Frankie Rizzo and polygamy

Posted in the Gay/Lesbian Forum

“Reality bites”

Since: Dec 11

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#1 Feb 19, 2013
Opponents of gay rights often warn that legalizing same-sex marriage would inexorably lead to legalizing polygamy. Maybe it would, and maybe it should. Denying gay couples the right to marry violates state constitutional guarantees of equality, as the California and Massachusetts high courts have rightly ruled.(The Supreme Court of California also held that the right to marry is fundamental.) Surely Mormons have the same rights to equal treatment under law—and of course, they have a substantial First Amendment claim to engage in multiple marriages according to the dictates of their faith.

So why is polygamy illegal? Why don’t Mormons have the right to enter into multiple marriages sanctified by their church, if not the state? There’s a short answer to this question but not a very good one: polygamy is illegal and unprotected by the Constitution because the Supreme Court doesn’t like it. Over one hundred years ago, the Court held in Reynolds v. U.S. that polygamy was “an offence against society.” The Reynolds decision upheld the criminal conviction of a man accused of taking a second wife in the belief that he had a religious duty to practice polygamy, a duty he would violate at risk of damnation. The Court compared polygamy to murders sanctified by religious belief, such as human sacrifice or the burning of women on their husbands’ funeral pyres.

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“Reality bites”

Since: Dec 11

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#2 Feb 19, 2013
The above is Mr Rizzo's stand on polygamy, not mine. Any way Frankiee, have at it your own blog.

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Since: Jun 11

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#3 Feb 19, 2013
Polygamy is a separate argument because it changes the rules and relationship dynamics of the entire society for straight and gay people, while allowing gay people the same rights straight people currently enjoy does not change the rules or relationship dynamics for straight people. It is not equality, but a change to something very different.

As practiced, polygamy restricts the availability of women, denying some men the opportunity for marriage, which would have a destabilizing effect on society, whereas allowing gay people to marry under the rules currently in place, has a stabilizing effect on those relationships and society in general.

As it is usually one man and as many women as he can afford, it would result in rich men having many wives with poorer men having none. That would also result in older men having more wives while putting pressure on women to marry younger, as is currently the practice. This dynamic limits the ability of women to have equal opportunities for education, employment, and status in and outside of the relationship.

It also changes the genetic balance by limiting the gene pool, which history has shown is not in the interest of survivability of the species.

Allowing gay people to marry does not limit the gene pool, but possibly expands it. Additionally, gay couples often adopt, and often take in the hard to place children that have been abused and discarded by their straight parents, which is another stabilizing influence on society.

There are other problems with polygamy including problems with child abuse, spousal abuse, child custody, property divisions, and inequality of relationships. These examples help to point out why polygamy is a separate argument, very different from equal treatment under the laws currently in effect, and far from an inevitable consequence of marriage equality. Allowing gay people the same opportunities and dignity straight people have however, is a matter of fairness and equality.

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Wilson

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#5 Feb 19, 2013
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