Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fear mongering or legitimate concern?

On of the arguments we often hear against gay marriage is that it will open the door for other deviant relationships - such as pedophilia, bestiality, polygamy, yada, yada, yada.

Those of us for gay marriage tend to dismiss such arguments as ridiculous and absurd and wonder how they come up with such drivel.

But, is the truth somewhere in between these extremes?

Case in point - The Queers United blog had a recent post titled Open Forum: Group Marriage - The Next Civil Rights Fight?

Is there legitimate cause for some amount of concern as gay marriage becomes more and more accepted in society? If we change the definition of marriage from that of being between one man and one woman - does it open the door to polygamy and polyamory? Where does it stop?

Are we headed towards being like the Denobulan society in the Star Trek universe? Where the males have multiple wives who, in turn, each have multiple husbands - with the added twist where a person can have multiple wives and/or husbands who, in turn, can each have multiple husbands and/or wives?

While I do support same sex marriage - I don't think I could support polygamy and/or polyamory as a civil right. Our whole society is based on the idea of parents coming in pairs. Supporting same sex marriage is only a minor tweak to our traditional view of marriage.

To support a polyamorous group marriage brings with it an untold amount of baggage. For example, just think of the legal difficulties. What if one of the polyamorous partners decides they no longer want to be in the relationship? What does a divorce look like? What about situations involving children and child support? It's Pandora's box. Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof - it's asking us to stretch ourselves too thin.

Unfortunately, reading the comments to the Queers United blog post - I seem to be in the minority in my views. And this concerns me. It shows that, in some sense, the opponants for gay marriage are right - that allowing men to marry men and women to marry women may be just the beginning.

More and more I'm becoming of the mind set that government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Let the government define civil unions for all relationships and let churches define marriage however they want with the power to reject and expel those who do not conform to their view of marriage.


playasinmar said...

the weirdest thing was the other half of that episode where T'pol is assaulted and catches AIDS.

It's the let's-sleep-around/sex-is-bad episode.

Wyatt said...

I completely agree. Leave the government out of it completely and let individual Churches define marriage how they wish.

At some point we really do need to weigh the concerns of allow same-sex couples to wed and I guess it could be possible that relationships involving polygamy and polyamory might then seek for the same title of marriage and to that argument I add "who cares?" I could care less if people who are in a polygamist relationship want to have their marriage legalized. It doesn't take anything away from me and it sure as hell would be better for our welfare system that polygamists appear to be abusing.

I don't know why people are so worried about these ilusive and unsubstantiated fears when gay people and god forbid 'mormon polygamists' have been together for quite some time now and nothings going to change in society except for the piece of paper and legal rights that straight people have... I assume.

Grant Haws said...

I'm not too worried either about the polygamy issue. It's just used because average people are freaked out by it, and thus it helps the anti-gay marriage people make "traditional" marriage seem like the only safe choice.