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Subject: Hypocrisy in Marriage Debate? rss

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Jage
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I have a question that it seems like nobody cares about. Or just that nobody talks about.

The issue is: Polygamy. Personally, I have no clue what this is illegal. I think the US Government should stay out of the personal lives of its citizens, and if 3 people want to be in a loving, consensual relationship what right does the government have to say it's illegal?

Now, you have all these people fighting for gay marriage, and they all basically say they want equal rights.

However, I never see any of them fighting for the rights of those who are for polygamy.

My question to RSP is this: Are these two issues completely separate, or does the legalization of one directly correspond to the legalization of another?

The basic argument for gay marriage would seem to me to be the exact same argument for the legalization of polygamy, and the basic argument against gay marriage argues against the legalization of polygamy.

So, I think they are connected. I was just wondering about other views on this topic.

Also, I think this is an interesting topic, one that contains Religion, Sex, AND Politics.
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Re: Hypocrisy in Marriage?
jageroxorz wrote:
I have a question that it seems like nobody cares about. Or just that nobody talks about.

The issue is: Polygamy. Personally, I have no clue what this is illegal. I think the US Government should stay out of the personal lives of its citizens, and if 3 people want to be in a loving, consensual relationship what right does the government have to say it's illegal?

Now, you have all these people fighting for gay marriage, and they all basically say they want equal rights.

However, I never see any of them fighting for the rights of those who are for polygamy.

My question to RSP is this: Are these two issues completely separate, or does the legalization of one directly correspond to the legalization of another?

The basic argument for gay marriage would seem to me to be the exact same argument for the legalization of polygamy, and the basic argument against gay marriage argues against the legalization of polygamy.

So, I think they are connected. I was just wondering about other views on this topic.

Also, I think this is an interesting topic, one that contains Religion, Sex, AND Politics.


Well, in my opinion, obviously they are connected in a way, because marriage is the fundamental issue. Morally, polygamy has never been a socially or even legally accepted union except in tribal societies perhaps. However, homesexuality has always been controversial due to the nature of the union. It has had degrees of acceptance at times, but has never attained the status of hereosexual unions at any time, whereas polygamy has been tolerated, though not considered traditional. These are some initial observations which others will undoubtedly add their opinions.
 
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Well, I mean the fundamental argument of those arguing for gay marriage --> civil rights, equality under the law, etc... seems to me to apply 100% to polygamy as well.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure why polygamy is so frowned upon society-wise.

Additionally, personally (not making an generalizations, just talking about people I know personally) people I know who are 100% pro-gay marriage are 100% anti-polygamy. And when I ask why they say "It's just wrong."

I don't really understand it.
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DCAnderson wrote:
Polygamy isn't really that big a deal since people who want to have a polygamous marriage are a very tiny minority compared to homosexuals who want to have same sex mariages.

Most polygamists just get unoficially married anyway.

I personally do not see any compelling reason why this should not be allowed.

It is amusing to note though that there was almost an outright war over polygamy in the United States.

Right before the Civil War the Navoo Legion of Utah came a hairs breadth away from armed conflict with the US Army over this issue. Apparently President Buchanan felt that Mormons having multiple wives was a far more pressing issue than the potential dissolution of the Union.


It seems that polygamy is tolerated as long as it lies below the radar of societal norms and acceptance. It just has never had a legally acceptable status in most societies, and probably never will due to the unpopular notion of a man having multiple wives at his bidding.
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jageroxorz wrote:
Well, I mean the fundamental argument of those arguing for gay marriage --> civil rights, equality under the law, etc... seems to me to apply 100% to polygamy as well.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure why polygamy is so frowned upon society-wise.

Additionally, personally (not making an generalizations, just talking about people I know personally) people I know who are 100% pro-gay marriage are 100% anti-polygamy. And when I ask why they say "It's just wrong."

I don't really understand it.

I agree that it's inconsistent, and I reckon if people want to have a consensual group marriage they should go for it. Legally it would be harder to implement than gay marriage, but other than that, there's no compelling reason not to support it.
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DCAnderson wrote:
I think this would be a good time to mention the most awesome polygamist of all time:

William Moulton Marston

He was a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph machine and believed that it would revolutionize the justice system by making it so lying in court would be impossible. Luckily the Constitution protects us from this nightmare.


Fixed it for you.
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DCAnderson wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
I think this would be a good time to mention the most awesome polygamist of all time:

William Moulton Marston

He was a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph machine and believed that it would revolutionize the justice system by making it so lying in court would be impossible. Luckily the Constitution protects us from this nightmare.


Fixed it for you.


