April 16, 2013

"[P]rohibiting polygamy on 'feminist' grounds — that these marriages are inherently degrading to the women involved — is misguided."

"The case for polygamy is, in fact, a feminist one and shows women the respect we deserve."
Here’s the thing: As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that’s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that’s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well — I suppose that’s the price of freedom. And if she wants to marry a man with three other wives, that’s her damn choice...

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less "correct" than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority — a tiny minority, in fact — freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States — and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.
I'm not endorsing this. Just anticipating that many readers will want to talk about it.

IN THE COMMENTS: Salamandyr said:
Am I right that her argument is that something is only bad if it hurts women?
Leo said:
@Salamandyr wasn't feminist grounds the example used in the supreme court when Sotomayor asked about this?
I'll answer that: Yes.



And for those who want to know my position: I note 2 completely different questions. 1. Should the state be able to criminalize the activities of more than 2 adults who engage in private rituals proclaiming that they are married and then claim to be married? and 2. Should the state recognize marriages with more than 2 adults for the purposes of tax laws and benefits programs? As to #1, I think this is a matter of individual autonomy, a combination of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion, and the state must leave these people alone. As to #2, I think the state can limit marriage to couples. Here, I think there can be a limit across the board: Everyone can have one spouse. You can combine #1 and #2 and have one legal marriage and additional members of the household that you can call whatever you want. It's none of the government's business.

Mitch H. said:
Polygamy is everywhere a marker for poverty, instability, and edemic social disorder. It encourages social inequality, and generally results in the trade of women like cattle, such that big men collect and stockpile wives as status symbols, while surplus and marginal men turn to violence and crime in order to "get theirs."
As a social ill, it's not worse than adultery and fornication. Some men get multiple women and some men are on the outs. Why should the people who believe in polygamy be denied their version of the same thing? If your answer has to do with how they think about what their relationships are — that they think in terms of "marriage" — that shows why there is a freedom of speech/association/religion problem.

269 comments:

1 – 200 of 269   Newer›   Newest»
Leo said...

Why aren't you endorsing it?

I don't get why the whole love and sex thing is so important for government recognition of mutual relationships. If two siblings or two friends live together and depend on each other just as much as a romantically engaged couple why shouldn't they be treated the same?

dreams said...

I need a woman to bring home the bacon, a woman to clean the house and another for whatever and I don't think one woman should have to do all that. So yeah, maybe I am a feminist.

bagoh20 said...

" Just anticipating that many readers will want to talk about it. "

I think they have been for some time, but many others have not been listening, because... shut up; we need to win this.

RecChief said...

just remembering all the people who scoffed at the slippery slope argument regarding same sex marriage.

Nonapod said...

Sometimes I wish the definition of "firearm" was as plastic as the definition of marriage apparently is.

Salamandyr said...

Am I right that her argument is that something is only bad if it hurts women?

whoresoftheinternet said...

Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage

---No proof of this. At all. Especially given the significantly higher percentage of mentally diseased persons amongst homosexuals v. the population as a whole, and the broken home lives of homos v. non-homos, the idea that gay "marriage" is no worse than hetero marriage not only is unsupported by facts, it is undermined by facts.

p.s. can't wait for the pushback.

Leo said...

@Salamandyr wasn't feminist grounds the example used in the supreme court when Sotomayor asked about this?

bagoh20 said...

If you have two wives, could you have a will that would leave everything to just one of them? Because that would be great way to get rid of one, if you were tired of her.

C Stanley said...

I loved the comments there that told the author, "Shhhh....it's too soon!"

Leo said...

Maybe society would have a different idea about this if we lived on the moon.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

You don't need to endorse it. It is the only possible outcome of your stated positions.

Once you decide that the right to marriage is so fundamental that it cannot be constrained by its own definition, there is no basis for prohibiting any arrangement from being called, and officially recognized, as marriage. Assuming it is entered into by consenting adults. And the definitions of consenting and adults are plastic.

We’re not done yet.

No, we're not. Once polygamy is legal, we still won't be done.

But why stop now?

roesch/voltaire said...

Dreams, doesn't everybody want a number of wives for the reasons you gave, including wives?

creeley23 said...

Yes, some of us would like to talk about the Slate article arguing for polygamy.

There is no serious pro-gay-marriage response to polygamy. Once "the definition of marriage is plastic," polygamy marches right in through that very door.

Inga said...

When I was working full time with four children, I always wished I had a wife.

mccullough said...

Based on the prevalence of polygamy around the world, if gay marriage is required by the equal protection clause then polygamy is as well.

I think gay marriage should be legalized, not constitutionalized. I also think polygamy should be legalized, not constitutionalized, as well.

Unknown said...

I remember as if it were only yesterday when the official politically correct response to an argument that if the traditional one man and one woman definition of marriage were thrown out by accepting same sex marriage, was "Shut up, you stupid, disgusting homophobe! Nobody is advocating polygamy!"

RecChief said...

It's interesting because any time I see a polygamist group characterized by a 'news' organization, they are always portrayed as backward fundamentalist Mormons that oppress women.

AprilApple said...

So wives are slaves. Neat.
Except when they want to be, then it's just helpful person around the house. How very non-feminist.

Though I must admit the entire feminist movement is one giant ball of cognitive dissonance.

Keystone said...

What if you love your dog and want to marry it? How's that for plastic?

mccullough said...

No one ever accused feminists of being pro-freedom.

X said...

cue the bigoted polyphobic incestophobes.

Patrick said...

3 = 2

Jake said...

Let's just legalize marriage by co-op.

William said...

Sigh....

This was entirely predictable

bagoh20 said...

"I'm not endorsing this."

Feel free to [continue to] relegate it to the furthest reaches of your mind.

ad hoc said...

Yep, right on time. It's not like you could see this coming a mile away.

CJinPA said...

let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet

Of course, dears, you're never done. Never. Ever.

Moose said...

Another refreshing waft of bullshit from the sexual politics front.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm all for it, especially if dessert pastries can be wedded.

creeley23 said...

Note the continued silence or deflection from the pro-gay marriage crew here.

So, is polygamy OK with you? Do you notice the first big unintended consequence barreling down the highway at you? Do you care?

Or is that not your problem?

Tim said...

I'm happily married, for quite some time now, and the very last thing I want is another wife.

No normal man would want two; one enough is hard enough.

Too much work; too much drama; and, if you think you'll get twice as much sex, ha!

Your "honey-do" list though, will be at least twice as long, maybe three time...

Nomennovum said...

Feminists should be all for polyandry. Think of the alimony and child support potential! If divorce from one man is hitting the jackpot, divorce from a harem of husbands is the mother of all Mega Millions.

YoungHegelian said...

It's always tough to argue against polygamy, either from a natural law perspective (St. Thomas has a hard time wrestling with it in the Summa, because those gol-durned biblical patriarchs practiced it, and they're the good guys!) or from a modern mutual consent point of view, because, well, those women chose it of their own free will.

Of course, it's a slippery slope. it's slippery slope because there never really was a good natural law reason for one man/one woman marriage. It was a sacramental concept that got taken up into common law under a Christian polity. Everyone agreed that one man/one woman was God's Law, and that was that.

Well, guess what? We just don't buy those fairy tales any more, so now the doors to Hell are coming wide open.

