    1. Yes. IIRC it was one of the requirements imposed by Congress before they would permit Utah to become a state.

    2. Some of them are. They also marry and then divorce so there is legal standing for each set of children by a wife. Utah also recognizes intent to live in a group marriage (even if you just live as a polyamous group without involving the state) as a crime, IIRC.

    3. No. And if you it is all consenting adults and you don’t otherwise break the law, you are not going to be caught or prosecuted. These people get into trouble because they can’t seem to stay within those boundaries.

      You are right. There is nothing to stop someone from living with multiple women and doing everything but go down and get a marriage license.

      1. I’m going to wager that more than one polygamous sect without marriage licenses has been outed and pursued by law enforcement,

        1. The state government of Utah did conduct sting operation to catch illegal polygamous families in the 1950’s, but after a backlash from across the country, backed off.

          IIRC most prosecutions these days arise out of welfare fraud, because a bunch of these guys marry more women and have more children than they can support.

          1. I’m still going to wager I can call the local Sheriff and get a legitimate case of polygamy investigated.

            1. There are still fundamentalist Mormon off-shoots, but they typically live in Colorado or Arizona near the Utah border. (Since Utah has much stricter laws). One ‘problem’ they have is excess capacity of boys, so they often kick them out of the house at age 14 or so.

              1. It is sick fucking shit. Libertarians really do live in a dream land. The reality of how this shit works is nothing like it is portrayed on the pages of reason.

                1. John, please find the post by anyone, let alone anything resembling a consensus, defending child-abusing sects, or advocting a situtaion where coersion of a person (of ANY age) into marriage is legal.

                  I’ll check back later.

                  Jesus, you know the discussion is about the right of consenting adults to be left alone in their relationships.

        2. I’m going to wager that more than one polygamous sect without marriage licenses has been outed and pursued by law enforcement,

          That’s exactly what happened in Texas a few years ago.

          1. There was no welfare fraud that I am aware of in that case, BTW.

            1. No but they were associated with a preacher who was being prosecuted for marrying off under age females and the raid was supposedly carried off in response to a tip that there were underaged brides present in that group.

              No actual evidence of such was ever actually found however and the anonymous tip seems to have been fraudulenty made by a State Social Worker iirc.

  15. What is the rhetorical fallacy called where you expect every one of your opponents to argument for something in the same way and in complete agreement with you in order to consider their argument valid?

    1. Argumentum ad missingverbium

      1. What’s Latin for “assrag”? Oh, yeah: Warticus Maxianusmus.

  16. OT: Warty’s real name is Mr Marcus!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ustry.html

    1. My surgeon did an amazing job on the negroplasty, didn’t he?

  17. I’m having trouble staying logged-in here again, so am going to stop trying to post on this thread. Will someone slide the squirrels a bag of peanuts or something?

  18. Also, although I’m supposed to be the anti-religious bigot here, I’d like to note that there’s a gigantic streak of “false consciousness” type thinking running through the anti-polygamy case.

    If a 16 year old girl gets knocked up by her boyfriend and thinks she will love him forever, the law is fine with her getting married.

    But if a 16 year old girl is convinced by her family or her religion that polygamy is awesome, that thought is automatically considered invalid and evidence of exploitation.

    Why? You’re either old enough to know what you want, or you aren’t. Wanting something because it’s part of your religion doesn’t seem to me to be per se automatically less valid than wanting it because you think you’re “in love”.

    1. You are incredibly naive or purposefully dishonest. The 16 year old girl in that situation isn’t making that decision in a vacuum. She is making that decision in a social structure where her entire family will disown her and kick her out or worse if she doesn’t marry the old man.

      I would love to live in fluffy world. I am sure it is a great place. But sadly the real world is a bit more complicated.

      1. John if you are going to advocate for freedom, you have to allow people to make choices you disagree with, without assuming that the only reason they would make that choice is “brainwashing” and therefore invalid. Using your logic, singular marriage should be illegal because the family can force the woman using social pressure into marrying someone she doesn’t want to. If an adult woman is legitimately forced into a marriage, whether polygamous or not, then something should be done about it. But to categorize a relationship as automatically coercive without knowing any of the details is bullshit

        1. The problem is that polygamy as currently practiced is nothing like regular marriage gay or straight. The people who practice it are overwhelmingly likely to engage in this kind of coercion. Fluffy refuses to admit to that reality.

          And yes, a 16 year old forced into any kind of marriage is not a valid marriage.

          1. As I suspected, you’re resorting to utilitarian reasoning. “Polygamous marriages are more likely to coerce, therefore all of them should be banned.” Kind of like “people are more likely to do ‘bad things’ if they’re on drugs, therefore drugs should be illegal.” And just as with drugs, the people you describe will be doing what they’re doing in either case. In both systems, yours and mine, coercing a woman into marriage would be illegal. The difference is that you also want to make it illegal for anyone to polygamously marry, which makes no sense.

      2. You are incredibly naive or purposefully dishonest.

        Those aren’t charges you should be flinging about, John.

        She is making that decision in a social structure where her entire family will disown her and kick her out or worse if she doesn’t marry the old man.

        And Fluffy never said she wasn’t. But you either have rights, or you don’t, and allowing free exercise of those rights doesn’t guarantee any particular outcome.

        And I’m not saying it’s not a problem, but I can’t see any remedy for this. Happy to have you make a concrete suggestion, instead of saying that rights are too dangerous because of externalities.

        And I’ve long wrestled with the problem of GLBTQ kids faced with the bad choices of pretending to be hetero, or facing expulsion from their SoCon families.

        1. That is a good example Tonio. If a evangelical group was in the habit of forcing teenagers to get married else they risk being gay, would you say society should do nothing? I wouldn’t.

