Gay Marriage

The Case for Polygamy Begins; The Case for the Single Life Needed Too

It's past time the government stop treating the tax code as a tool for social engineering.



It's happening. Less than a week after the Supreme Court ruled that gays have the right to marry, the argument in favor of polygamy as the "next advance"(in the words of Fredrick DeBoer at Politico) in marriage equality is beginning to be deployed.

He writes:

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—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.

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. Polygamy today stands as a taboo just as strong as same-sex marriage was several decades ago—it's effectively only discussed as outdated jokes about Utah and Mormons, who banned the practice over 120 years ago.

Yet the moral reasoning behind society's rejection of polygamy remains just as uncomfortable and legally weak as same-sex marriage opposition was until recently.

As I wrote on Friday after the court's ruling, there may be more marriage equality today than there was yesterday, but there's still an untold number for whom marriage equality doesn't exist because of anti-polygamy laws on the books and because polygamists can't get marriage licenses.

DeBoer claims that because the moral reasoning against polygamy is close to the moral reasoning against gay marriage, which has been rejected, "progressives who reject the case for legal polygamy don't really appear to have their hearts in it." He writes:

They seem uncomfortable voicing their objections, clearly unused to being in the position of rejecting the appeals of those who would codify non-traditional relationships in law. They are, without exception, accepting of the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever sexual and romantic relationships they choose, but oppose the formal, legal recognition of those relationships. 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.

That's a charitable interpretation. If supporters of 'marriage equality' didn't want to include polygamy because it wasn't popular, that pragmatism could just as easily be classified as cowardice. Or it could be a case of lack of empathy. After all, it's been some decades since homosexuals were widely forced to keep their lifestyles totally underground, while polygamists are still forced to do so. If you don't know any polygamists, it's easier to buy into the moral panic being pushed about them.

Certainly, the arguments against polygamy as a logical extension of gay marriage recognition I found deployed by liberals didn't seem to lack heart, especially when they were responses to conservatives bringing up the slippery slope concern. Roberts' dissent included the mention of a marriage of three lesbians reported in The New York Post in his argument about "how much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage." Mark Stern at Slate called that the 'weirdest citation in Supreme Court history,' as if there were something wrong about three women getting married or hypothetically wanting government recognition, concluding that "if that's his best argument, no wonder he lost."

Here's an article from by Shanzeh Khurram, a California feminist, blithely allowing an gay marriage opponent's equation of polygamy to pedophilia stand. In its response to Friday's court ruling, Rolling Stone lumped the argument about gay marriage leading to polygamy in with the dissenters' arguments about unelected judges and procreation being the center of marriage as among the 'nastiest lines' from them. There are numerous examples of liberal rejection of polygamy as a respectable policy goal.

Liberals may eventually warm to polygamy and acknowledge it as a worthy civil rights goal, but they're certainly not doing it now, even as the power of polygamy to prevent gay marriage recognition is gone. They appear more interested in pushing for an end to tax breaks for churches that don't recognize gay marriage, something liberal supporters of gay marriage also generally insisted wouldn't happen if gay marriage were recognized. Perhaps they didn't have their heart in it on that argument.

In the 70s, libertarians were supportive of gay rights when the establishment still treated homosexuality like a psychological disorder. If the U.S. eventually recognizes polygamy the way it recognizes gay marriage, I believe that, too, will be because of early pushes by libertarians. After all, gay marriage has been legal in other countries for some time, but none has moved to legalize polygamy—those countries aren't as radically oriented toward personal freedom as the U.S. theoretically is.

At The Federalist, Sara Burrows explains how Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign opened her up to the idea of polyamory (polygamy before marriage). She argues gay marriage actually 'deepens' romantic inequality:

Government incentives for marriage—gay or straight—discriminate against single and polyamorous individuals. Part of the reason gay people are so exuberant about the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage—aside from the symbolism of wider cultural acceptance—is the bribes government gives people for committing to a lifetime of coupled monogamy.

From income-tax breaks to estate planning benefits to Social Security and insurance benefits to the right to make medical decisions for one's spouse, there are all kinds of carrots dangled in front of Americans as rewards for getting hitched. Instead of putting unmarried individuals on equal footing with married people, the government has chosen to appease the masses by blessing another category of monogamous couples with the privileges of marriage—those of the same sex.

