Opponents of homosexual marriage often point out that this will lead to the effective end of marriage, as the impetus will be to deem any relationship between adults to be marriage if the parties wish to call it marriage. An article in Slate, that never failing font of what passes for thinking on the mainstream Left, proves the accuracy of that prediction.
It’s also hard to argue with the constitutional freedom of religious expression that legalized polygamy would preserve. Most polygamous families are motivated by religious faith, such as fundamentalist Mormonism or Islam, and as long as all parties involved are adults, legally able to sign marriage contracts, there is no constitutional reason why they shouldn’t be able to express that faith in their marriages. Legalized polygamous marriage would also be good for immigrant families, some of whom have legally polygamous marriages in their home countries that get ripped apart during the immigration process. (It’s impossible to estimate exactly how many polygamous families live here, since they live their religious and sexual identities in secret. Academics suggest there are 50,000 to 100,000 people engaged in Muslim polygamy in the U.S., and there are thousands of fundamentalist Mormon polygamist families as well.)
Finally, prohibiting polygamy on “feminist” grounds—that these marriages are inherently degrading to the women involved—is misguided. The case for polygamy is, in fact, a feminist one and shows women the respect we deserve. Here’s the thing: As women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don’t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that’s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that’s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well—I suppose that’s the price of freedom.
In 1856 the first Republican party platform contained this plank:
Resolved: That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign powers over the Territories of the United States for their government; and that in the exercise of this power, it is both the right and and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism–Polygamy, and Slavery.
When the Republicans won in 1860 they wasted no time in attacking slavery and polygamy, and by the end of the Lincoln administration both of these relics of barbarism were illegal.
It is a trite saying that the more things change the more they stay the same. What the Left embraces in regard to social issues is in many ways reactionary rather than revolutionary. In regard to abortion it is the old right of the Pater Familias to put to death newborns dressed up as Mater Familias. Polygamy now makes a comeback. An embracing of homosexuality is merely a reprise of the ancient Greeks and Romans at their most decadent. How long before slavery puts in a reappearance, perhaps under the guise of genetically modified humans with strong backs and limited intelligence. I have long thought that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World has proven the most prophetic of the many books of the last century to guess the future. However, perhaps the age we are now living in could be better deemed Brave Old World. If the powers that be succeed temporarily in their obvious undeclared war against Christianity, there is no telling how far we will regress.