Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Naysayer Has No Real Argument

Like Peter Tucci, Naomi Schaefer Riley doesn’t think poly people are worthy or will win the freedom of association, let alone the right to marry.

I am one of those who has written about the deeply harmful effects of polygamy, particularly when it is rampant in a community, as it is in many places in Utah and New Mexico, among other states.

Here are the effects of polygamy: more than two people are married.

Anything else is not an inevitable effect.

I have written (in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Dallas Morning News) about the girls who are prevented from getting an education, the boys who are forced to leave their communities (lest they provide competition for the older men), the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, and all of the other criminal problems that come in polygamous communities.

So she wrote about the culture of specific, isolated religiously-singular communities existing where polygamy is criminalized. This can’t be extrapolated to allowing the general population the polygamous freedom to marry. Does she really think that there would be a problem with, say, a bisexual woman who is married to a lesbian and a hetero man?

I’ve also talked about why it’s not feasible to simply prosecute the crimes as they occur, rather than prosecuting polygamy. (Hint: No one in these communities wants to report crimes because of the consequences they would face.)

Not making criminals of them simply for being in a nonmonogamous marriage would help.

But I’ll put that all aside for a minute and just add that I have watched Sister Wives a few times and each time I turn it off, cringing. It’s not because I find polygamy morally reprehensible, though I do. It’s because I feel sorry for these women.

I feel sorry for many of the women in monogamous relationships as depicted on reality television. So what?

And Kody Brown? A slick guy who just can’t wipe the smirk off his face. And why should he? He’s got everyone fooled.

The only way a woman would choose a relationship different than what she would choose must be fooled, right? Wake up and smell the coffee! One size does not fit all.

Gay marriage has won the day with so much of the American public, I think, because gay couples look like the rest of America. I don’t think polygamists have the same advantage in their fight.

You have got to be kidding me. I think people who don’t consider themselves poly are more likely to support open, honest polyamory and polygamy when it is compared to the government-approved marriages of their “monogamous” friends who are cheating all over the place, or their family members who move from "monogamous" relationship to relationship, having children from each, sometimes marrying, sometimes not. People have supported the same-sex freedom to marry because they’ve realized that consenting adults should be allowed their love, sex, and family lives without discrimination. That is why they are also increasingly supporting the polygamous freedom to marry, and the general polyamorous freedom of association.
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