Some of these 'carrots,' like estate planning benefits, can only apply to partnerships of two or more people. Many of them arise from a convoluted tax system being used as a tool of social engineering by politicians, and can be solved by simplifying the tax code and limiting the government's power to meddle in people's personal and romantic lives. Rand Paul's response to the gay marriage ruling was to reiterate the stance that government should get out of gay marriage. As Scott Shackford noted, Paul's response ought to have included concrete steps to getting there—Paul's own flat tax proposal, for example, which Paul didn't mention, could be one of those concrete steps.

Conservatives have argued recognition of gay marriage would undermine 'traditional marriage.' In The New York Times, Ross Douthat that while the court's family-centric decision on gay marriage actually strengthened the institution of marriage, wider social trends have reinforced the idea of people being 'free from marriage.' Talking Points Memo interpreted the traditional marriage argument this way:

It was never just about man-woman marriages. The tradition that is disappearing is the belief that marriage is a duty, especially for women. As Douthat argues, Americans are rejecting 'the old rules, its own hopes of joy and happiness to chase.'

Douthat isn't wrong on the facts, even if he's wrong on his assessment of them. It's true that women in modern society no longer feel like they have to be married to be granted entrance into adult society. Single women living by and supporting themselves is no longer considered scandalous. Marriage is, bit by bit, becoming more about a partnership between equals who choose each other for the purpose of love and happiness. Which means it's becoming less about giving men control over women's lives.

And if marriage is becoming more and more about choosing partnerships 'for the purpose of love and happiness,' then there's even less reason to support special benefits for marriage.

Love and happiness must be more powerful incentives than anything the government can offer. The government's sticks are far more powerful than its carrots and, outside of polygamy (and sex work*), the government doesn't particularly wield its sticks on the consensual romantic lives of adults anymore.

It would be an even more free, progressive society if the government didn't wield its carrots in the consensual romantic lives of adults anymore either, and stopped withholding benefits like being able to leave your property to your loved ones without the government taking a cut or allowing hospitals to allow you to choose which loved ones they can share medical information with or can be permitted to visit. And single people shouldn't be excluded from the government carrots of less taxes simply because they are not living the kind of lifestyle Justice Kennedy wants to acknowledge as being able to express "the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family."

*which, as was kindly pointed out to me, I unfortunately neglected to include originally.

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  1. Polygamy looked hawt in the 2012 movie Savages

    1. First post thanks to polygamous squirrels. Or maybe they are anti-polygamy

    2. I don’t know if the cost for having sex with blake lively is having sex with her and another guy, call me old fashioned but I would probably pass.

      1. also that movie was terrible.

      2. I don’t think you would have to actually bang the other dude. You would just be going boldly where that other dude has gone before. Depending on who gets seconds.

        1. +1 wobbly H

  2. It was inevitable at the outset. I don’t care about that anymore than I care about gay marriage, but if you supported the latter on equal protection grounds and because “love,” you’re pretty much going to have to support the former, too. What color will the White House be when the polygamy decision comes down?

  3. every conceivable collection on consenting adults

    let’s just get it over with so we can work on real problems.

  4. The only question that needs to be asked is “are all the parties consenting adults?”. Period. End.

    1. How can you consent without government blessing? I don’t understand.

  5. Let’s just allow consenting adults to enter into contracts with other consenting adults, provided that said contract doesn’t violate the rights of any 3rd parties. Why is that so hard for non-libertarians to understand?

    1. provided that said contract doesn’t violate the rights of any 3rd parties

      The first objection to this argument will involve children, guaranteed.

      1. fuck’m

        1. plopper, is that you?

        2. “The first objection to this argument will involve children, guaranteed.”

          That’s the argument against Josef Fritzl being allowed to marry.

      2. Its already been made – that we have a long tradition of family law describing how things will be done when a relationship breaks up that can be easily ported over to homosexual marriages but we would have to start from (near) scratch for polygamous marriages.

        Which ignores that current marriage law did not appear ex nihilo.

