Skip to comments.Dissenting judge raises polygamy question
Posted on 07/31/2014 2:24:21 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Yesterday's majority opinion in the Virginia same-sex marriage case obviously is getting all the press, but Judge Paul Niemeyer raised an interesting issue in his dissent.
"The plaintiffs also largely ignore the problem with their position that if the fundamental right to marriage is based on 'the constitutional liberty to select the partner of ones choice,' as they contend, then that liberty would also extend to individuals seeking state recognition of other types of relationships that States currently restrict, such as polygamous or incestuous relationships," he wrote.
Ridiculous? Yes, it's easy to dismiss this reasoning as preposterous. But, of course, that was the overwhelming response to arguments for same-sex marriage just a few years ago.
So why is Niemeyer wrong?
Surely, there's no clamor for allowing "incestuous" marriage. But "marriage" doesn't require procreation or even a sexual relationship. If it's viewed as a legal arrangement that bestows certain benefits, why should the law bar, say, two elderly sisters from claiming those benefits? Why should they be prohibited if the goal of "marriage equality" is to allow a person to marry any other person?
Polygamy is fundamentally different in that it involves an arrangement among three or more people. Yet, this is an arrangement that might be in demand among a significant number of Americans. After all, it did exist legally at one time in our nation's history. Today, our multicultural society includes people whose religious traditions, and even current practices in other parts of the world, permit polygamy. Several years ago, an NPR report cited studies indicating that some 50,000 to 100,000 American Muslims live in polygamous marriages -- although of course they are not recognized as such under any state law.
Niemeyer was not advocating for recognition of polygamous marriages. On the contrary, he was warning that the same legal construct used to expand marriage laws to include same-sex unions must logically continue the expansion.
In a Canadian case, a judge ruled that laws against polygamy violated the religious rights of Mormons but said those rights are outweighed by the harm done to women and children in such arrangement -- which sounds like an attitude once held against families headed by same-sex couples. This ruling was confirmed by a higher court, but that likely won't be the last word on the subject there.
In our country, a federal judge last year ruled against part of Utah's law banning polygamy. But, if Niemeyer is correct, these later rulings in favor of same-sex marriage might strengthen future challenges to polygamy laws.
But Niemeyer didn't convince his two colleagues. Or they were concerned only with the immediate question and not about the future progression of marriage. In fact, such concerns will not deter those who demand an expansion of marriage. Why should they?
Still, Niemeyer raised the issue and laid it out for consideration. If nothing else, it adds another dimension to the discussion.
We'll have marriage between siblings and polygamy when a sufficient number of judges decide to grant it. Meanwhile, they can just as easy exclude family members and polygamy, as they now include homosexuals.
polygamy has Biblical roots-—It will be law in time why—well people are doing it—having kids—lots of them. If legal the kids of the second + wives would have some rights. Now they do not. The fathers need to be held accountable. Not everyone would go for this—and that is good—but for some it might be just the thing people need. It needs unselfish people to work—and we have few of them in the 21st Century.
The only thing incorrect about that poster is that the dates are too close.
You’re absolutely right. These rulings are completely arbitrary. There is a distinct, practical difference between marriage and what the left now calls marriage. Two people of the same sex or even multiple people of different sexes cannot create a union with offspring. It doesn’t matter how much two homosexuals or lesbians rub against each other, they cannot create life. All they do is engage in mutual masturbation (sorry, but completely true). Nor can a woman create a hybrid child from multiple fathers. ONLY one man and one woman can create the natural union that produces a life.
Now the judges say it ain’t so, but the state has a vested interest in the creation and raising of children. A child can only have one biological father and one biological mother, and it benefits all of society when that family unit is maintained. Yes. That means the state should even encourage such lifetime family bonds, as that benefits all citizens. Divorce, for example, damages more than just that one family. It harms our culture.
So, the judges are just making it up as they go. Logic doesn’t mean a thing to these folks. They have a political axe to grind, and they’ll grind it regardless of the consequences.
Note that leftist judges are essentially totalitarian. They simply cannot abide a political system where citizens have a right to set standards in their own communities. Some communities may foolishly want “gay marriage”, but others may not. “Oh no! We can’t permit that!” these judges think.
They are essentially very evil, un-American people. Americans have fought and died for our freedoms. These out-of-control, totalitarian judges think they’re some sort of heroes who are only using their power to fix wrongs and make things fair. No. What they’re actually doing is rending the civil society apart! Even worse, they actually seem to think this can go on forever without the people eventually rising up and tearing apart this system of “laws” (actually tyrants) they’ve created.
Didn’t Rick Santorum take a bunch of flak years ago for suggesting this very thing would happen?
“fathers need to be held accountable”
Only if the same accountability is applied to mothers. Which, of course, it isn’t.
Since the article points out that marriage is really about benefits, the ultimate solution may be to eliminate all benefits for spouses. Then there will be no incentive for homosexual marriage, polygamous marriage, incestuous marriage, etc.
Among other people.
Homosexual “marriage” does not redefine marriage, it undefines it.
(Black indicates polygamy legal, light blue or gray somewhat legal)
Similarly, many are now predicting the march to sharia law here in the US. I hope and pray this prediction does NOT come true.
What man, in this day and age, in this economy, could afford more than one wife?
Good point. Even if I could afford it monetarily which I can't. I couldn't handle it physically and mentally. Two hollering at me? Three? Not this ole country boy.
If we adhered to constitutional boundaries, not man-made boundaries, the federal gov’t would not be involved in marriage at all.
Couples or groups could be married in their church and then file legal paperwork creating the legal arrangement they seek.
Those on welfare.
While true, polygamy makes more sense on a societal level than gay marriage. At least it has procreative qualities. In my opinion, we are already further down the slippery slope than polygamy, the gays just have better organization and lobby.
There would also be no incentive for heterosexual marriage... and low birthrates are already becoming a major social problem.
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