Real Marriage Equality Means Legalizing Polygamy

Jillian Keenan argues that polygamist marriage isn't such a bad idea

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 15, 2013 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The right-wing has been saying for years that gay marriage is a slippery slope—what's next, legalized polygamy? "We can only hope," writes Jillian Keenan at Slate. "No. I am not kidding." She argues that polygamy gets a bad rap in this country because of the unsavory FLDS church, in which young girls are often forced into such marriages. "But legalizing consensual adult polygamy wouldn't legalize rape or child abuse," Keenan argues. "In fact, it would make those crimes easier to combat"—she gives the example of a child who would no longer refrain from reporting an abusive neighbor over fears his polygamous parents would be found out.

But more importantly, it's "the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice," she writes. Some argue that polygamy degrades women, but feminists should realize that "as women, we really can make our own choices. We just might choose things people don't like." Constitutionally, legalized polygamy would obviously be a step forward for religious freedom, as tens of thousands are believed to be part of Muslim and Mormon polygamist families in the US. "The definition of marriage is plastic," Keenan writes. Just as straight marriage isn't any better than the gay variety, a two-person marriage "is not inherently more or less 'correct' than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults." Click for her full column.

What's wrong with consensual polygamy?
What's wrong with consensual polygamy?   (Shutterstock)
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