How to Derail Gay Marriage: Put Polygamy on Fast Track
Union Leader, July 6, 2003
Box 9555, Manchester, NH 03108
By Bernadette Malone
If I were single-handedly responsible for making sure the
new Supreme Court ruling overturning state sodomy laws didn’t pave the path
to gay marriage, as both supporters of the ruling and dissenters predict it
will, I’d do a couple of things.
I’d make sure as many people as possible saw pictures
from the freaky Gay Pride Parade that culminated in my Greenwich Village
neighborhood last Sunday. (If straight people celebrated their sexuality with
a parade 10 times more licentious than New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, I’d oppose
heterosexual marriage, too!)
I’d make sure as many people as possible knew about the
kooky new “queer studies” program at the University of New Hampshire.
That’d turn a lot of people off to the idea.
I’d make sure President Bush never again referred to
marriage between a man and a woman as his “notion”—a word that invites a
challenge. One holds a notion that men should open the door for women and no
one should wear white after Labor Day. One holds a reasoned conviction that
marriage is between one man and one woman.
But the single biggest effort I’d make to stop same-sex
marriage is to start pushing for multiple partner marriage. Yep. Polygamy.
I’d find some guy out in Utah who ignored the Mormon church’s 1830
prohibition against marrying more than one woman. I’d find some wealthy
Muslim residing in the U.S. who wanted to take Muhammed up on his prescribed
allowance of four wives. I’d swallow hard and make common cause with some
trashy bigamist from the Jerry Springer Show, and offer to make him an even
bigger star by taking his issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Forget
for a moment that I’m not a lawyer.)
Why would I do that? Because it would force
society—more specifically, the five autocratic U.S. Supreme Court justices
who have decided to castrate state legislatures and instead rule society
themselves—to realize what logically follows from breaking down the
definition of marriage. If male-female isn’t a necessary pairing for
marriage, why is “two” a necessary number for marriage? Why can’t three
people get married? Or 16, David Koresh-style? As Justice Antonin Scalia
pointed out in his dissent in last week’s Lawrence v. Texas case, the
Court’s decision that the state has no right to regulate sexual behavior
between consenting adults means bigamy and all sorts of other behavior
(prostitution, incest, etc.) can’t be outlawed by states.
I’d be pushing for polygamy to make an ironic point
about the desirability of marriage between one man and one woman, the exact
formula it takes to create a new child and raise that child with all the
benefits of dual-gender influence. That formula, sanctioned by Judeo-Christian
tradition, is supposed to pressure the couple into remaining happily married
forever, in large part for their offspring’s benefit. I’m all for letting
people do what they want in their bedrooms, and I’ve rolled my eyes when
I’ve lived in states with anti-sodomy laws. But as libertarian as I am, I
know the state needs to at least give traditional marriage a nod—if only
because children can’t be overlooked while adults are out pursuing personal
liberty. Otherwise, taxpayers will have to pick up the check for child welfare
and therapy bills.
In pushing for polygamy to make my point about gay
marriage, I could expect to be joined by the wacky, radical left. Their
arguments against traditional marriage, I hope, would wake Americans up.
Liberal journalist Michael Kinsley, who you might remember from the early days
of CNN’s “Crossfire” program, recommends in a Slate column that we
compromise between gays and straights by refusing to recognize any marriage as
legally valid. Let people do whatever they want, in any combination. “And,
yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry
herself, and someone else wants to conduct a ceremony and declare them
married, let ‘em.”
And gay activists say same-sex marriage is no threat to
Gay marriage stands an excellent chance of becoming the
law of the land now that the Supreme Court has ruled that states can’t
“discriminate” against sexual behavior between consenting adults. The best
way I can see to get the Supreme Court to rethink that decision is to present
it with legalized polygamy—sexual behavior between consenting adults that I
think most of us would like to discriminate against.
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