Just what and see what happens to human rights & dignity once the notion that we're made in the Image & Likeness of God is a fairy tale sinks in.

Jay said...

I'm not endorsing this

Of course not. You're indecent.

Jeff Teal said...

Heinlein here we come!

Mitch H. said...

Polygamy is everywhere a marker for poverty, instability, and edemic social disorder. It encourages social inequality, and generally results in the trade of women like cattle, such that big men collect and stockpile wives as status symbols, while surplus and marginal men turn to violence and crime in order to "get theirs".

Polygamy is one of the classic illustrations of the idiocy of cultural relativism. Some cultures are better than others, and monogamy is one of those aspects in which those better cultures excel.

bpm4532 said...

So, the Dems are reaching out for the Mormon vote now?

Leo said...

@Creeley23 I'm pro gay marriage and pro polygamy.

It's interesting to note that the whole talk about the definition of marriage as a historical thing between a man and a woman doesn't apply as it's often was and is in some places between a man and many women. Will polyandrous relationships be given the same respect?

Inga said...

Creely, polygamy is fine with me, if participants are not related and of age.

Anglelyne said...

A chronicle of the early 21st century. A canticle for Western civ. Dateline April 2013: vapid dingbat whose knowledge of history and human affairs is half an inch deep, who thinks in nothing but clich├ęs and bullet points, who never thought through anything, who knows not who she is or where she comes from, droning over and over like a drooling lunatic sitting in her own waste "Choice choice choice", the mindless mantra echoing in her empty cranium and through a still pleasant and well-aired (but not for long) corner of Bedlam.

Two or three years ago she was snickering with the other cool kids at the dumb paranoids fretting about polygamy.

"That which your fathers have bequeathed you, earn it anew if you would possess it". She couldn't be arsed. I wish you joy of it, you stupid bint.

Lem said...

Wouldn't polygamy potentially decrease abortions?

The article left that out.

Nomennovum said...

Polygamy is fine, but what about the animals and the children? Zoophiles and pedophiles demand their rights too! Will no one think of the children??? And sheep????

Tim said...

Mitch H. said...

"Polygamy is everywhere a marker for poverty, instability, and edemic social disorder. It encourages social inequality, and generally results in the trade of women like cattle, such that big men collect and stockpile wives as status symbols, while surplus and marginal men turn to violence and crime in order to "get theirs".

Polygamy is one of the classic illustrations of the idiocy of cultural relativism. Some cultures are better than others, and monogamy is one of those aspects in which those better cultures excel."


Well, Mitch H., that's all demonstrably true, but who's to say people shouldn't get what they want, even if it drives the culture into the shitter, because, see, as long as people get what they want, it's all good?

Baron Zemo said...

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!

Let's be honest.

You would endorse it if it was same sex polygamy.

It is the only "decent" thing to do.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leo said...

If men are boycotting marriage (Men on Strike ) then won't this be the end result?

Tim said...

Lem said...

"Wouldn't polygamy potentially decrease abortions?

The article left that out."


Or increase.

How could, or would, one soundly project the actuarials on in utero survival under a regime of polygamy?

Patrick said...

I doubt I'd be the first to point out that if the strongest objection to polygamy is that it's bad for children, then the argument would not apply to homosexual polygamy.

Better step up the game.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm not endorsing this. Just anticipating that many readers will want to talk about it.

Why not? It's a natural extension of pro gay marriage.

I'm pro gay marriage and pro polygamy. Once marriage is based on "love" and persoanl fullfillment then polygamy should be recognized too.

We need a new basis for marriage from one man and one woman. How about consent? That would allow for gays, muslims, mormons, etc to be married but it should eliminate beastiality and incest.

Or how about the government just butting out entirely?

Baron Zemo said...

Feminists should continue to work on expanding marriage to bestiality as the most important realtionship they have is with their cats.

So let's have some multiple same sex marriages with animals. More pussy for everyone!

bpm4532 said...

The whole point of marriage was for having a family and ensuring the continuation and growth of society. Once you divorce "marriage" from the biological function, it becomes meaningless.

Government should get out of the marriage game completely and only offer a tax break to those who have and raise children.

To solve the problem, I favor a flat tax with no itemized deductions or credits and only flat dollar amount exemptions for children under the age of 21. Throw in the negative income tax concept and eliminate all other programs for the poor. We'll be able to massively downsize government employment.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Inga said...

Creely, polygamy is fine with me, if participants are not related and of age.

Agist incestophobe!

Nomennovum said...

Some cultures are better than others.

Very true! All other cultures are better than our Western culture. The proof is that we Westerners hate ourselves compared to everybody else. The Science says so.

Patrick said...

Pretty much what Tim said at 3:16. I've never met a woman who could share a husband, nor a man that would want more than one wife, except for the remote possibility of more sex. Doesn't mean they're not out there, but not many.

Cedarford said...


The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less "correct" than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority — a tiny minority, in fact — freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us.

Since what marriage means may turn out to be more "plastic" than what "is" means in the hands of a lawyer......
And true FREEDOM!!!! means extending it to the smallest and most marginalized groups...then we need marriage and full health benefits, etc., applied to a lonely shepard man and his sheep, a woman and her loving, well trained, and exceptionally long-tongued German Shepard. Not to mention a consenting man and his daughter, or a ho' married to service 23 gang members.

(Better still, a ho' that has a GS-2 custodial job and as a Fed employee, Free full Obamacare. That for say a 5,000 dollar contribution per year - gives each of her 23 gangsta husbands and all they chilluns full free Obamacare as well)

YoungHegelian said...

@Mitch,

Polygamy is everywhere a marker for poverty, instability, and edemic social disorder.

I don't know that your statement is historically true once the prevalence of concubinage vs polygamous full status wives is factored in.

Once concubinage is factored in, I think that pretty much covers the ruling classes throughout history except for nominally Christian cultures.

In nominally Christian cultures, the ruling classes just have serial mistresses.

George said...

Why are we limiting ourselves to discussing just one person of one of the sexes. The main character in Robert Heinlein's classic Moon is a Harsh Mistress was in "Line Marriage". Multiple men and multiple women. Once you start breaking rules where do you stop?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Nomennovum said...

Will no one think of the children??? And sheep????

I think of the sheep. Quite often...

Tim said...

Patrick said...

"Pretty much what Tim said at 3:16."

Niners and Packer fans getting along!

Life is Good!

bpm4532 said...

Proponents of the multiple wives style of polygamy forget the birth ratio and the problem of excess males in society (or vice versa for multiple husbands style).

Baron Zemo said...

Let's take the government out of the marriage business. End the tax breaks. Let anyone have a civil union for insurance or inheritance.

Leave marriages to the religions. And if in their religions for the Mormons and the Muslims that means more than one wife......knock yourself out.

Freedoom for everyone! Yeah!

DADvocate said...

One wife was too many for me, but there's a long history of polygamy in humans. Sounds expensive.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

There is a popular soap opera on Turkish TV called "The Magnificient Era". Its about Suleiman's relationship with Roxelana. It is the best argument against polygamy.

I wonder what Suleiman could have accomplished if he wasn't dealing with all the crazy women in his life!

Nomennovum said...

You would endorse it if it was same sex polygamy. - Baron Zemo


Or same sex different species.

I support SSDSM. Do you?

How about a man marrying a flock of gay sheep?

