Day: October 31, 2016


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Liberals Conservatives

LIBERALS CONSERVATIVES In the majority ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Arthur Kennedy, tried to set aside the concerns that polygamy would be next.  John Roberts, in his dissent, said he could not see a way of opening the door to same-sex couples without also letting polygamists through the same door.  Who’s right?  Is legal polygamy next?  Should it be?

So there you have it , the door may have been opened.  Let’s compare the ideas of liberals vs conservatives to see where they differ on legalizing polygamous marriages.

 According to some, the problem with a man marrying more than one wife is that it leaves another, usually a lower status man without a match.  As higher status men hoard wives, lower status men are denied access to life’s most stabilizing and civilizing institution.  Thus they are unfairly disadvantaged and often turn to behaviors like crime and violence.  It is bad for women also because it places them in competition with other wives and can reduce them to being like servants of the man.  Would this statement be more in line with the liberals or the conservatives point of view or both?  


Conservatives love the “Gay marriage will lead to polygamy!  Are you saying you really support polygamy?” argument.  What do the liberals say?  There is a lot of waffling.  Libertarians and some liberals say “Hell, yeah!  There is nothing wrong with polygamy!” which does not feel right to most liberals.  

On the internet, in an article by Greg Stevens, titled “What do liberals think of polygamy?” he attempts to give the positions of liberals, at the risk of being presumptuous.  He states that if you are a liberal, then you do not find anything objectionable to a group of consenting adults getting together and forming a romantic bond.  Legalizing polygamy on the other hand, would be complicated and involve some problems, but as a liberal it does not give you the right to impose your preferences on other people.  However as a liberal, you are very sensitive to unfairness in power structures, and the way that historical power structures can perpetuate discrimination and inequality.  An example would be the N-word and crackers when used by whites and blacks, and the huge long history of abuse and intimidation that goes along with the use of the word.  

This is the reason most liberals conservatives feel uncomfortable with simply greeting polygamy with open arms.  Historically, polygamy has been used by men to subjugate women, and has been tied to all kinds of abuse.  As a result the notion of polygamy carries with it a lot of baggage.

Most liberals do not reject polygamy on moral grounds.  Stevens says as a liberal he could accept the legalization of polygamy if there was evidence that it could be done without abuse and subjugation.  (Liberals Conservatives have no problems with consenting men and women living together without marriage and engaging in sexual relationships with different partners.)  

One writer speculated that liberal opponents of plural marriage remain trapped… in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage.  This is probably right.  Now that gay marriage  is finally legal, it’s time for liberals to refine their arguments against polygamy.  We need better, more rationally compelling arguments if we wish to be fair in shutting against would be polygamists the libertarian door that has just been opened.

Conservatives are against polygamous marriages as well as same sex marriages.  They feel that legalizing same sex marriages opens the door to legalizing polygamous marriages.

As a writer I am not for or against legalizing polygamous marriages.  I do not feel that I have the right to tell others how to live their lives.  I am against polygamists collecting welfare to support the wives and children that are not in a legal marriage.  I am also against same sex marriages for religious reasons.

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