Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay marriage? Yes. Polygamous or polyandrous marriage? Nope.

I believe in marriage. Not the Biblical view, where a man can marry dozens of women & take on a few handmaids as well and women have to be subservient - the evolved one, where marriage is an EQUAL partnership between two people and establishes a family - and that family may be just two people. I believe it's a real commitment, not something you do for a party or on a whim. Marriage is a legally binding contract and provides the married couple very generous financial and cultural benefits - that's to encourage the formation of families, even if that family is just two married people, and people living in families are healthier and less of a burden on society as a whole, statistically speaking. And I believe every adult should have the right to marry, to enter into this very special commitment with another person if they so choose, this formation of family.

I've been in this fight for marriage equality for a looooong time, and that early & ongoing support has cost me friends & at one point put my life in danger. But it sure feels good to be on the right side of history.

I've blogged before about why do Atheists get married.

So now the question - do I support polygamous or polyandrous marriage?

No. I see nothing wrong at all with polygamous or polyandrous relationships. While it's not something I would ever choose, if it's something you want to do - go for it!

But I don't support polygamous or polyandrous marriage. Here's why:

While polygamous marriage is Biblical marriage, it's also one that, as practiced even today, with or without state recognition, usually leaves the women involved at a profound legal and cultural disadvantage. Unlike gay marriage, polygamous or polyandrous relationships put women in those relationships at a severe disadvantage - she is NOT equal to her husband nor to other wives. I do not want that unequal treatment called "marriage" codified in the eyes of the law. If you want to call it that in your own eyes, in your own church, fine. Lots of people in one-man-one-woman marriages live their lives in such a way where the woman is subservient to the man, but IT IS NOT CODIFIED IN THE LAW; should a woman in such a marriage ever want to assert her EQUAL, legal rights in that marriage, she's got the law (but probably not her church or mosque) on her side.

What would make me change my mind about polygamous or polyandrous marriage?

  • Seeing lots of long-lasting, committed polygamous or polyandrous relationships all around me, where those involved were healthy, happy, and personally prosperous - where such standards are the norm, not the exception, in relationships with multiple partners.
  • Getting lots of invitations to 10 year and 20 year anniversaries of polygamous or polyandrous relationships like I've just described. 


By contrast, I see lots and lots of long-lasting, committed gay relationships all around me, where those involved were healthy, happy, and personally prosperous, and where the partners are EQUAL in decision-making.

When that changes, when I stop seeing women at a profound disadvantage in polygamous or polyandrous relationships, and when I see such long-lasting, committed multi-partner relationships all around me - proving that they really are marriages - I'll change. But for now - no.

My other blogs on on marriage:

North Carolina votes for... what?

Why do Atheists get married?

Should I be allowed to marry?

Gay marriage no, child marriage yes?

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