Or Onan marrying his right hand?

Baron Zemo said...

They want to get it where the dogs and the cats lay down together.

It fits in with their plans.

rhhardin said...

You could find the wife who's not nagging, which would be a plus.

Bob Ellison said...

It's not all a big joke. Monogamous marriage really is an important institution that promotes fatherhood, investment in children, and respect for women. It's one of the most important institutions of western civilization.

I'd vote for SSM, but I respect those who wouldn't. It is indeed a slippery slope, and those who think that's a logical fallacy should really read up.

Original Mike said...

I don't think my wife would allow it.

Rob said...

As essentially a libertarian, I fail to see any reason why polygamy should be illegal. Practical questions such as who qualifies as the spouse for purposes of tax, estate or other law can easily be dealt with, either by having the parties designate who shall be treated as the spouse or by having the first couple married be treated as the sole married couple for these limited purposes.

Laws against incest and even bestiality are also a vestige of society imposing its morality on the unwilling. (Animal cruelty laws would still apply if the sexual acts were harmful to the animal, but certainly if we allow artificial insemination, etc., we have already made a societal statement that not all sexual contact with an animal is cruel.)

What is genuinely depressing is seeing many who champion same sex marriage promptly climb on the bandwagon of traditional marriage and support denial of marriage rights to those who wish to enter into polygamous or incestuous marriages.

Synova said...

"...just remembering all the people who scoffed at the slippery slope argument regarding same sex marriage."

Just so.

For what it is worth, my argument was never "slippery slope" but rather "Duh!"

Probably because I'm into science fiction and not only have read many authors such as Heinlein but have known people who were polyamorous or Wiccan and understand that people who are polyamorous consider it an orientation.

Anglelyne said...

Mitch H: Polygamy is everywhere a marker for poverty [etc.]

Only for those other people, Mitch. America is a magical cultureless place that has always been characterized entirely by individual choice practiced among a people who had nothing in common beyond the practice of individual choice governed by contract law and absolutely nothing else. Practices that have predictable results elsewhere, results that goodthinkers might find less than satisfactory, always come out for the best in the best of all possible worlds in the the paradise of cultureless abstraction that is and always has been American society.

Why do you hate America, Mitch?

Patrick said...


Niners and Packer fans getting along!

Life is Good!


Ha! Maybe Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith can get together in a polygamous same sex/asexual marriage.

chuck said...

I think rich folks should be able to buy all the wives they can afford.

Jay said...

I'm not endorsing this

I know. Its bigots like you who want to discriminate through law against 3 people who love each other.

Have you no decency?

Lem said...

How could, or would, one soundly project the actuarials on in utero survival under a regime of polygamy?

I'm assuming that some women choose abortion out burdensome economic projections?
If more people chose polygamy the economic burden of raising a child would be lessened?

Look, I'm bailing already... Polygamy is a done deal... Who is going to stand in their way?

I'm just looking at the bright side, if any.

Baron Zemo said...

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice,dudes marrying other dudes,dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!
(Gostbusters 1984)

Lem said...

You could find the wife who's not nagging, which would be a plus.

Its pursuit of happiness... its the American way.

Nomennovum said...

We need also to consider the human right to marry an inanimate object. The logical question, though, is: If Inga wants to divorce her Pearl Panther, can she sue vibrator.com for allimony?

Bob Ellison said...

Why, marriage, boy, is such a joy,
so lovely a condition,
that many ask no better than
to wed as often as they can
in happy repetition.

X said...

If Inga wants to divorce her Pearl Panther, can she sue vibrator.com for allimony?

No! she lost her legal rights when she opposed her grandchildren's civil rights to marry each other.

Alex said...

Why not hybrid marriage of 4 people? 2 men & 2 women all married to each other!

Geoff Matthews said...

How would inheritance be enforced via polygamy? Divorce? Custody? Insurance? Hospital visits?
The issue of marriage is about the legal structures that are associated with marriage. If a man has three wives, does his employer's health plan have to insure all three? If one of the wives decides to bolt, does she get a fourth of the estate? If the will writes out one of the wives, does she have recourse to sue? To whom do life insurance payouts go to?
AND, if a man has three wives, are they all allowed to collect welfare if none of them are working?

Baron Zemo said...

I must say that it is a relief after all the horror of terrorist bombings and murderous abortionists that we can get back to a subject like same sex marriage that is so stupid and ridiculous.

Thank you. It puts it all in perspective.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal said...

Rob said...
As essentially a libertarian, I fail to see any reason why polygamy should be illegal. Practical questions such as who qualifies as the spouse for purposes of tax, estate or other law can easily be dealt with, either by having the parties designate who shall be treated as the spouse or by having the first couple married be treated as the sole married couple for these limited purposes.


Sort of like how gay marriage can be easily dealt with by calling it something else, like civil marriage. Bigot.

Mitch H. said...

I don't know that your statement is historically true once the prevalence of concubinage vs polygamous full status wives is factored in.

Once concubinage is factored in, I think that pretty much covers the ruling classes throughout history except for nominally Christian cultures.


I was mostly thinking about places like the Congo today, where nominal Christianity co-exists with cultural polygamy...

Anyways, concubinage and so forth (the Sicilians and their comare, the Japanese and their sobame, etc) isn't about legal status. It isn't the legal status-quo. Additionally, the legal wife in such cultural arrangements is the *legal wife*. There isn't the massive social imbalance of de jure polygamy in concubinage societies.

As for "ruling classes", one of Charles Murray's most useful observations is that the degeneracies which the upper classes can indulge without serious damage are utter catastrophe when aped by the lesser classes. Nobles have the social capital to get away with a bevy of kept women housed on some quiet side-street a comfortable walk from their town-houses. For middle-class strivers, the same thing is ruinous, for him and his women both.

edutcher said...

Senator Santorum, Justice Scalia, please pick up the nearest white courtesy telephone.

Inga said...

When I was working full time with four children, I always wished I had a wife.

(don't go there, don't go there...)

Creely, polygamy is fine with me, if participants are not related and of age.

Funny how the Lefties screamed when all those polygamists in southern UT were found to have inveigled a bunch of girls just over the age of consent with barely enough sense to know what was being done to them.

The She Devil of the SS sees nothing wrong, of course, with one guy sitting on his behind while the harem works at the local Alberson's.

Lem said...

Why not hybrid marriage of 4 people? 2 men & 2 women all married to each other!

Limiting choices is not wise.

Inga said...

Ohhhhh hohoho, that was quite humorous NoNo. I have a grey panther at my beck and call. Pearls, I wear them around my neck.:)

Alex said...

Inga thinks bombings are humorous.

Alex said...

Ho ho ho.

Synova said...

Althouse is the constitutional law professor...

If same sex marriage is legitimately an equal protection issue, what is it about polygamy/polyandry/polyamory is not obviously also an equal protection issue.

Recall... polyamorists consider the ability to form a group "mate" attachment an orientation.

Scott M said...

Why aren't you endorsing it?

Ditto. How can any argument in support of SSM not be applied to marriages with more than two people?

Bob Ellison said...

Geoff Matthews asked, "If a man has three wives, does his employer's health plan have to insure all three?"

It's a good question. Many of us grew up with family health insurance provided as an employee benefit. From the employer's standpoint, that encourages stalwart employees with strong families, and it tends to promote loyalty and good work ethics.