          1. And the solution would be to go after people forcing others into marriage. Not making all heterosexual marriages illegal

          2. It’s more like this:

            If evangelicals preach at kids all day that being gay is evil, and some gay kid believes them and decides to suppress his gay desires, and he goes out and marries a woman –

            Is his marriage invalid?

            Did he “not really consent” to his marriage?

            I think he still consented to his marriage and is still has moral agency, even if I think his thought process was stupid, and even if I think the people who raised him were dumbasses. His parents get to tell him their beliefs, and he gets to decide if he believes them or not.

            And if his parents and community tell him they’ll shun him unless he pretends he’s not gay, his job is to tell them to go fuck themselves and shun away. And if he won’t step up and do that, his decision to knuckle under for their approval is itself an act of consent.

    2. Agreed. Once you start undercutting the intent of adults (or people legally able to make a decision) in order to deny them the exercise of their freedom you are starting down a very dangerous road.

      “Did you really mean to vote for Gary Johnson or did your scary mind-control ideology force you?”

      1. But pretending that every decision is made in a vacuum is just as dangerous. If we are declaring 16 to be adult now, fine. What do you do with these polygamous cults where they kick all of the teen age boys out on the street so the old men who run the place can marry the girls?

        Is this really the hill Libertarians want to die on? We have millions of people in prison over the drug war, a regulatory and surveillance state from hell and Libertarians are going to spend moral and political capital to protect the rights of old perverts to form cults and marry teenagers?

        1. Are you seriously arguing that libertarians spend more time arguing about polygamy than they do drugs, wars, civil liberties, the budget, etc? I know you love to lecture libertarians John, but at least be honest about it.

          1. I am not saying they spend more. I am saying they shouldn’t spend any. It is a dead loser issue, that affects few people and makes Libertarians look like nuts.

            1. This is the portion of the argument where John is losing, so instead of responding to the premises of the argument, he wants to back-slap and say “Hey, guys, this is all irrelevant anyway, so you all should just drop it, yannowutiamsayin?”

    3. This.

      It is one of the huge problems in statutory rape laws, it makes the automatic assumption that the “underaged” person is less capable of deciding for themselves with one person than they are with another and activities that 3 years later would logically be called “dating” are mysteriously transformed into the much more nefarious sounding term “grooming”.

      Ultimately for there to be any moral or logical consistancy you either need to remove the bright line definition of statutory rape and make the determination of whether this individual minor was capable of consenting part of any potential trial or you need to make ALL instances of sex below whatever bright line age you decide on a crime, regardless of the age of their sex partner.

      1. The problem is that we don’t know when a person is able to consent. It depends on the person. No question as some point they cannot consent. You would agree that an 8 year old cannot consent to sex with an adult right? So there is a line somewhere and it is impossible to define perfectly. So really the best we can do is set a line as best we can. We still need to be able to prosecute child rape. And as long as you make an exception for those close in age the only harm is you are making older people wait a couple of years to have sex with their teenage lovers. Not perfect but hardly much of a draw back.

        1. Sure, but if we set an age where people are judged able to consent, their reasons for consenting, in the absence of extortion by threat of violence, shouldn’t matter.

          Let’s use your example where the person’s whole family will shun them if they don’t get married. Well, in that case the person is just making the value judgment that they like their family and want to please them – and that’s every bit as valid a value judgment as “marrying for love” or what have you. What basis is there for saying otherwise?

          Let’s say some other person gets married because from a young age Crazy Preacher Dude has been telling them that if they don’t get married, they’ll go to hell. So what? Most other religions advise their practitioners that if they don’t behave a certain way they’ll go to hell. Believing such strictures and acting accordingly doesn’t vitiate consent. When we stop letting “regular” religious people teach their kids about morality and sin, come talk to me.

          People do stuff so other people will like them. People do stuff because someone else convinced them God wants them to do it. Oh noes!

        2. The problem is that we don’t know when a person is able to consent. It depends on the person. No question as some point they cannot consent. You would agree that an 8 year old cannot consent to sex with an adult right?

          Yes I even said as much in my post. As far as the 8 year old, I would argue that they are not capable of consenting to having sex with ANYONE so if an 8 year old is ever found to have engaged in sex that a rape investigation needs to be initiated regardless of the age of the other person. I also believe that this is the state of the law in many states, where there is a line below which it is always a crime regardless of the age of the other party.

          So there is a line somewhere and it is impossible to define perfectly. So really the best we can do is set a line as best we can. We still need to be able to prosecute child rape.

          Yes, but not only is that line impossible to define it occurs at different times for different people, however we can do far more than just draw a bright line and be done with it. As I said, we can make the determination of whether this individual at this point in their lives was capable of providing consent and integral part of the investigation/trial. Basically if you have sex with someone under N years you may be investigated and even arrested/tried for it but you can use as a positive defense proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) that they are mature enough to have consented.

        3. And as long as you make an exception for those close in age the only harm is you are making older people wait a couple of years to have sex with their teenage lovers.

          Actually no, we are doing MUCH more than that, you are making the younger person wait a few years as well, violating their rights “for their own protection” (something libertarians usually reject). You are also requiring people to get positive identification and proof of age for EVERYONE they meet who may possibly be too young because not knowing that she was only 16 is not a valid legal defense.

  19. John| 8.24.12 @ 1:06PM |#

    Rasilio,

    I have the money to support multiple women. Can you please give my wife a phone call?

    Sure, give me her number.

    FWIW, that phone call might not be about the topic you hope it would be about. 😀

  20. I actually know a woman who is “married” to two men. She is a retired dominatrix. She and her legal husband live together with a third, second husband. They all sleep in the same bed and own a house together.

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