        And yesterday there was an article mentioned in the comments that listed 5 (shitty) reasons to oppose legal polygamy, one was that children in polygamous households fared poorly compared to those in two person marriages.

        But then again, children in single-parent households tend to fair poorly compared to two parent homes and no-one is talking about making single-parenthood illegal.

        Hell, this was once an argument against gay marriage also.

        1. Its already been made – that we have a long tradition of family law describing how things will be done when a relationship breaks up that can be easily ported over to homosexual marriages but we would have to start from (near) scratch for polygamous marriages.

          I think polygamist laws may be out of circulation, but there’s probably some ancient common law precedent to guide the matter since common law is itself derived from an ancient Germanic law system.

          As far as building it up from scratch, a good chunk of common law could apply and the rest can be taken from age old conventions in contract law. Statutory law, being the totally unmitigated disaster that it is, should have no place in this.

        2. This is exactly why recognizing marriages between 3 or more partners is going to be whole different ballgame than giving same sex marriage the same legal recognition as a marriage between 2 people.

          Case in point: A man with two wives passes away. One wife worked, while the other one stayed home had babies & raised the family. Now, the women decide to divorce. How do the courts deal with the division of assets in such a case?

          Same sex marriage was easy to include in our existing legal framework. I suppose the alternative is to require a contract for any marriage in writing, so that everyone knows upfront what the terms are. The lawyers will have a field day, of course.

          Ah, nvm… lawyers making money… it’s a done deal!

          1. They’re called judges. They’ll have to make a judgement. Also, a will could help resolve said predicament in a manner agreeable to all the consenting adults involved.

          2. But polygamy’s hardly ever construed as a marriage of 3 or more together. Rather, it’s a situation in which 1 person has a marriage w another person, & then marries yet another, etc. It’s about 1 person having 2 or more marriages, each w just 1 other person, at a time. Poly-gamy, multiple marriages.

            1. In the case you pose, the marriages dissolve once the husband died. The women were never married to each other, so they don’t need a divorce from each other.

              That’s not going to make the division of assets easier, but at least it doesn’t make it harder.

              1. Of course it would be possible for the 2 wives to also have married each other, producing 3 marriages, of which 2 would dissolve when the husband died.

    2. What’s this “consenting” shit?
      Who gets to decide?
      What about close relations? Brothers, sisters, parents/children?
      These are some of the other slippery slope arguments that will arise from this edict.
      You cannot prove that “love” is the driving force for marriage, because you can’t prove its existence.
      It was for good reason that States – and they still get to define all the other restrictions on who can marry – imposed their rules on who could, and could not, marry.
      Shouldn’t the oh, so, caring Anthony Kennedy have included those, also, since he has arbitrarily decided in the case of homosexuals, “all you need is love” – hat-tip to the Beatles.

  6. Great points!

  7. Look, count me out of your singles’ rights crusade.

    As some commenters have pointed out, I am single. And the jokers who profess concern over my “rights” because married people get certain benefits can just fuck off as far as I’m concerned.

    Marriage culture benefits me as a single person at least as much as it benefits married people. In fact, it benefits me more than them, because I get to reap the benefits without all the fuss about diapers, toilet seats and forgetting anniversaries. I get to enjoy the benefits of non-feral kids who don’t want to rob and stab me, a higher population of workers to pay me benefits in my old age, and basically a more stable society.

    In contrast, attacking marriage will make me increasingly vulnerable to criminals from fatherless households, government pension obligations becoming unsustainable for lack of workers to pay for them, crushing of religious freedom, etc., etc.

    So get out of here with your concern-trolling, or at least leave me out of it.

    1. Are you claiming there would be no marriage culture without the social engineering of the state?

      1. There was apparently no parenthood before the rise of the nation-state. All children were kicked out the hut as soon as they could walk on their own.

        1. Now I’m interested in your ideas.

        2. Forget the nation state. Civil marriage is only a couple hundred odd years old. Apparently before Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, England looked like the dystopia of A Clockwork Orange.

  8. And the point about polygamy is so freakin’ obvious there’s no point even commenting.

    1. …he says, in a comment.

