it’s here

Many of us have been saying for some time that the normalization of homosexual marriage will inevitably open the door to the state’s acceptance of polygamy. Proponents of gay marriage typically scoff and say we’re silly for making such a slippery slope argument. Well, not anymore.

In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, Jonathan Turley argues that the same civil liberties that enable homosexuals to marry must also allow for polygamous relationships. He’s right.

If framed in terms of rights and freedoms, then of course homosexuals and polygamists have the right to freely marry however many of whichever gender they choose. A polygamist man would be free to marry two men and three women if he chose and they were agreeable.

But what if the debate is not really about rights and freedoms but about nature? If marriage is by nature the covenantal union between one man and one woman, then though homosexuals and polygamists may have the right to marry whomever they want, they lack the ability to pull it off. They and the state may call what they have a marriage, but in fact it isn’t. We can change our language and our laws but we can’t change nature. It is what it is.

This weekend, as supporters celebrate the 764 homosexual marriages that will occur in New York, I hope they remember to speak out for the alleged thousands of polygamists in this country who are still denied that right. Their cries for justice may shock and offend some, but it will be completely consistent with what they have argued for all along. If supporters of gay marriage refuse to take a stand, if they claim that they should be allowed a right that they deny to polygamists, then they are doing to polygamists what they claim conservative Christians have done to them.

So here is the choice: either marriage is between one man and one woman or we go all the way to polygamy. Stopping off somewhere in the middle, such as with gay marriage, smells like hypocrisy.

10 Comments

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  1. Interesting topic of debate there! There’s going to be some who doin’t read it carefully and will spout off…..but you’re right. And they wonder why this country is headed downhill with no brakes!

  2. Why stop at polygamy? What about same-sex incestuous relationships? The traditional problem with incest (genetic problems with offspring) no longer has a bearing on relationships in which procreation is impossible, so it can become nothing more than yet another social more to slough off. This slope slips far beyond polygamy.

  3. Dosen’t the limitations in the “age of consent” statutes fall to the same logic also?

  4. I believe the gay person will attempt to say that they are responding to what is natural to them and that a polygamist can have their natural desires fulfilled with a monogamist relationship? The following is reflective of their argument: http://www.slate.com/id/2138482/ I wish there was a forum for a debate…including a polygamist in that debate!

  5. Sorry for adding another comment before you get a chance to respond or comment about my comment above but here is a blog worth reading on the subject. Lots of really warped thinking in the comments but important for us to hear if we are going to present the gospel well in our culture. Here it is: http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005770.html

  6. Mark:

    The gist of the first article you mentioned was that polygamy isn’t natural because people tend to become jealous when their partner is sleeping around. That is true, but it still shows the hypocrisy in the pro gay marriage argument. When I say that gay marriage is unnatural, they say I’m homophobic and against the civil rights of gay people. But what should polygamists conclude when homosexuals assert that polygamy is unnatural? I don’t think they can have it both ways.

  7. Mark:

    The second article started out in opposition to my claim, but by the time she was done she was actually agreeing with my point, that acceptance of gay marriage opens the door wide to polygamy. Of course, her use of Scripture also lacks competence.

  8. There was an interesting article about marriage in the gr press on 7/8/11 by Ross Douthat. One of the things he said “Institutions tend to be strongest when they make significant moral demands, and weaker when they preemptively accommodate themselves to human nature.” Can be found here http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/04/opinion/04douthat.html?_r=1&ref=rossdouthat

  9. …let’s face it, I doubt we are going to have a big push for polygamist marriages soon but the bigger issue to come is how this creates a problem for Christians opposed to gay marriage. Will an Evangelical wedding photographer be forced to accept gay clients? See: http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26669 Will he/she have to cater their wedding? Will he/she have to hire out their limo service for the wedding reception? etc. What we need to discuss is how Christians need to think through this issue. I can see many Christians saying, “Well, its my job just as a I have to sell cigarettes on my job at the grocery store.”

  10. Another insightful post. Blessings,

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