Polygamy Ruling Shows Misunderstanding of What Marriage Is

December 16, 2013

Sister Wivesby Nathan A. Cherry

Remember when defenders of traditional marriage said that any attempt to redefine marriage would result in opening the door to any kind “relationship” and calling it “marriage”? The argument said that if the government redefine marriage for homosexuals it will have to continue redefining marriage for other groups of be guilty of the same discrimination it now accuses traditional marriage supporters of.

That day came sooner than anyone expected.

The result is the legalization of polygamy in the wake of a decision by a federal judge in Utah that found the states laws banning polygamy unconstitutional.

Brietbart Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski says that this decision relies on the very same arguments made by homosexuals:

“In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ ‘slippery slope’ arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional…Waddoups’ opinion would not only cover such groups, however, but also Muslims or anyone else who claims a right—religious or otherwise—to have multiple-person marriages.”

The judge in this case made a troubling analysis of the understanding of marriage that reflects a larger misunderstanding in our society. His words were reported in the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Waddoups’ ruling attacks the parts of Utah’s law making cohabitation illegal. In the introduction, Waddoups says the phrase ‘or cohabits with another person’ is a violation of both the First and 14th amendments. Waddoups later writes that while there is no ‘fundamental right’ to practice polygamy, the issue really comes down to ‘religious cohabitation.’ In the 1800s — when the mainstream LDS Churh still practiced polygamy — ‘religious cohabitation’ in Utah could have actually resulted in ‘multiple purportedly legal marriages.’ Today, however, simply living together doesn’t amount to being ‘married,’ Waddoups writes.”

Judge Waddoups’ first states that there is no “fundamental right” to practice polygamy. It will be interesting to see how advocates seek to get around this statement in future appeals for legalization and approval of polygamy. But the judge at least got it right on this point. There is no fundamental right to practice polygamy inherent in the Constitution, and certainly no grounds for a judge to legalize it.

What is troubling though is that Judge Waddoup believes that “simply living together doesn’t amount to being married.” Really? Then what is it? If two people live in the same home, share the burdens and responsibilities of that home, bear kids and raise them together, what are they doing? They may not be technically, according to the law, married, but they are certainly living as married people.

This troubling statement highlights the greater societal ignorance regarding what marriage is. In the effort to redefine marriage and, ultimately, un-define marriage, there is a complete lack of understanding as to what exactly marriage is. This can also be seen in the rise of co-habitation; not just among society in general but specifically among those claiming to be religious or Christian. The experiment of two people living together and “playing house” in order to give marriage a try before actually getting married is becoming popular amidst skyrocketing divorce rates. And yet statistics continue to show that co-habitation raises the risk of divorce. (Click here, here, or here for evidence.)

Is this an isolated judgment doomed to be overturned and forgotten. I don’t think so. Neither does Ken Klukowski, he wrote:

“This lawsuit is the brainchild of Prof. Jonathan Turley at George Washington University. He’s designed a two-step strategy, piggybacking on same-sex marriage: first, decriminalize polygamy, then assert a right to official recognition of polygamy. As Turley explained in previous court filings, he believes there is a ‘right to self-determination of private relations and family matters free of government intrusion.’ He noted that many oppose polygamy, and goes on to assert that polygamists ‘are entitled to protection from such majoritarian animus and bias vis-à-vis their private lifestyles and relations. Their status under domestic law is a civil rights issue deserving the same protections afforded to homosexuals and other minority groups.’ The exact legal arguments for same-sex marriage equally apply to multiple-person marriages. Turley acknowledges that marriage laws that do not include both are ‘a tool for the imposition of a uniform moral agenda or tenets on citizens.’ Turley then goes on to make clear he is not only arguing for the form of polygamy technically called polygyny, which is one man with multiple women. In other words, he also argues for a right to polyandry (one woman with multiple men) and polyamory (multiple men with multiple women).”

In other words, the effort to legalize polygamy has only just begun. Relying on the same arguments used by homosexuals to legalize same-sex “marriage” and gain public approval for their lifestyle, polygamists are in this for the long haul. But you can be sure that not only are polygamists watching the outcomes of courts cases, so are polyamorists, pedophiles, and even bestiality advocates.

The reality is that if same-sex “marriage” can be legalized why not polygamy and any other form of “alternative lifestyle” and “sexual orientation.” It would be absurd to say that a set of arguments can be applied to one lifestyle but not another. Advocates for these various lifestyles recognize this and are beginning to use those arguments to their advantage in the courts.

The alarm has been sounding for several years that redefining marriage would open a Pandora’s Box or start a slippery slope. Advocates of marriage redefinition blasted those sounding the alarm as…alarmists. And yet, here we are. What will those sounding the alarm over the possible legalization of pedophilia and bestiality be called?

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Tags: arguments, definition, homosexual, Jonathan Turley, marriage, Polygamy, Salt Lake Tribune, same sex, Waddoup




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