But maybe it could be like a 401(k) program, where each employee is a managing partner. "I'll give 20% to my first wife, because heck, I got her, and 30% to my second, because she put up with me for a long time, and 50% to my third, because she's still young and pretty."

YoungHegelian said...

@Mitch,

I agree with your point about the upper classes surviving bad habits that would sink the lower orders, and that many of our cultural problems stem from the inability of the middle & lower orders to understand that vicious behavior will destroy their lives, no matter what movie stars tell them or do.

Sometimes, vice even brings down the mighty e.g the Claudio Monteverdi having to leave the service of the Duke of Mantua for Rome because the Duke bankrupted the duchy with all his kept women.

Renee said...

Does it makes sense to marry a man with more then one wife. In the same way it doesn't make sense in the world of unmarried where over a lifetime half siblings and informal step siblings and mom s and dad s partners....

Big mess, where the kids pay the price.

Bob Ellison said...

I should marry my three dogs right away in order to avoid the estate tax!

Mitch H. said...

AND, if a man has three wives, are they all allowed to collect welfare if none of them are working?

This is, in point of fact, the operating behavior of the FLDS cult, wherein each wife and her children represents a separate household on welfare, since they're technically single mothers right now. The pro-legalization folks would claim that their scheme would eliminate this cultural practice of "bleeding the beast", but it seems like the sort of thing that has... legs.

30yearProf said...

"Freedom" means one has the power to succeed AND the power to fail. Choice means choosing for yourself whether that's childbirth or an abortion.

If you are "Pro-Choice" and not a hypocrit, then you have to oppose all attempts of government to substitute some 50 year-old Congressman's choice for yours -- about everything.

Unfortunately, the hypocrite gene appears to be dominant in the human species.

Inga said...

Alex, you are a strange one.

Synova said...

"Big mess, where the kids pay the price."

Which is different from limiting marriage to serial polygamy how? (or maybe that was your point?)

I don't disagree, bottom line. Divorce is a mess and hurts kids. Our current "I promise to love you and commit to stay with you and build a life together until I decide different" theory of marriage is an awful mess.

Baron Zemo said...

Nicolette Grant: This guy from work? He's a real mover and a shaker, Wanda. He totally made up an excuse to call me yesterday. I think he was flirting with me... Do you think?
Wanda Henrickson: Has he chased you at night? Has he tried to put you in the trunk?
Nicolette Grant: He's not really like that. He wears cardigans.
Wanda Henrickson: That sounds serious! You're a married woman, you can't be talking about another man's cardigans!
Nicolette Grant: I don't know. He seems strange. Too interested in show tunes and the Green Bay Packers. He is very liberal. He thinks that the gays can marry. Maybe he will not have a problem with our marriage to Bill.
Wanda Henrikson: Don't be stupid. He only wants what is good for him.
(Big Love, 2009)

Anglelyne said...

Young Hegelian: It's always tough to argue against polygamy, either from a natural law perspective [...]

There's nothing unnatural about polygamy, it's very common among humans. That's probably why I've never seen anybody who's thought seriously about it argue against it from a natural law perspective.

Once concubinage is factored in, I think that pretty much covers the ruling classes throughout history except for nominally Christian cultures.

In nominally Christian cultures, the ruling classes just have serial mistresses.


That rich guys can always get some on the side doesn't change the fact that de jure monogamy profoundly affects social organization.

Tim said...

"Ha! Maybe Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith can get together in a polygamous same sex/asexual marriage."

Huh, let's not test this, lol!

Shana said...

Anglelyne at 3:39. Threadwinner.

Anglelyne said...

Rob: As essentially a libertarian, I fail to see any reason why polygamy should be illegal.

Which is why a lot of people think libertarians are aspie retards.

creeley23 said...

Inga: I appreciate your forthrightness. But have you given any thought to the effects of polygamy on our society?

I assume, then, it's all right with you that gay marriage foes argue that legalizing gay marriage means eventually legalizing polygamy.

ricpic said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Once marriage is based on "love" and personal fulfillment then polygamy should be recognized too.

We need a new basis for marriage from one man and one woman. How about consent? That would allow for gays, muslims, mormons etc. to be married but it should eliminate beastiality and incest.



Love rides a tiger,
At first what a thrill --
Until lurching rider
Becomes tiger kill.

Scott M said...

How would inheritance be enforced via polygamy? Divorce? Custody? Insurance? Hospital visits?
The issue of marriage is about the legal structures that are associated with marriage. If a man has three wives, does his employer's health plan have to insure all three? If one of the wives decides to bolt, does she get a fourth of the estate? If the will writes out one of the wives, does she have recourse to sue? To whom do life insurance payouts go to?
AND, if a man has three wives, are they all allowed to collect welfare if none of them are working?


There are ample existing case law around the world to draw from. Isn't the SSM crowd the same that advocate looking to other countries to answer legal questions here?

Lem said...

Think of all the voiceless 'girlfriends' that could finally come out of the shadows and join the community of gossip free neighbors and acquaintances.

The American economy looses billions do to loss of productivity and issues of mental health do to the stigma of having to hide out in the fringes of the society.

Its a question if Justice.

Baron Zemo said...

Narrator: On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence; that request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that he would only be happy with another man. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Oscar Madison. Several years earlier, Madison's wife had thrown HIM out for the same reason, requesting that HE never return. Can two men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?
(The New Odd Couple, 2013)

Seeing Red said...

We'll be just as economically successful as those polygamous countries.

That didn't take long, did it?

Who knew so many progressives sided with the Mormons?

Rusty said...

Who, in their right mind, would want more than one?

YoungHegelian said...

@Angelyne,

That's probably why I've never seen anybody who's thought seriously about it argue against it from a natural law perspective.

Let me guess --- you don't read much Scholastic philosophy or Catholic apologetics, do you? Because that's exactly what they try and do.

From a natural law perspective, what has historically existed may not be "natural" per se, because there is always natural evil, too, which exists when a person is denied the realization of his/her proper end. That polygamy would be such an evil, especially for the wives, is up to the natural law moralists to argue about.

traditionalguy said...

We know that in polygamous families women become the property of the wealthy man in one of his "Marriages" all living together but still drawing aid to dependent children benefits.

Then their sons become throw away people at sixteen because only another older wealthy man with multiple wives is eligible to get any young girls. Therefore at age 16 and the family is told to ditch the young boys ASAP. Its like handling a surplus kitten litter.

So Polygamy may become the second major benefit of ditching Judeo-Christian morality for the older gay men who can absorb the surplus thrown away chickens. That alone gives it a powerful political base.

The Bible says the Torah of Moses is God's gift to men when it is followed. I believe that.

X said...

if Inga gets to marry her dildo, then I get to marry my guns, and a Corvette, and any other cool things the left calls penis substitutes.

Nomennovum said...

Who knew so many progressives sided with the Mormons? -- Seeing Red

They don't. Progs recently found out that Mormons officially stopped this long, long ago.

So now that all conservatives are against it, they are for it. It's a night-follows-day thing. It's called oikophobia.

Inga said...

"I appreciate your forthrightness. But have you given any thought to the effects of polygamy on our society?"

4/16/13, 4:06 PM

I'm sure I've given it as much thought as Leo. Have you asked him, I think you should.

