Monday, March 28, 2011

Full Marriage Equality is Based on Gender Equality

Reza Varjavand, Ph.D., wrote “Polygamy, a Luxury Only the Rich Can Afford.” She actually means polygyny.

An overwhelming majority of Americans think that polygamy is wrong, 91% according a recent poll published by U.S. News.

Fundamental rights should not be denied based on a majority vote. “Wrong” is not the same thing as “I think it should be illegal.” But I haven’t been able to look at the polling methods; I highly doubt that number.

If a similar survey were taken in a Muslim country like Iran, you would be surprised and even startled to read a similar statistic, given the fact that polygamy is permissible under Islamic law.

There goes the silly idea that if we have marriage equality, it will turn people gay or poly.

Almost all recurring references to wife in Quran, Islam's holy book, are in the plural form, wives, signaling the legitimacy of polygamy if the men who contemplate it can afford to provide equal and adequate financial support for all of their would-be wives. It seems that polygamy is a privilege bestowed upon those who are economically well-off.

In cultures where men are expected to financially support women and women are denied their rights, of course polygyny has a correlation to a wealth. In the US, where marriage is limited so as to deny the polygamous freedom to marry, legal monogamy appears to mean that poor men are less likely to be married to a woman at all.

While a monogamous relationship is based on mutual affection, polygamy seems more like a business transaction, especially if you consider the fact that the rich men who can afford it usually prefer younger, more fertile women.

This is an assertion that is not supported. Some monogamous relationships are based on mutual affection, some are like business transations. Same goes for poly relationships, though I think poly relationships are actually more likely to be based on affection rather than materialism than monogamous relationships. The statistics indicate that women who marry men in monogamous frameworks tend to choose men who are older, taller, and wealthier.

We support a culture where there is gender equality, the freedom to marry any consenting adult(s), and the freedom to divorce. Men and women alike should have the right to pursue love, sex, and marriage regardless of birth. Their bodies and hearts are their own, and they can share them with other adults as they choose. Polygyny is not the problem with cultures that oppress women. Oppression of women is the problem.
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