Well I can promise you my tongue was lodged firmly in my cheek when I wrote that sentence

The polygraph machine is about as reliable a detector of falsehood as reading entrails.

EDIT: However I actually do believe Wonder Woman is highly underrated.


Batman all the way baby!
 
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DCAnderson wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
I think this would be a good time to mention the most awesome polygamist of all time:

William Moulton Marston

He was a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph machine and believed that it would revolutionize the justice system by making it so lying in court would be impossible. Luckily the Constitution protects us from this nightmare.


Fixed it for you.


Well I can promise you my tongue was lodged firmly in my cheek when I wrote that sentence

The polygraph machine is about as reliable a detector of falsehood as reading entrails.

EDIT: However I actually do believe Wonder Woman is highly underrated.


Speaking of Marston, he was a mad freak. Talk about an early proponent of S&M. Take a gander at some of his early Wonder Woman Comics.
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DCAnderson wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
I think this would be a good time to mention the most awesome polygamist of all time:

William Moulton Marston

He was a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph machine and believed that it would revolutionize the justice system by making it so lying in court would be impossible. Luckily the Constitution protects us from this nightmare.


Fixed it for you.


Well I can promise you my tongue was lodged firmly in my cheek when I wrote that sentence

The polygraph machine is about as reliable a detector of falsehood as reading entrails.

EDIT: However I actually do believe Wonder Woman is highly underrated.


Batman all the way baby!






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Polygamy? No problem. Gay Marriage? Not the same. Two different issues. The accepted objection to gay marriage is that Christians don't want it to be legal. Polygamy (in the USA) happens in certain Christian families and they are the ones discriminated against in that regard.

Weird.

Wonder Woman? Nice aircraft. Scary tits.

Polygraph? HAHAHAHA! I volunteered to take one once when a company I worked for lost some money (employee theft). Long story... short version: No reaction at all to the questions. So flat that the detective grilled me for 15 minutes demanding to know if I was on drugs or employing some mental techniques to control the machine and keep it from doing it's magic. My opinion is they are used as part of the interrogation routine in order to subject the suspect to additional pressure.
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Wonder Woman? Nice aircraft. Scary tits.


Two Words: Back Problem.


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The problem with polygamy isn't the worry that three (or more) consenting adults might want to have a group-marriage and WHAT WILL IT DO TO SOCIETY. Well, it is for some people, I guess, but that's not the big problem in making it legal.

The big problem in making polygamy legal is twofold:

Firstly, marriage is by definition a legal relationship betwee two people; modern marriage law comes forth from contract law. Expanding that relationship to a third party is hard: common law has trouble hanlding multiparty relationships as it is, preferring to instead formalize agreements wherever possible into two-party contracts, and where that's not possible to codify all legal rights and obligations in terms of two-party relationships (IE, party A is obligated to do X for B, but Y for C, and B owes Z to C - and so forth). A tri-equal relationship would be in many senses a legal nightmare.

Secondly, the real problem with polygamy isn't hippies who want multiparty marriages between consenting adults: the problem with polygamy is that the pre-eminent practitioners of it in Western society are fundamentalist Mormons and fundamentalist Muslims, and in both cases there are ample examples of polygamist traditions being used to essentially enslave the female "partners" in these relationships - and when I say "ample examples," I mean that statistically speaking these abusive relationships are the norm.

So, yes, it would be great if we could recognize respectful, multiparty marriages easily. But the truth is that it's an immense administrative hassle that would only serve to provide legal cover to some real filth. So it's not anybody's highest priority.
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DCAnderson wrote:
Well you don't have to be a polygamist to treat your wife as a slave.


True, but then again basic marriage isn't illegal and nobody's trying to legalize it, either.

I'm not saying polygamy as an act is one that inherently will treat women poorly; I'm saying that as currently practiced, the majority of instances where it happens end up treating women poorly. That makes fighting for its legality difficult, to say the least.
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jageroxorz wrote:
I have a question that it seems like nobody cares about. Or just that nobody talks about.

It's been brought up a lot. I feel like they're comparable. I think the problem about fighting for it is that there's no visible group of people agitating for it. Barring the occasional commune making the news.

Without a vanguard of sympathetic citizens making the charge, it's hard for people to support it. Where do you send a check?

caltexn wrote:

Morally, polygamy has never been a socially or even legally accepted union except in tribal societies perhaps.

I think it's been a wee bit more prevalent than that. You probably have a book or three around your house with protagonists who have multiple wives.

Are we calling China a tribal society? The Middle East? These are large, non-tribal cultures with polygamous marriages.

I agree, though, that polyandrous marriages are less likely to be found outside of tribal cultures.
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Also, I think that polygamous marriage presented legal problems that were especially challenging in a pure-paper era of bureaucracy.