      1. Yeah, OK, you got me.

    2. But it is different, because whether you have monogamy or polygamy legal, the meaning of marriage was the same. The prohib’n on polygamy’s a limitation on the number of marriages you can have at a time, not on their nature.

  9. It has occurred to me that as my wife and I get older and the government continues to destroy the economy and my retirement plans, that perhaps we should marry a younger couple to keep the income flowing in. I just have to figure out what us old coots have to offer to make the deal good for them too.

    1. Experience? Plus they get all your stuff when you die.

      1. and booze. I make really good booze.

      2. Like in France, where you rent an old person’s apartment and pay them in the form of a guaranteed pension, and in return get the apartment when they die.

        Except you don’t have to have sex with them. You may find that doesn’t sweeten the deal much for the young folks.

      1. The house has got to be a draw.

    2. we should marry a younger couple to keep the income flowing in.

      And thus another Line Marriage is born. /evil grin.

      Much of the tax code uses the death of both spouses as an event to trigger looting of their wealth, prevention of wealth concentration in the hands of a hereditary oligarchy.

      You thought the state’s opposition to gay marriage was implacable? Wait till you see their reaction to an expansion of permissible relationships that threatens their plunder.

      1. And thus another Line Marriage is born.

        So you marry your children, and no one ever pays inheritance taxes. 😉

        1. Why didn’t we ever think of that?

          /Spanish Hapsburgs

  10. There is a practical matter. The legal framework of Marriage is specifically constructed around two people. You can’t simply redefine “Spouse” as plural. You would need a whole new set of laws to deal with divided rights.

    So yes, people should be free to contract. But as there is no contract framework around polygamy, there is no contract that a polygamous union is being restricted from.

    1. No, the plural of spouse has already been defined:

      The plural of spouse is spice.
      — Time Enough For Love

    2. There’s already a contract framework for polygamy in Sharia law…just saying.

    3. People form partnerships with more than two partners all the time. It really isn’t all that complicated.

      1. I didn’t say it was complicated. I said, from the perspective of marriage, it doesn’t exist. Legalizing same sex marriage is trivial from a legal perspective because there’s no sex connotation to the word Spouse. But legalizing polygamy accomplishes nothing beyond being able to formally declare your polygamous relationship. You would not be afforded any immediate legal rights because there are no laws which would automatically accommodate plurality.

        1. There’s no automatic *number* associated with spouse either.

          There are a number of legal benefits that are automatically given to spouses – there’s no reason to not give those benefits to *multiple* spouses either.

    4. There was, at one time, no legal framework around two-person marriage either. All that stuff had to be built up piece by piece. Its a lot of work, but ‘its too hard’ is not a valid reason to not do it.

      And the current legal framework for two-person marriage provides an excellent starting point for expansion. There are basic legal axioms that are going to apply no matter how many are involved, they just need some tweaking.

      All the ‘benefits’ should mostly simply go way – no more social engineering.

      Or hell, simply change secular marriage into a form of non-profit corporation as far as finances, asset splitting, and group taxation goes.

  11. I was hoping this would bite some of the activists in the ass, and I’m thrilled it’s happened immediately.

    Yay for gay marriage. But the same does apply to those people who just want a polygamist life, you hateful bigots!

    1. It’s especially fun with the recent spotlight on transgenderism. For some people out there, the only way to prove you’re a decent human being is to celebrate gay marriage and the transgendered, but not those icky polygamists! Eww!

  12. How is government-sanctioned marriage even Constitutional? They encourage people to go through a religious ritual in order to get tax breaks and perks. Because they believe that married people are better citizens. What if the government decides that Baptists are better than most people and then offer tax breaks and incentives for anyone who gets Baptized? How would that be any different than their efforts to force us into marriage?

    1. Well marriage doesn’t have to be a religious ritual while baptism is. Not that I disagree about government involvement.

      1. I don’t understand how anyone can define marriage as anything but a religious ritual. It came from religion and just because the government now allows appointed officials to sign the paperwork doesn’t negate the fact that marriage is the union of two people (for now) for the rest of this life and eternity in the afterlife. I don’t believe in marriage and refuse to participate, so I must be punished with higher tax rates and bigger auto insurance bills. Utter bullshit.

