Sunday, March 12, 2006

Perverted Love: Sex is a Sideshow

The current issue of Newsweek reports on the efforts to legalize polygamy, or the marriage of multiple people, generally several women with one man. These efforts illustrate that what opponents of gay marriage have been saying all along is correct, namely that defining marriage as any arrangement besides the union of one man and one woman threatens the institution of marriage by encouraging all forms of so-called alternative families.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is now considering whether a man whose marriage license application for a spare wife was rejected has suffered undue government intervention in his private conduct. According to the polygamists, laws banning harems are the same as anti-sodomy laws and other such restrictions on private liaisons.

Understandably, some (probably most) gay marriage agitators are wary of the connection made between these two causes. After all, it exposes the truth. A spokeswoman for one gay rights group was quoted as saying the link between tolerance of gay marriage and other alternative forms of marriage is specious. Predictably, she offers no basis whatsoever for that conclusion and the Newsweek journalist reports on no rationale as to why gay marriage should be legitimate while polygamy is not. Quite simply, gay marriage activists don’t want the public to think about polygamy, or worse, the infinite potential alternatives to one man with one woman. Newsweek, meanwhile, deserves credit for reporting on the issue that gay marriage advocates openly admit (in the article) they’d rather not see covered.

Like it or not, gay marriage does open the door to the legitimization and legalization of many other alternative living arrangements. Can anyone seriously doubt that it will be only a matter of time before a group of men demand their right to marry multiple other men, or that some people will choose to marry close relatives in incestuous unions? Assuming the people are all consenting adults, what would be the basis for denying them such rights? According to the gay marriage promoters, the only good solution is intolerance. That’s right, the gay marriage lobby claims their cause is a just defense of human dignity and liberty, while polygamy (and presumably other alternative lifestyles) are illegitimate. Why they are illegitimate is never explained, but if you scrutinize the arguments of gay rights activists their real feelings are pretty clear – being gay is OK, but those other lifestyles are weird. In fact, gay opposition to polygamy, incest, and other even more controversial relationships is hardly different from religious fundamentalists’ view of gays. Ironically, the polygamists turn this moral intolerance back on their gay rivals in the marriage wars. They think gays are weird, indeed, sinful perverts.

Honest reflection would reveal us all as at least a little weird, particularly in regards to our sexual proclivities. Straight people, too. The debate over alternative marriages, though, transcends sex. At least, it should. I suspect that for a great portion of all the warring factions sex is the central issue. Religious conservatives imagine a woman writhing around with another woman and are revolted. Gays, meanwhile, imagine some man being serviced by a harem of young women and judge them all perverts. But sex is a sideshow in this debate. The real issue is and always has been whether or not marriage should continue to exist. More on this later…


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