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Plural Marriage?. . . Is This The Next Barrier To Fall?

May 18, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO, JD

In his dissent in the 2015 same-sex marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, Chief Justice John Roberts warned that changing the traditional definition of marriage to include two persons of the same sex would be a slippery slope toward legalizing polygamy. He wrote:
“One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether states may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people. Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective ‘two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.
“If ‘there is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,’ why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry?” (Citations omitted.)
Well, it didn’t take long after the Obergefell decision for wags, legal and otherwise, to recognize the point that if marriage could be redefined to include same-sex couples it could be redefined to include “throuples,” as they call themselves.
In an essay published in The New York Times shortly after Obergefell, University of Chicago professor of law William Baude opined that polygamy might be the logical next step, posing this question: “Now that the dust is settling from the Supreme Court’s decision…there are new questions. In particular, could the decision presage a constitutional right to plural marriage? If there is no magic power in opposite sexes when it comes to marriage, is there any magic power in the number two?”
He noted that the decision did not focus primarily on the issue of sexual orientation, but the fundamental right to marry, which, according to the majority, could not be limited to “rigid historical definitions” or to the legislative process. “By those lights, groups of adults who have profound polyamorous attachments and wish to build families and join the community have a strong claim to a right to marry,” he wrote.
Now the American Psychological Association (APA) is getting into the act. Last summer the APA has created a task force to study “consensual non-monogamy” in order to reduce the stigma for people who practice polyamory. According to the association’s website, the task-force plans “to generate research, create resources, and advocate for the inclusion of consensual non-monogamous relationships.”
Heath Schechinger, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, and co-chair of the APA task force, told The Daily Signal, “There is plenty of evidence that consensual non-monogamy is an emerging civil rights movement. I’ve heard from a number of people advocating for relationship structure diversity over the past 20 years who are elated about this issue finally gaining traction.”
And the follow-up to this is that polygamy activists have already geared up lobbying efforts with city and state officials to include protection in anti-discrimination ordinances for those in “throuple” marriages. In Berkeley, however, an effort to extend protection in housing, employment, business practices, city facilities, and education to “swingers, polyamorists,” and other non-monogamists failed to pass the city council last year over concerns that it would have required employers to provide health insurance to numerous sexual partners.
Really? Insurance is the problem?
Does this mean polygamy is coming? Well just think about it for a second. The gay rights movement emerged in the middle of the last century. During that time the APA in 1973 voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and started toward normalization. There followed the advocacy for same-sex unions, then marriages which were seen to fruition by picking off state courts until the dam burst with the 2015 Obergefell decision. Finally, we have now abandoned the science of biology and created the right to change gender or sex at will and to be identified by our preference, notwithstanding our assignment in utero.
So is it so far-fetched that we will see a further breakdown of marriage and the family by groups of swingers who also claim the right to define their “family” as was recognized by Obergefell?
Well, consider that over a dozen states now recognize the possibility of a child having more than two parents and that Utah just repealed its law that had made bigamy a felony. It is now only a civil infraction, much like a parking ticket.
In Utah the sponsor of the bill — a Republican — claimed it was repealed because the prohibition was responsible for child sexual assault. Sen. Deidre Henderson, in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, defended the bill thusly: “Unlawful cohabitation in Utah has been a felony since 1935. Contrary to the law’s intended purpose of eliminating polygamy, it has instead enabled abuse. Like alcohol’s prohibition a century ago, which gave rise to Al Capone and a dangerous black market, today’s prohibition on polygamy has created a shadow society in which the vulnerable make easy prey.”
Got that?
And if that is not enough for you there is another tack that the pro-polyamory folks are floating: polyamory is a sexual orientation! Apparently people are born that way and thus deserve the protection of anti-discrimination laws. An article in Psychology Today after Obergefell described it this way: “Poly-by-orientation people often mention being oriented toward multiple people since childhood, such as pretending to have multiple spouses when they played house or socializing in groups instead of having a single best friend. Many emphasize a profound discomfort with monogamy and an inability to remain in monogamous relationships.”
They need help, but I digress.
The predicate was described by Princeton Professor Robert George who warned: “Many polyamorous people say that their desire or felt need for multiple partners is central to their identity, and that they have known from an early age that they could never find personal and sexual fulfillment in a purely monogamous relationship. The message is that they are the next sexual minority whose human rights, including of course the right to marriage equality, must be honored. They’re following the same playbook as same-sex marriage advocates in mainstreaming polyamory and putting in place the cultural predicates for its legal recognition.”
So there you have it. One of these days a throuple will move in next door with whatever non-binary kids they have amassed and, well, let’s just hope they limit themselves to three adults. The new modern suburban family! Brought to you by legal and psychological professionals whose jobs it is to normalize dysfunction rather than trying to correct it.
Be watchful, it could be coming to your hometown.
(You can reach Mike at DeaconMike@q.com, and listen to him every Thursday at 10 [CDT] on IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

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