        1. There’s two forms of marriage in the US – social and secular.

          The social marriage is performed according to your culture – in the US that’s predominately a religious ceremony, but that’s not the case everywhere – and the secular marriage is performed when you get the marriage license.

          If you’ve done the first, the state does not recognize that you’re married and if you’ve done the second your church does not recognize the marriage.

          The problem, IMO is that they both use the same term to mean very different things. None of the social/religious obligations that your church places on your marriage have any standing in secular law and none of the benefits/duties the law places on you can be modified by your church.

          Secular marriage should ‘officially’ be called ‘civil union’ – and *everyone* gets a ‘civil union license, gay or straight – and ‘marriage’ reserved for social/religious bonding.

          1. I was married by a JP. So, my wife and I have a civil union. We file our taxes “Married filing Jointly”.

            1. Yes – but the state still uses the term civil union and marriage interchangeably. They should be kept separate as they are two very different things.

          2. Agreed that secular marriage should have a different name than religious marriage. But in my home state of California, heterosexual couples (under the age of 60, or so) cannot get a Civil Union. It’s marriage, or nothing. How is that any way fair or equitable? But that’s moot because I despise the notion of the government granting permission and registering my personal relationship. It’s no one’s business but mine (and my partner’s) who I choose to spend my life with.

            1. I guess your partner has no interest in your retirement benefits if you kick off first…

        2. …and eternity in the afterlife.

          ‘Til death do us part. Christianity explicitly rejects marriages continuing into the afterlife in Matthew 22. Religions with reincarnation beliefs would have a hard time keeping the celestial record straight.

        3. Well my marriage is for the rest of this life but not the afterlife, because that doesn’t exist. And it has nothing to do with some government appointed official. Hell we used a secular “minister” licensed by one of those online “churches.”

          We also pay higher tax rates for being marriage, that can go both ways. I don’t see how our auto insurance rates are affected, and if they are how that has anything to do with the government and not some calculation by the insurance companies.

        4. No, it didn’t come from religion. Religions accommodated marriage, which pre-existed them.

          Marriage is probably pre-language & pre-human too.

          1. Marriage began right after humans realized what caused the birth of a child and noted that the mother was easily identified, but who the father was, without some form of monogamous relationship, was impossible to discern.
            Even back then, it was realized that both genders were important in the raising of offspring and such drastic measures as forcing a pair-bonding was required to ensure that it happened.
            This probably happened well before we had organized governments, most likely when humans lived in tribal societies.

    2. Why ask why?

  13. As a libertarian I have never advocated for gay rights, I only advocate for the human right to negative liberty. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

  14. Unlike same-sex marriage two weeks ago, which was simply not recognized, isn’t polygamy actually illegal most everywhere?

    1. All the more reason to change the law! Same-sex marriage has never been a crime (just not recognized by the government). Meanwhile, innocent polygamists are getting thrown in jail for the crime of loving too many women. Where are the SJWs now?

    2. Same sex marriages were illegal in the past. Some states made them illegal relatively recently (once it became apparent that this was a major issue).

      At least once state had made it illegal to try a run around by setting up contracts to simulate the benefits a spouse would get in a hetero-marriage.

      1. I suppose it depends on how you define marriage. I consider it at its base a private matter but I realize not everyone sees it that way.

      2. There is quite a difference between “illegal” as in “you will go to jail if you do it” and “illegal” as in “the government won’t issue you a license or recognize you in the way marriages we allow are”.
        I am curious as to which state “made it illegal to try a run around by setting up contracts to simulate the benefits a spouse would get in a hetero-marriage”?
        Wouldn’t that violate Article 1, Section 10 through a “Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts”?

  15. Liberals may eventually warm to polygamy and acknowledge it as a worthy civil rights goal, but they’re certainly not doing it now, even as the power of polygamy to prevent gay marriage recognition is gone. They appear more interested in pushing for an end to tax breaks for churches that don’t recognize gay marriage, something liberal supporters of gay marriage also generally insisted wouldn’t happen if gay marriage were recognized. Perhaps they didn’t have their heart in it on that argument.

