Saturday, April 9, 2011

Solidarity From New Zealand

Prompted by “Sister Wives,” Chaz Harris asked “Is polygamy such a bad thing?”

Sister Wives, an American reality show about a polygamous family, and a discussion a friend of mine in the US was having online got me thinking - why is it illegal to get married if you are in a polygamous relationship?

Good question. It shouldn’t be illegal.

I've always thought the concept of polygamy was somehow not right, but when I stopped to really think about why that was, I realised it was just society telling me it is wrong.

That’s what happens to most people who think it through.

Let's be serious for a moment here though: is there really anything wrong with being in a loving relationship with more than one person at the same time? As long as everyone is in agreement and happy to be in that kind of arrangement and nobody is being held against their will, then fair play to them. If they wish to make that legal so that their legal other-halves are entitled to equal spousal rights, then should they be denied the opportunity to do so?

Of course not.

There were many comments to the effect that the writer wouldn't want a polygamous marriage, but that is not a reason to deny anyone else their choices.

Mbossa commented…

I agree with you, Chaz, and I'd like to throw incest into the mix. Why is incest illegal? As long as all parties can and do give consent, it's hurting nobody. The only reason incest is illegal is the same "ick" factor that has proved a problem for gay couples and polygamous groups.

People frequently try to justify banning it because of the increased risk of genetic problems in offspring, but (a) this risk is greatly exaggerated and in reality only amounts to a few percent at most, (b) health risks in hypothetical future offspring is a pretty pathetic reason to ban a relationship won't necessarily even produce offspring, and (c) we don't ban people known to have inheritable genetic diseases from forming relationships or even having children, and their children are at a much greater risk of having problems.

I personally have no desire to enter an incestuous, polygamous, or homosexual relationship, but that's irrelevant.

Thanks for being an ally for full marriage equality.
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