Saturday, March 30, 2013

NPR And How Same-Sex Marriage Opens The Door For Polygamy

From March 28, 2013:
SIEGEL: Polygamy is still practiced in Africa and the Middle East, and there are immigrants here from societies that accept it. If Washington were to defer to the states in defining marriage, could legalized polygamy make a comeback? Well, Jonathan Turley is a law professor at George Washington University. Welcome to the program.


SIEGEL: And let's set out first, you are representing clients who are seeking to overturn a Utah law that effectively, bans polygamy.

TURLEY: That's correct. What the Brown family is doing is, they're challenging a law that criminalizes cohabitation, which is the law that governs plural families, including polygamists. And it is that law that says that even if you don't have multiple marriage licenses, if you simply live with someone - or multiple partners, you can be criminally charged....
SIEGEL: Is there anything germane in either of the arguments, either of the day's cases and same-sex marriage that relates to your case?

TURLEY: Really, what this case reflects is where the gay and lesbian community was almost exactly 10 years ago, before the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. That was the ruling where the Supreme Court said you could not criminalize homosexuality. The polygamists are a decade behind that. And when we talk about polygamists, you have to remember that cohabitation statutes really apply to a vast array of plural families that are often ignored.
 Two problems: if they "defer to the states" then same-sex marriage bans (such as Prop. 8) stay in effect.  But NPR doesn't have the sharpest knives in the drawer.  And remember when Senator Santorum said something similar several years back, and was castigated for the suggestion of where this would lead?

Here's an article from March 30, 2013 USA Today which is clearly making fun on the same-sex marriage argument, but he makes a valid point: why is "one-man, one-woman" bigotry, while "one-man, three women" remains unlawful?
Those arguing for "marriage equality" at the U.S. Supreme Court this week should be ashamed of themselves.

They're just as guilty of discrimination as those dastardly conservatives still bitterly clinging to their guns and their religion. Why no argument for polygamy, polyamory and other forms of diversity? Why are they only defending their exclusive definition of diversity?

How dare those seeking to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act signed by President Clinton, or Proposition 8 ratified by the people of California, stop at just redefining marriage to include two consenting adults of the same gender. Why do these people believe they have the authority to draw a moralistic line against any consenting adults, and thus force their moral standard upon the rest of us?


  1. A couple of comments...

    Some of the guys at The Volokh Conspiracy were involved in a brief the DOMA violated federalism. Go figure.

    Also, on a natural law basis, polygamy makes more sense than SSM.

  2. I can sort of see the argument -- but the real reason is that most law professors, even right of center, really want to see gay marriage recognized, because then they can seem cool.