How do you divvy things up in a partial divorce? How does custody work? How do you define a household? How do you protect people from unwittingly marrying someone with multiple spouses? Blah blah blah.
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mightygodking wrote:
The problem with polygamy isn't the worry that three (or more) consenting adults might want to have a group-marriage and WHAT WILL IT DO TO SOCIETY. Well, it is for some people, I guess, but that's not the big problem in making it legal.

The big problem in making polygamy legal is twofold:

Firstly, marriage is by definition a legal relationship betwee two people; modern marriage law comes forth from contract law. Expanding that relationship to a third party is hard: common law has trouble hanlding multiparty relationships as it is, preferring to instead formalize agreements wherever possible into two-party contracts, and where that's not possible to codify all legal rights and obligations in terms of two-party relationships (IE, party A is obligated to do X for B, but Y for C, and B owes Z to C - and so forth). A tri-equal relationship would be in many senses a legal nightmare.

Secondly, the real problem with polygamy isn't hippies who want multiparty marriages between consenting adults: the problem with polygamy is that the pre-eminent practitioners of it in Western society are fundamentalist Mormons and fundamentalist Muslims, and in both cases there are ample examples of polygamist traditions being used to essentially enslave the female "partners" in these relationships - and when I say "ample examples," I mean that statistically speaking these abusive relationships are the norm.

So, yes, it would be great if we could recognize respectful, multiparty marriages easily. But the truth is that it's an immense administrative hassle that would only serve to provide legal cover to some real filth. So it's not anybody's highest priority.


First, because it's "administratively difficult" is not a reason to take away people's rights. I mean, heck, trials are administratively difficult, and nobody likes jury duty. Let's just assume everyone's guilty!


Additionally, this argument that all these polygamists enslave women is a straw-man argument. That's like say we can't allow people to own guns at all, because they might shoot someone. Which is against the fundamental stance of America.


I just think it's interesting that some people, while fighting for their right to do something, might at the same time seek to deny others the right to do what they want. In any event, any law legalizing homosexual unions should also, in my opinion, include clauses for multiple-partner arrangements.

And Christians can't really get upset, a ton of figures from the bible had multiple spouses.
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DCAnderson wrote:
jageroxorz wrote:
I just think it's interesting that some people, while fighting for their right to do something, might at the same time seek to deny others the right to do what they want. In any event, any law legalizing homosexual unions should also, in my opinion, include clauses for multiple-partner arrangements.


It's not so much about hypocrisy as picking your battles.

Right now it is somewhat likely you could legalize gay marriage, but it would be highly unlikely you could drum up much support for the polygamy thing.

If you tried to get them passed together it is likely that you would get neither of them passed.


So, are those same people now crying about the crime against civil rights that is the lack of gay marriage gonna take up the cry for multiple spouse arrangements?

No, because they don't care because it doesn't directly concern them. So then, why should I care about any of it because none of it concerns me?
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jageroxorz wrote:


So, are those same people now crying about the crime against civil rights that is the lack of gay marriage gonna take up the cry for multiple spouse arrangements?

No, because they don't care because it doesn't directly concern them. So then, why should I care about any of it because none of it concerns me?

If you do not care, that's ok I think. The problem is with people objecting.
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jageroxorz wrote:
I have a question that it seems like nobody cares about. Or just that nobody talks about.


It has been talked about in RSP a few times, but it is always an interesting debate.

Quote:
The issue is: Polygamy. Personally, I have no clue what this is illegal. I think the US Government should stay out of the personal lives of its citizens, and if 3 people want to be in a loving, consensual relationship what right does the government have to say it's illegal?


None, in the sense that the government should only care about what we decide it has to care about.

Quote:
Now, you have all these people fighting for gay marriage, and they all basically say they want equal rights.

However, I never see any of them fighting for the rights of those who are for polygamy.

My question to RSP is this: Are these two issues completely separate, or does the legalization of one directly correspond to the legalization of another?


There are slightly different, in the sense that from a legal point of view, same sex marriage is very similar to traditional marriage: most importantly it happens between two people. With an entire body of laws and uses concerning situations in which each person has one or zero spouses (from visitation rights to wodowhood pensions), extending those to same sex marriages is immediate.

Shifting to multi-spouse regulations will take a bit longer, if only because a lot of established customs will have to be redrawn and agreed upon. But yes, in a deeper sense they are the same issue.

Quote:
The basic argument for gay marriage would seem to me to be the exact same argument for the legalization of polygamy, and the basic argument against gay marriage argues against the legalization of polygamy.


