//A Commentary Supporting the Polygamous Freedom to Marry

A Commentary Supporting the Polygamous Freedom to Marry

by Keith Pullman

2-23-2015

Will Schick wrote at galesburg.com a piece with the title“Polygamy no crazier than monogamy.” Thanks… I think.
A few weeks ago, Lindsay Graham asked Loretta Lynch an interesting question at her Senate confirmation hearings: “What is the legal difference between a ban on same sex marriage being unconstitutional, but a ban on polygamy being constitutional?” 
The question, understandably, took her by surprise. “Senator, I have not been involved in the argument or analysis of the cases that have gone before the Supreme Court, and I’m not comfortable undertaking legal analysis without having had the ability to review the relevant facts and the precedent there…but I look forward to continuing the discussions with you.”
I wish Lynch had said that an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to marry any and all consenting adults. Senator Graham or someone else would have huffed and puffed, but wouldn’t have been able to provide a good reason to deny such basic rights.

Today, polygamy is illegal worldwide, except for most Muslim countries. Women are shamefully oppressed under sharia law, so I think polygamy is somewhat tainted by association. But the question of whether polygamy should be illegal in the United States is its own issue, and ought to be considered on its merits. And it seems to me that it’s the kind of thing consenting adults out to be able to choose for themselves, just like gay marriage has been found to be — outside Alabama, at least.

Thank you!
My main takeaway from watching “Big Love” is that polygamy is no crazier than monogamy, and no more likely to fail or harm children. It can work, given the right combination of individuals, particularly if religious conviction is a big part of their motivation. We do demand that the government respect all religious beliefs, don’t we?
Not really. Polygamy seems to be one of those rare issues that liberals and conservatives agree on — they both disapprove, but for different reasons. Liberals tend to go along with the standard feminist critique of polygamy — any woman who chooses to share a man with another woman is submitting to patriarchy and must have low self esteem.
Many feminists support the right of a woman to marry any and all consenting adults, even if she chooses to marry one man who is married to, or will marry, other women. It is important to remember that under full marriage equality, a woman would be just as free as a man to marry any and all consenting adults. It isn’t like polygyny would be the only form of polygamy allowed.

Conservatives will dig up some obscure Biblical verse that seems to condemn polygamy, ignoring the numerous Old Testament polygamists who God selects to do his work.

Many conservatives do, but some conservative support at least some form of polygamy.

Frankly, I think it’s hypocritical to have laws that permit nitwit or sociopathic heterosexuals to leave a series of broken homes in their wake while banning big, happy polygamist families. Hypocrisy aside, I just can’t see how the court could legally defend banning it.

There is no good reason to defend a ban. 

There is at least one guy in town who sees it this way. If I understand him correctly, Charlie Gruner feels that any combination of consenting adults should be able to sign any marriage contract they can dream up. The government should be involved only to resolve lawsuits or to protect minor children from abusive guardians. That’s what separation of church and state looks like, y’all.

Sounds great! The more people think about it, the more they realize that there is no good reason to deny full marriage equality. Polyamorous people and anyone else who wants it should have their polygamous freedom to marry.
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