Monday, July 25, 2011

Polygamous Freedom to Marry at Slate

Emily Yoffe at Slate considers Jonathan Turley’s opinion on letting polygamists have their freedom of association.

Turley, smartly, is not seeking to get all four “marriages” recognized; he is arguing that consenting adults have a right to form the family structure they like and that as long as there is no coercion or child abuse, being polygamists is none of the state’s business.

It isn’t.

Turley makes a persuasive argument, and he notes that civil liberty organizations have been reluctant to back him, probably because his cause seems to undermine the case for gay marriage.

Both the same-sex freedom to marry and the polygamous freedom to marry upset the “everyone has to pretend to be heterosexual and monogamous” sex police, but polygamy does not undermine gay marriage. Nor does gay marriage “cause” polygamy, as evidenced by many places in the world where gay marriages are banned and polygamy is allowed.

Opponents of gay marriage have used the specter of legalizing polygamists and polyamorists.

They should be confronted with a simple question: “Why not let an adult marry any consenting adults?” Even if they can’t answer, at least without citing their religion (which they are entitled to have, but not impose on others), they will not change their minds. But… they are not the majority. Many of the people who have bought into the scare tactics of the anti-equality groups, when they ponder that question and a lack of an adequate response, will drop their opposition to marriage equality. We’ve seen this time and again.

XXers, what are the arguments about why polygramy, et al., shouldn’t be next?

They’re answered here already.

Not only should the Browns and others be able to share residence, but they should be free to legally marry, as well.
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