Yeah, but you can extend that to traditional marriage as well, since there is no obligation to fulfill the reproductive objective of marriage: the basic argument for same sex marriage and polygamy is the same argument for "love" marriage, and conversely, the basic argument against same sex marriage and polygamy is the argument against "love" marriage.
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You gotta be fucking stupid to want more than one wife. One is almost too many.
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I have no problem with polygamy (or polyandry), but otherwise what Pronoblem said.
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jageroxorz wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
jageroxorz wrote:
I just think it's interesting that some people, while fighting for their right to do something, might at the same time seek to deny others the right to do what they want. In any event, any law legalizing homosexual unions should also, in my opinion, include clauses for multiple-partner arrangements.


It's not so much about hypocrisy as picking your battles.

Right now it is somewhat likely you could legalize gay marriage, but it would be highly unlikely you could drum up much support for the polygamy thing.

If you tried to get them passed together it is likely that you would get neither of them passed.


So, are those same people now crying about the crime against civil rights that is the lack of gay marriage gonna take up the cry for multiple spouse arrangements?

No, because they don't care because it doesn't directly concern them. So then, why should I care about any of it because none of it concerns me?


I was vaguely wondering if this was a pro-polygamy thread or just another bash gay marriage by comparing it to polygamy thread. Wow what a surprise its the later...
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I don't think they are entirely unrelated, but nor do I think there is any hypocrisy in advocating for either but not the other.

An old-school Mormon, for example, would still see marriage as between male and female, but would believe that the number of females a man may marry should not be limited. He would support polygamy (specifically polygyny but not, unless I'm very much mistaken, polyandry) but not same-sex marriage.

Usually when someone says that the arguments for same-sex marriage and for polygamy are the same they have simplified the argument and lost some of its meaning. It becomes something vague like, "People should be able to live how they want."

My argument is a lot more specific than that. I start with the principles that the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia, that marriage is a basic civil right and that the freedom to choose which person to marry lies with the individual rather than the state or federal governments. As the court held, unduly restricting the ability of one race to marry another "is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law".

The question then becomes whether these principles apply to same-sex marriage. The core question is whether "marriage" necessarily means a male-female union because if it doesn't then we have a pretty straightforward analogy to Loving. You can replace "race" with "gender" or "sexual orientation" and call it a day.

My belief -- and most of my arguments on the subject on RSP -- is that there is not actually anything inherent in marriage that requires that one party be male and the other female nor any state interest in placing such a restriction.

Polyamorous relationships are another issue. A range of issues that are part of the civil institution of marriage do become substantially more complex in a polygamous union. Whether or not these rise to the level of a compelling interest is a good question. But just as saying that the State should not restrict marriage based on race doesn't imply polygamy, nor do I think saying the State should not restrict it based on gender or sexual orientation does.

FWIW, I'm not merely bisexual but also polyamorous. I'd be quite happy to have more than one spouse in theory, although the spouse I've chosen is not poly so I've chosen the one over the many. I'm undecided over whether I think polygamy should be legalized, mainly because I just don't know enough about the practical details.
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caltexn wrote:
Well, in my opinion, obviously they are connected in a way, because marriage is the fundamental issue. Morally, polygamy has never been a socially or even legally accepted union except in tribal societies perhaps. However, homesexuality has always been controversial due to the nature of the union. It has had degrees of acceptance at times, but has never attained the status of hereosexual unions at any time, whereas polygamy has been tolerated, though not considered traditional. These are some initial observations which others will undoubtedly add their opinions.


Tribal societies? Like Saudi Arabia and China? Maybe it's just me, but it seems you definition of "tribal" equates to non-christian. Not only incorrect, but condescending. Nicely done.

mightygodking wrote:
Secondly, the real problem with polygamy isn't hippies who want multiparty marriages between consenting adults: the problem with polygamy is that the pre-eminent practitioners of it in Western society are fundamentalist Mormons and fundamentalist Muslims, and in both cases there are ample examples of polygamist traditions being used to essentially enslave the female "partners" in these relationships - and when I say "ample examples," I mean that statistically speaking these abusive relationships are the norm.


That sounds almost exactly like one of the prominent arguments against legalization of marijuana. Since utilizing these things which we have declared illegal is criminal, we create a situation where people who are willing to be criminals are the most prominent group to participate. After legalization, the quality of person who partakes would immediately improve because the threat of punishment is removed. To use the quality of person that is willing to be a criminal to argue against legalization is fallicious.
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jageroxorz wrote:
I have a question that it seems like nobody cares about. Or just that nobody talks about.


LOL. You haven't been around long enough.

When I saw the thread title, my immediate reaction was something like, "Christ. Is this gonna be about incest, bestiality or polygamy?"

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