Inga said...

"if Inga gets to marry her dildo, then I get to marry my guns, and a Corvette, and any other cool things the left calls penis substitutes."

4/16/13, 4:12 PM
My "dildo" could kick your ass X.

Marshal said...

traditionalguy said...
Then their sons become throw away people at sixteen because only another older wealthy man with multiple wives is eligible to get any young girls. Therefore at age 16 and the family is told to ditch the young boys ASAP.


There would only be pressure for this if both (a) the practice was widespread and (b) it ran overwhelmingly in one direction (HWW vs HHW, or maybe HHH vs WWW).

creeley23 said...

I'm sure I've given it as much thought as Leo. Have you asked him, I think you should.

Inga: I'll take that as a No.

Inga said...

Creely, no you cannot take that as a no, but I'm sure you will. Again ask Leo, why hone in on me?

dreams said...

"I must say that it is a relief after all the horror of terrorist bombings and murderous abortionists that we can get back to a subject like same sex marriage that is so stupid and ridiculous."

If we don't get back to talking about stupid and ridiculous stuff then the terrorists will have won.

Baron Zemo said...

Tillie: Civil rights is one thing. This here is somethin' else.
(Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967)

Nomennovum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

Here’s the thing: As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like.

We want the freedom to sleep under a bridge.

Nomennovum said...

My "dildo" could kick your ass X.

It is, no doubt, a big dildo, X. As necessity dictates.

Caveat anus.

Cedarford said...

Original Mike said...
I don't think my wife would allow it
================
Ahhhh, but if you married two other woman, a sheep, and sham but legal one to a gay guy that has great government health benefits and a spousal pension package...

Your wife would be reduced to ranting and arguing about things not with you - but the gay guy, the two rival wives, and the sheep.

You'd only have to worry if the gay, the 3 women, and the sheep-wife all agreed on something and went to you together. Then you are probably out of luck.

Rob said...

@Anglelyne So sue me. I dream of a world where I'll be able to fuck you AND the horse you rode in on.

Kate Van Wagoner said...

You can look it up. I've said often and to deafening silence here that polygamy follows inexorably from Loving v. Virginia. Gay marriage is the outlier.

Seeing Red said...

OTOH, men don't want to marry now, so this will want them to take on 2 or more harpies?

Inga said...

NoNo, and you wonder why you can find a woman??

creeley23 said...

Inga: You're just not a thoughtful, as in "thinking," person.

Your entire raison d'etre here is to stir up shit: "Let's You and Him Fight," "Look, I'm Being Picked On!"

Eric Berne wrote "Games People Play" about this crap.

Inga said...

Creely, you always resort to insults when you've been bested. Very noble.

Bruce Hayden said...

I respectfully disagree with a couple of the points above.

First, and foremost, polygamy has not always been a marker of poverty, instability, and edemic social disorder. Much is made of the FLDS, but when their parent religion (LDS) practiced polygamy, it was just the opposite - the marker of affluence. The more wives you had, the richer you were. And, it provided a significant social benefit (not that there weren't probably social problems with it too), and that was the support of widows and their children. Most often, as I understand it, the second wife was a "duty wife", a woman with children who had been widowed. Instead of depending on the state to support these women and their children with welfare, it was done as a public service by those who could afford to support a second wife.

And, Islam apparently allows up to four wives, with apparently a similar situation as with Mormons during the latter 19th Century - with the wealthy much more likely having multiple wives, and having such being a sign of affluence.

Which gets to a second point, that there has always been a bit of overbreeding by our alpha males, and underbreeding by the betas. In a purely monogamous society, this has meant some of those males getting cuckolded, and the beta mates ultimately raising the biological children of the alpha males. Polygamy somewhat gets around this problem by more closely aligning the raising of children with their biological fathers. And, far better than what we are seeing today in parts of our society, with men proudly fathering numerous children on numerous women, to be taken care of by the state, through welfare paid for by the rest of us.

Yes, there are often disadvantages of polygamy, and, esp. when the number of males is essentially equal to the number of females of breeding age (not the case in 19th Century Utah), and that is that every second, etc. wife means a male w/o a mate, or for many, a possibility of a mate. This dynamic is fairly evident with the FLDS members, with a lot of the young males cast out of the church for no other real reason. But, it may also be a part of the problem that we seeing with Islamic societies today.

Finally, I think that you have to always keep in mind that polygamy has a long history, and has been seen in a lot of cultures, throughout history. As noted above, it is accepted by one of the largest religions on the planet (Islam) even now. But it also plays a noticeable role throughout the Bible. Contrast this with single sex marriage (SSM), which has never really been accepted by a large religion or country, at least not until very, very recently. And, yet, somehow those in favor of SSM continue to believe and profess that legal acceptance of SSM won't slide down the slippery slope into acceptance of polygamy.

Baron Zemo said...

Where's everybody running
Look at everybody go, go-go-go
Somebody please tell me, what's all the rush
But tell you Babalu's getting married, what you say he's gay?
Babalu's getting married, that cheap skate
Hear the church bells ringing-ding dong
All the people are signing's - hay, hay
And the dude is waiting, wait wait
Hear them all celebrating, so gay
But he ain't the money, oh oh
Babalu's wedding day

Some people think it's funny
Some people think it's true, true-true-true
Babalu's getting married, what will he do?

He met his guy at a baseball game
Playing second base for the Milwaukee Braves
Husky Ryanlina was his name
Asked him for an autograph and made a date
Babalu, Babalu, Babalu's wedding day

He had a friend who lived at the corner
He thought Babalu was a gone-er
From his friend he tried to borrow a dime
So he could get to church in time
Babalu, Babalu, Babalu's wedding day

He had a monkey tied on a string
An organ grinder that he played
Counting the money at the end of the day
The monkey took the money and he ran away
Babalu, Babalu, Babalu's wedding day

Babalu, Babalu, Babalu's wedding day
Babalu, Babalu, Babalu's wedding da

Anglelyne said...

YoungHegelian: Let me guess --- you don't read much Scholastic philosophy or Catholic apologetics, do you? Because that's exactly what they try and do.

Fair play, YH. You got me there. And thanks for the correction - I will expand my reading. Got any suggestions for a start? (You're not going to make me read the Summa, are you? But if I gotta do what I gotta do, I'll do it.)

Nomennovum said...

NoNo, and you wonder why you can find a woman??


I have a harem of (well, two) twenty-somethings at my beck-and-call, loose-lips. So, it is more accurate to say, "And you wonder why you can find more girls 20 years younger than you???"

No, I don't wonder. I can find more because of my great charm. And I probably will at some point, if you must know.

Anglelyne said...

creeley23: Your entire raison d'etre here is to stir up shit: "Let's You and Him Fight," "Look, I'm Being Picked On!"

Never attribute to malice aforethought what can be explained by irremediable ditziness and invincible self-absorption.

Nomennovum said...

Make that 25 years younger.

Nomennovum said...

"invincible self-absorption"

That describes loose-lips to a T. She actually thinks that she ever "bested" someone here.

YoungHegelian said...

@Angelyne,

Give me a day or two, since I'm up to my ass with work & fixing the house plumbing for a new washer, and I will send you via your profile e-mail some "pointers".

Thank you for your curiosity. You're a credit to this forum!