    Its very likely that, with this and Gamergate, they’re getting a taste of what happens when ‘the enemy’ gets some control over the machine you’ve created to dominate the world.

  16. so which do we get rid of? the estate tax or the estate tax exemption? because you can’t have both and treat people equally.

    1. The estate tax of course.

      That’s not a hard decision. You’d get rid of that *right now* even without worrying about polygamy.

  17. “yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.”

    Duh. Gays are presumed to be Blue Tribe, polygamists are presumed to be deep dark Red Tribe. For the SSM movement to go mainstream, it had to beyond #Love (that’s just a secondhand emotion), into the more satisfying emotion of tribal dominance.

    Also, I wouldn’t be shocked if quite a few of those “same people” are jealous, already-married women. Gay marriage doesn’t affect them or their marriage, but polygamy theoretically might.

    1. That said, to be truly comparable to gay marriage, any polygamous arrangement would have to be consensual between all parties to the marriage, not just a guy unilaterally choosing to add a new wife while his old wife just has to deal. That’s more of a violation of an existing contract.

      1. Like a general partnership in business.

    2. Everybody always Talks about Polygamy, let’s not forget about Polyandry,

      1. The term “polygamy” refers to plural marriage. One man with multiple wives is “polygyny.” One woman with multiple husbands is “polyandry.”

  18. Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone,

    Resisting urge to not…strangle kittens…

  19. Perhaps they didn’t have their heart in it on that argument.

    Ed, baby. You new to this game?

  20. If the U.S. eventually recognizes polygamy the way it recognizes gay marriage, I believe that, too, will be because of early pushes by libertarians.

    Gay marriage is easy. Divorce law remains straightforward and unchanged.

    Polygamy changes that entire game. Probably not going to happen.

    1. Why not – the government *loves* them some lawmaking.

  21. there IS a major difference between polygamy and sodomy. The first has a long history amongst men, and has never been condemned by God in His word. Many of his most notable people were polygamists, and yet He never speaks ill of them nor of the practice. Paul, writing in the New Testamant, does restrict church leadership to those who are “the husband of but one wife”, not does not condemn polygamy outright.

    In multiple places, on the other hand, the Scritpure is not only very clear it is wholly unambiguous in its condemnation of sodomy and bestiality, plainly spelling that out in multiple passages in both Testamants. It goes as far as to prescribe the death penalty for sodomy, as it also does for adultery. (sex with someone ELSE’s wife). The creation account, and Jesus’ retelling of it as the origin and basis of marriage as between man and wife are also clearly prohibitive of homosexuality.

    So, no, they are NOT the same, or on the same basis, morally. In fact, they are completely opposite, one being outright condemned in every instance, the other being accepted as normal.

    But, under law in this country, I certainly DO find it amusing that the one practice accepted biblically is outlawed, whilst the other, soundly and repeatedly condemned, now finds “approval” under the newly made “law” pronounced by the nine hooh hahs in black pyjamas.

    1. That would be excellently argued – *if* we made laws in accordance with religious scripture.

      Or even if you were writing to a conservative audience.

      Unfortunately it sort of falls flat here.

    2. The fundamental flaw of polygamy is expressed in Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. Go back to original sources stood on its head (thank you Ray Bradbury) and you find one love Abraham for Sarah and all the consequent dysfunction inherent in the arrangement.

  22. Next, the Bill of Rights rights for single cells: the pursuit of happiness isn’t just for eukaryotes.

    1. Eukaryotes can be unicellular as well as multicellular. Protists are people too!

      1. True. & if you think marriage between humans is thorny, consider how tricky marriage is between 1-cell eucaryotes like many fungi, where when they marry they merge into a single cell. But they still had to have been of opposite mating type.

        Then consider marriage between procaryotes, where the female thereby has a sex change, becoming male.

  23. I was ritualistically denounced as the worst type of asshole in the known universe by a chorus of the commentariat going back years for saying most of these same things pretty much verbatim. I guess now that gay marriage is consummatum est, it’s safe to voice this opinion now. So thanks for that, Ed.

