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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Be Afraid! Equality Might Mean More Paperwork!

Brian C. Hales, who has written six books on "Mormon polygamy" asks at sltrib.com if we're ready for a coming age of "omnigamy."  He tries to raise vague concerns about polyamorous or polygamous marriages.
Seven years ago, a historian friend predicted that within 10 years polygamy would be legal in the United States. At the time, I had some doubts. However, the likelihood seems much greater in light of the recent court rulings.
May it happen sooner rather than later. There is no good reason to deny this freedom to marry.
The unavoidable result is "omnigamy," or "group marriage," where everyone is married to everyone, or at least some of the people in the network.

And there's nothing wrong with that.
While it may sound a little far-fetched, legalized polygamy and same-sex marriage would undeniably allow a person to be married to a limitless number of spouses. Perhaps legislators and judges would seek to place limits, but what would they be? No more than 10 spouses in a network? Twenty? Fifty?

I really don't think we need to worry about it. We have trouble just keeping monogamous marriages together. It will be self-regulating. Most marriages will be monogamous in structure. There will be a lot of "V" or triad marriages, and a few "N" or quad marriages, and a few polycules with five. It will be very rare to see marriages involving more people.
Is there anything inherently problematic with this scenario? Well, there would be interesting consequences for the U.S. governmental agencies. For example, as marriage has helped non-Americans receive U.S. citizenship in the past, omnigamy would complicate that process. Also, filing a "joint" income tax could make for much larger tax returns.

Laws and policies can be altered to accommodate fundamental rights like marriage.
It appears logistical repercussions have not been adequately studied.

The same thing could have been said about abolishing slavery. In fact, I think it was. People used to argue about the problems of having all of those freed people around. Here are the repercussions: more people having the relationships they want, and fewer people getting into a marriage they don't want to stay in the closet.
Even more potentially disturbing is the impact these changes might have upon the children who would be raised under this new "family" standard.

Seriously?!? It is very, very common for children to currently be raised today by two warring households of parents and stepparents, or with only one parent in sight. And he's worried about having three or more adults, committed to a cooperative home environment? It is entirely legal for three or more adults to live together and raise children together now, just not for them to have them be legally married. If your argument is that children should be raised in married home, your should be helping those adults marry!
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