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

And Creely, the game you've been playing is this:
You put forth a direct call out to SSM proponents and asked them to state whether they were OK with polygamy. When Leo and I answerd your question, you were not satisfied because you were hoping that the liberals would say "no, one would not necessarily have to follow the other", SO you could argue their hypocrisy.

You lost at your own game. How's that for deductive reasoning? You are arrogant and presumptive, you need to work on that.

Anglelyne said...

YoungHegelian:

I'd be much obliged for any suggestions - but take your sweet time, and only if you can spare it!

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baron Zemo said...

Al: Oh, sure, our rights are not important? Anything a woman says is fine with us? Gee, when did men become such losers? It used to be so great to be a man. Women were there to please us. They'd look after the kids and we'd go out and have a good time. That's the natural order of things. What happened, Steve?
Steve: Well, Al...
Al: I'll tell you what happened, Steve. Somebody told women they should start enjoying sex, too. That was the beginning of the end. Now they like it, but it's work for us. Everything's work for us. It's this equality thing, it's killing us. You know who I blame? Steve: The French?
Al: No the homo's.
Stever: Same thing.
Al: You know you are right.
(Married with Children, 1987)

X said...

so you're saying you'd be OK with your dildo marrying additional wives? as long as they are of age and not related to your dildo?

The Godfather said...

I posted this piece on my Facebook page with this comment: "For those of us who favor same sex marriage rights, and feel that the tide is running in the right direction, this isn't helpful".

Aside from that, first let's acknowledge that this issue isn't about sex, at least in the US. Although there once were laws that said you couldn't have sex with anyone but your spouse, those laws are no longer enforced even if they remain on some statute books. Nor does society seem to impose any disapproval sanctions on those who have sex with those with whom they are not married -- it isn't just Brad and Angelina, it's a whole lot of people who openly live together out of wedlock and are not shamed for doing so.

If Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice want to live together and have however many variants of couplings they crave, there is no law to deny them their enjoyment of each other.

The issues with respect to same-sex marriage and polygamy are (1) how will various government regulations and provisions (inheritance, taxation, etc.) apply, and (2) will the state by its imprimatur grant social approval to such relationships -- or even penalize those who disapprove of them?

This is a reason why I oppose the constitutionalization of the same sex marriage issue. If we think of marriage in terms of the "right" to participate in it, then we'll have no basis to oppose people who demand their "right" to participate in plural marriage. The more rational way to look at this question is not in terms of rights but in terms of the institution. Is a relationship between an X and a Y what our society chooses to recognize as a marriage?

I want same sex marriage to be approved in my state, and I am prepared to argue (and have argued) that such a relationship ought to be considered a marriage here. That's a policy judgment to be made by this community. It does not -- and should not -- imply that the state needs to recognize the relationship between Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice as a marriage.

Julie C said...

I lived in a country where polygamy was common and there were a number of benefits to the women.

First, in a poor country without widely available birth control, a man with multiple wives means the women stand a chance of not being pregnant non-stop. The man is expected to refrain from intercourse with a nursing wife and has other wives to take up the slack, so to speak.

Second, child care and the care of the home are spread out among four wives. Living in a poor African country is not easy - fetching water from a well, cooking meals over an open fire, killing and cleaning chickens or fish, washing clothes by hand, the list goes on. Very labor intensive. Doing that while you are nursing a baby and running after a toddler are much easier with other adult women around to help.

I knew at least one woman who wasn't happy about her situation - she had married her husband assuming she would be the only one, and when he brought home a new wife she was devastated. But the women who went into a marriage expecting to be a part of a polygamous marriage seemed to me to be satisfied. It was the men who always looked a bit harried!

Shana said...

But why only variants of couplings for Bob, Ted, Carol, and Alice? Why not triplings?

That seems rather bigoted of you, Godfather.

Terry said...

Obama and bin Laden were both products of polygamous marriage.
Sometimes I think it is too bad Obama Sr. drank himself to death. A reality show with Obama Sr. would have been great television. America would have been better for watching it.

Nomennovum said...

That seems rather bigoted of you, Godfather

I have found that a progressives' policy positions are infinitely malleable. They can, and will, change with time. Look at Choom, for example, and his position on SSM.

Also, progs live by the slippery slope. It's how they so easily slide from one position to another. From bad, to worse, to destroyed. The sad thing is, they know all this in advance when they form a new position, but they will deny it till their dying breathe.

The biggest slippery slope will shortly lead us to fully nationalized healthcare. The unworkable Obamacare is right now destroying health insurance as we knew it. Once that's completed, we all know what will take its place.

However, to give the progs credit where credit is due: Even I doubt Inga will ever be able to marry her Pearl Panther. So, good news!

Steven said...

The old natural law arguments for the institution of marriage are much friendlier to polygamy than same-sex marriage. They mark marriage as the natural conclusion of the fact that a man can get a woman pregnant, and the child needs parental support to survive. If a man can support more than wife and the children thereof . . . well. Which is why St. Thomas Aquinas had so much difficulty.

The traditionalist arguments for marriage are much friendlier to polygamy than same-sex marriage, too; polygamy is common in human history, and even shows up unofficially (through customs of tolerated mistresses) in societies where monogamy is the official rule.

Religious arguments are also are much friendlier to polygamy than same-sex marriage, too; more Americans are members of religious groups that allow polygamy than ones that allow same-sex unions.

Liberty arguments are obviously as much in favor of it as they were for same-sex marriage.

Equality arguments are a bit rougher to apply; the "Alice and Bob can get married; not letting Carol marry Alice is sex discrimination" argument has no exact polygamous parallel.

Anglelyne said...

Julie C: I lived in a country where polygamy was common and there were a number of benefits to the women.

First, in a poor country without widely available birth control, a man with multiple wives means the women stand a chance of not being pregnant non-stop. The man is expected to refrain from intercourse with a nursing wife and has other wives to take up the slack, so to speak.

Second, child care and the care of the home are spread out among four wives. Living in a poor African country is not easy - fetching water from a well, cooking meals over an open fire, killing and cleaning chickens or fish, washing clothes by hand, the list goes on. Very labor intensive. Doing that while you are nursing a baby and running after a toddler are much easier with other adult women around to help.


Then again, one might idly speculate on why their polygynous husbands never developed high enough levels of intra-male co-operation and complex social organization to invent indoor plumbing, electric ovens, commercial abattoirs, washing machines, and contraception.

Not sayin', just speculatin'. Maybe if it's taken as given that the majority of men will get their fair share (one wife), they don't need to spend all their energy competing with other guys to collect enough wives to support that labor-intensive lifestyle, and all the guys can spend more time hanging out with other men doing guy stuff, like inventing cool things. Or at least putting their superior muscle power together to do heavy manual labor more efficiently than women can. Instead of just using it for whacking each other so they can get wives to do all that work and...

Just speculatin'.

Inga said...

NoNo, your girlfriend borrowed my Pearl Panther, she said her aging boyfriend just wasn't satisfying her, she being 20 years his junior. I told her no need to give it back. :) I don't need one.

Nomennovum said...

I must say all this polygamy talk is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Like gays wanting to marry, too few people will want to have multiple spouses. With gays, the limiting factor is their small number. With polygyny, the limiting factor is current divorce law. What sane man with any kind of assets or income want to marry multiple women and thereby increase his risk of financially crippling divorce? How about mulitple divorces? Only the very poor and the very rich could possibly consider it. And the poor already don't get married. They live a polyamorous life-style right now.