    1. Homosexuals cannot consummate a “redefined marriage”.
      The best that can be said is that they mutually masturbate, using tools, or orifices that were never, biologically, intended for such use.

  24. “Love Has No Limits”
    All human conduct has limits because we are, at base, animals not angels.

  25. I so wish I could buy polygamy futures. As soon as the first Federal court rules in favor of polygamy, every person who swore it would never happen owes me a buck.

  26. You are too presumptuous…that there will be a US when we reach that point of decline. Already the natural geographic divisions into separate countries, from 9 to 11 separate nations, is being discussed. I’ve dusted off my senior GIS project and hope to refine it into a tool for new progressive policy: a divorce of the US. The value systems are too alien from one another, the ties that bound us to one another are fading away.

    As the 88 year old woman I met when I was curious about the Northern Kentucky did when she was young and escaped from the vise in Eastern Europe caused by the man with the big mustache and the one with the little mustache, so to must we escape the dangers of a culture in decline.

  27. Polygamy has always been about male domination of powerless women, treated as chattel property.

    This inherently abusive aspect of polygamy is why the polygamy ban is defensible.

    Plus, the contract law problems of dealing with a group are intrinsically insolvable (like the 3 particle problem in Quantum mechanics.).

    It is appalling that the lawyers for Obergefell et all couldn’t see these facts in their defense, or this question wouldn’t even be coming up now.

    1. Polygamy has always been about male domination of powerless women

      Yeah, well, “violation is a synonym for intercourse”, so the same could be said about marriage generally.

      Plus, the contract law problems of dealing with a group are intrinsically insolvable

      Except in every other area of contract law, where they have been dealt with since the beginning of fucking time. If it were actually difficult, no business more complex than a sole proprietorship could exist, and no will could accommodate a family with more than 1 heir.

      This might literally be the dumbest thing ever posted on this topic, and we’re talking about an extensive volume of work.

      1. Business transactions (other than polygamy) do not impact family kinship (“who’s your daddy?”).

  28. An analog to the gay marriage vs plural marriage issue is legalizing marijuana vs legalizing all drugs. Many pot legalizers want other drugs legalized as well, but they won’t say so because it tars them as extremists and diminishes the liklihood of having legal pot. Just as the next step for marriage is likely to be plural marriage, the next step for drugs is likely to be ending prohibition, period. Both plural marriage and full legalization will depend on public perception of their merits.

  29. Why stop at polygamy? What about polyandry? Clans? Line marriage?

    Is our infantilized society only capable of thinking about marriage in terms of sex, which may be the least important aspect of marriage. In addition to continuing the species, fundamental advantages of marriage are companionship, care of children, conservation of capital.

    Robert Heinlein painted a futuristic picture of various forms and advantages of this institution in his 1966 classic “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. As usual, he was far ahead of his time, with a deep insight into human nature and society.

    1. So what you’re saying is you’d like to take your mother as a lover?

      (ref.: Lazarus Long & Maureen Johnson)

      1. Unlikely, since she’s been dead since 1959, when I was 5 years old.

        Aside from that irrelevant fact, you’re talking about a completely different book. Whazzup?

  30. After the mob murder of Joseph Smith by an angry christian mob the plural subject became really taboo. But amorous collectivism and abolishing the gold standard were touted by Robert Rimmer in the sixties. The Harrad Experiment, The Rebellion of Yale Marratt and Proposition 31, followed by “letters” books chronicling the shift from theory to practice duly horrified Nixon’s Moral Majority?… yet where is the gold standard now?
    It was the libertarian party platform that just now changed the law defining marriage. Looter parties, their politicians and courts will ban or force whatever it takes to keep the libertarians out of televised debates. That gives our votes ten times the legislative clout of any others.

  31. Plural marriage makes perfect sense.

    For example: Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all get married plurally.

    Bob and Alice are the major breadwinners for the family.
    Carol has a part-time job – pays for “extras” like a 2-week family trip to the Bahamas in February, plus leaves her time to run other family errands and maybe even work in the garden.
    Ted stays at home, does the housework and supervises the children (if any).

    Having both Bob and Ted listed as father on a birth certificate can’t be any worse than having {unknown} listed.

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