Polygany works in Muslim countries because their divorce laws aren't exactly written by feminists, you know.

Polyandry might occur with a few dominatrix-type women married to omega loser submissive slubs, but I really don't see it catching on. Do you?

ed said...

@ roesch/voltaire

"Dreams, doesn't everybody want a number of wives for the reasons you gave, including wives? "

So if I'm married to a woman who is married to me and another woman do I have conjugal rights with the third party wife? How recursive does this go? Can I boink the girlfriend of a wife of a wife of a wife?

*shrug* hey as long as someone else earns the money, cooks, cleans, does the laundry and gives me time to play the occasional MMO game I'm happy.

ed said...

So the lesson for all you lesbians out there looking to get married:

Marry a guy in a polygamous marriage

This way you'll get your SSM without as much fuss. And if you have deal with having sex with a guy now and then well ... this is the internet.

We all have to deal with dicks here.

Lem said...

I'm not endorsing this.

Let me be clear!

chickelit said...

Polygamy could be tried on a state-by-state basis. Utah seems like the place to start, though there may already be some unique statutes barring it. An influx of wealthy sheiks could shake up their politics.

Nomennovum said...

wealthy sheiks -- chickelit

I hate those guys. They are very ostentatious. They show off their wealth. They waive their big bucks right in your face. They like to sheik their booty.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less "correct" than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults.

This seems to me an entirely valid argument, given the premise, which I've put in bold.

Also, as noted, it applies to incestuous marriages. And, don't assume the notion of "consenting adults" is a firewall. That notion has been under assault for some time.

While the heterosexuality of marriage is well supported from Natural Law, the idea of marriage as just two people would seem to be more based on religion. So once marriage is "plastic," why wouldn't the restriction on polygamy fall because it is based on religion (and interferes with free exercise of some religions), rather than a more constitutionally permissible basis?

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

How about a polygamous SSM? How would that work? Would one of the spouses have to be the alpha "hubby" with "spokes" as in heteropolygamy? Seems like the logical conclusion would be group marriages.

Paul said...

Like I posted for years, if homosexuals are allowed to marry then Polygamy, Polyandry, Traids, Human–animal marriage, etc... then by default, should be allowed.

Why just one woman or man? Why not animals? Why not marry your car?

See gang, you wanted gays to marry, well hell now you see the dark side of this and why gay marriage would be outlawed.

chickelit said...

Inga said...
Ohhhhh hohoho, that was quite humorous NoNo. I have a grey panther at my beck and call. Pearls, I wear them around my neck.:)

ZZ Top: Pearl Necklace.

ed said...

Or the variant that Robert A. Heinlein explored in "Moon is a harsh mistress":

The line marriage

Where it is a group marriage but additions have to be in heterosexual pairs. So to add a new wife you have to add a new husband.

Meh the whole thing is frankly strange to me and it shows how crazy the country has gotten that this is actually being discussed.

chickelit said...

"Pearl Panther" ???

*Looks up on Google*

Oh, it's available on Amazon! I dare someone to order one through Althouse's portal.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm not endorsing this.

I'm betting her position will evolve.

Nini said...


Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage

whoresoftheinternet said:
No proof of this. At all. Especially given the significantly higher percentage of mentally diseased persons amongst homosexuals v. the population as a whole, and the broken home lives of homos v. non-homos, the idea that gay "marriage" is no worse than hetero marriage not only is unsupported by facts, it is undermined by facts.



Yes, wasn't there a time when homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder by the Medical profession but was then removed from the list, not so much because it had scientific findings to support it's removal but because it's ideologically correct to do so.

Now, petitions from various groups want to remove pederasty/paedophilia from their classification as mental disorders so they would be viewed as normal and further down the line be legalized.

And NAMBLA is working to abolish age of consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors.

World gone mad.

John Cunningham said...

should not all Muslim towelheads have the sacred right to marry multiple goats? diversity demands it!!

Ironclad said...

I lived in Arabia for many many years where polygamy was the norm. Almost every man had a 2nd wife, the first being regulated to cleaner status when the guy got around 40 and needed a younger honey bear. The usual deal was for the man to put up both ladies in separate homes - since cohabitation never seemed to work well.

The key thing was that the first wife many times didn't even know about honey #2. And even if she did, she could not stop her husband from marrying again. It was a male power trip.

The best part of the whole situation was the fact that many men had no chance to marry because the available women were taken by wealthier guys (dowry is a big part of marriage there and it is expensive.) I asked one time time how this was fair and was told (by educated people) that it was NO PROBLEM since everyone knew that there were 4 times as many women born as men. The ratio was religiously justified on that "fact"

The original polygamy situations were made after wars killed off the men - there were too few men for the women when these customs developed.

But the whole arrangement was a mess.

Pogo said...

Conservatives have been proven correct here over and over again, pointing out the ultimate outcomes of the slippery slope away from traditional marriage.

And yet our predictions about what will come next are again ignored.

chickelit said...

@Pogo: Conservative are square pegs; liberals are like round holes.

Rabel said...

"As to #2, I think the state can limit marriage to couples. Here, I think there can be a limit across the board: Everyone can have one spouse."

Thanks for offering your opinion on that. Can you follow up with the reasoning behind it?

chuck said...

And yet our predictions about what will come next are again ignored

Liberals *want* to break down society. They see no virtue in it and prefer the natural rule of the strong. They are also of the mistaken opinion that they are among the strong, living in isolated splendor as they do. Old fashioned Darwinists at heart, they are.

ken in sc said...

It looks like almost no one reads the Bible. All those patriarchs who had multiple wives and concubines had serious family conflicts, starting with Abraham down through King David and Solomon. Kings and Chronicles is a lesson in what not to do. How would you like for your son Absalom to have public sex with your mistresses and try to murder you?

ByGollyMark said...

My original concern with same sex marriage or polygamy was that it made the words Father and Mother and Mom and Dad and Husband and Wife pretty much useless. As descriptors they now may apply to people of either gender who may or may not be in a relationship and may or may not have created a child and may or may not be raising the child they created. Those words no longer can be depended upon to describe a persons role or relationship to another, much less gender.

It always seemed to me there should be new words to describe newly accepted relationships rather than taking words with somewhat dependable meaning and adding so many potential meanings that they are useful.

Further, it created situations with a "gotcha" built in. When little Timmy tells the teacher his mom is coming to get him she may ask for a description so that she can recognize the mom but if Timmy says,
'long blond hair and blue eyes" we are still not entirely sure. Does little Timmy have 2 female moms or a male dad and a male transgender mom or a male dad and a female mom or some permutation I didn't think of? Are we in Arizona or Utah and are there multiple moms? (or Appalachia and sibling moms) Who is little Timmy talking about anyway?

However, that ship is leaving the port. There is little doubt that same sex marriage will eventually be the law of the land without the addition of any language to address the relationships.

So . . .

Marriage (at least functionally) appears to predate creation of formal definitions and civil control. Seems logical to me that we leave the marrying part to the parties involved and whatever social or religious institution from which they seek blessing or approval or whatever they want marriage to mean to them. They may call themselves moms or dads or grand poobas as they choose.

Governments role in relationships would then be to record any contract the parties may enter into and adjudicate disputes regarding those agreements. As contracts must be entered into voluntarily (I am not an attorney but that certainly seems right)by those of legal age and sound mind and all that, it would seem to leave in place or even strengthen protection for minors, unwilling parties, and most farm animals from entering a contract. Contracts binding minors and the unwilling would be illegal so would seem to prevent a lot of abuse disguised as marriage.

Yes that would mean that people who live together and may or may not have sex could choose to call themselves married or not but the word would not carry any legal meaning. Should they choose to be a legally bound couple, (or threesome or ?) of whatever gender they can come to agreement and enter a contract that defines what obligations it puts on each of the parties, if and how the contract may be enforced or terminated, etc. To assure the terms of the relationship contract are secure the document should be recorded at the courthouse. "A Personal Relationship Contract"

Addressed at the same time should be who is responsible for the children. There should be statutory requirement that at birth (or conception or whatever point in between society chooses) the child becomes the joint social and financial responsibility of both parties that chose to take the action that created the child until it reaches legal age and the ability to make it's own decisions and be held 100% responsible for them. Should the child become part of another relationship agreement then they may take up those responsibilities by contract and the approval of the court and the original creating party or parties. (the singular would apply to a woman who chooses to be inseminated without the direct and specific knowledge and consent of the donor (or to the first transexual to successfully impregnate themselves)

All people treated exactly equally without regard to their religion, race, creed, color, gender, gender identity, cultural group, haircut, or relationship status.

Renee said...

@ bygollymark

Children are not chattel to be passed around by contract. Marriage is not contract law, rather seen differently as public policy. I'm neither a service or an object, I'm a spouse.


Children have a mom and dad. Its in their DNA, those are who responsible to LOVE them.

Renee said...

Marriage can be plastic, but children are not.

bpm4532 said...

The problem with limiting it to 2, is that it asks a fundamental question of why 2? This goes directly to the core biological function of marriage that has been the sole basis for thousands of years - you can only have 1 mother and 1 father. If you separate the biological link and say it is about a personal right of association, then you are being arbitrary and capricious by limiting it to 2 and thus violating a basic individual unalienable right.

chuck said...

@ByGollyMark

What about divorce? Suppose it is the custom in some groups or religions that women can not divorce husbands? That the child always stays with the father, or vice versa. The courts will have to stay out of the family and children business altogether and leave it to the appropriate religious authorities who can do whatever is their custom.

Do you believe liberals will agree to that? I don't, it think they will want the state to enforce what liberals think is right. And with civil society in decay, they will meet little effective pushback.

chickelit said...

Marriage can be plastic, but children are not.

I fully understand the meaning of plastic in this sense but "plastic" is also an old hippie pejorative word meant to convey disdain for things "square." I think the usual suspects even called Mitt Romney "plastic man." Such people hold a mean grudge against convention.

Nini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nini said...

And for those who want to know my position: I note 2 completely different questions. 1. Should the state be able to criminalize the activities of more than 2 adults who engage in private rituals proclaiming that they are married and then claim to be married? and 2. Should the state recognize marriages with more than 2 adults for the purposes of tax laws and benefits programs? As to #1, I think this is a matter of individual autonomy, a combination of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion, and the state must leave these people alone. As to #2, I think the state can limit marriage to couples. Here, I think there can be a limit across the board: Everyone can have one spouse. You can combine #1 and #2 and have one legal marriage and additional members of the household that you can call whatever you want. It's none of the government's business.


1.If a group of consenting adults was married by a voodoo priest, it's none of the government's business. But if they use it to claim benefits by deceit that is fraud because last time I heard no marriage cert is issued for this kind of relationship.

2. No. Gov't should not recognize marriage of more than 2 adults for tax purposes and benefits. You in the U.S. have that much problem because your institution of marriage is tied with taxation and benefits.

In Australia, all people are treated as individuals (whether married, or living with a de-facto partner, we have NO SSM here) -- everyone files his/her own individual tax return. If you are married, your employer deduct the same taxes as it would a single person. (btw, same sex couples are considered as de-facto couple for social security benefits, which is not reallyy favourable because they get less as couple)

Benefits to a married or de-facto couples will only arise if they have children and tax concessions and benefits are related to raising of children.

Those in polygamous relationship who claim benefits like social security, one has to choose which partner to declare as spouse. In any case, in this country, persons in polygamous relationship would prefer to be treated as individuals because you get less unemployment benefits if you are a partner/spouse of someone than if claim for as single.

Synova said...

I don't understand why there can be a limit to marriage to a "couple" because it doesn't discriminate against someone because of their "status" when, for example, religion is a specifically, Constitutionally, protected "status."

Saying, well, homosexuality is how you're born so it's a status...

...but religious practice and observance is a Constitutionally, specifically protected status.

To say that one's desires invoke constitutional protection but a clearly stated constitutional protection doesn't is, well, it's an extraordinary claim I think.

And as I've said before... polyamorists view the ability to form a multi-person mate bond as an orientation, that you are able or unable to form those bonds because of inherent qualities.

On what basis is it *different* if there are three people or four people who love each other or if there are two?

Nini said...

The slippery slope argument is not a fallacious argument because it's a reasonable argument to predict what will happen in the future.

James said...

I do not believe a recognition of 1 spouse for tax purposes can stand under equal protection if polygamy is accepted as "lawful". If we just let people "do it", well that's what we have now.

But if the government countenances it in any way are we really going to say that if a Muslim with four wives is permitted to immigrate here, three of his wives will receive no legal protection?

Once we have SSM, the tax and social laws relating to marriage will become as complex as corporate tax law.

Shana said...

Althouse said, "As to #2, I think the state can limit marriage to couples. Here, I think there can be a limit across the board: Everyone can have one spouse."

Why?

chickelit said...

Shanna asks "Why?"

A better question is "says who?" SCOTUS? Referenda by voters?

Given her stated position on SSM, she'd have to answer SCOTUS to be consistent.

Baron Zemo said...

Don't ask for a reasonable reason.

Because there is none.

It is all ten pounds of bullshit in a five pound bag.

Get the governement out of marriage business.

bagoh20 said...
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Bima said...

I would be interested in hearing Ann and Bob Wright discuss this during their next Bloggingheads episode. In his "Moral Animal" BW makes some interestng observations about polygamy.

bagoh20 said...

As far as I know, no human society or significant religion anywhere, anytime has endorsed same sex marriage, but most have had some history of polygamy.

Doesn't precedent mean anything to lawyers? Like I said, do you have any real rules beyond "I'd like to win this"?

ricpic said...

And NAMBLA is working to abolish age of consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors.

World gone mad.



Let's call it what it will be: male children being legally raped by hellish homosexuals. If you're a male child that's a little worse than world gone mad. Do sophisticates EVER put themselves in the position of those male children?
THEY DO NOT!

Nini said...

Synova: ...but religious practice and observance is a Constitutionally, specifically protected status.


What about those religious practices brought into the country by immigrants which came from a culture alien to the host country?

Should the sharia law whose foundation is religious be interpreted into the constitution of the host country?

bagoh20 said...

Wait a second Althouse. You already broke this rule, you've been married to two people so far. Unless timing is the issue now.

What if Meade falls in love with me? Are you going to force us to let you go? I have what he really wants: dogs.

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