Friday, May 21, 2004

Gay marriage & polygamy...

Joe Carter has a post regarding gay marriage titled, Three’s Company on the Slippery Slope: The Case for Polygamous Marriage, in which he argues that the while the dire predictions of gay marriage opponents will probably never occur, there is one slippery slope conclusion that is unavoidable – polygamy. He states,
…a stronger argument can be made for polygamy than can be made for same-sex marriages. …After all, there is already a great deal of precedent since, unlike gay marriage, polygamy has been widely practiced throughout history. There are few civilizations, religions, or cultures where polygamy has not taken root. In fact, almost ever religion has, at some point in their development, accepted the legitimacy of polygamy. All of the major world religions - Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity – have condoned the practice of taking multiple spouses. In contrast, none of them has ever tolerated, much less openly accepted, same-sex “marriage”. …When the facts are taken into account, the reasons for favoring gay marriage while excluding polygamy are completely arbitrary and based on personal preference. If you truly believe that gays have a legal right to marry then you have no grounds for barring polyamorous groups from doing the same. This leaves proponents of same-sex marriage with two choices. They either have to accept that polygamy is just as legitimate as gay marriage or they must admit that there is no inherent “right” to expand the definition of marriage.
Joe’s “end-around” attack on the same-sex marriage issue is interesting, but I’m concerned that he seems to brush off the slippery slope conclusions that many Christian conservatives are warning of. He states,
Gay marriage isn’t going to lead to legitimizing incest or prostitution nor will heterosexual marriage fall apart because Adam and Steve got hitched. I also don’t expect anyone (other than Peter Singer perhaps) to be in a rush to marry their goat.
What we need to understand, though, is that even if the dire slippery slope predictions never come to pass we will, nevertheless, have turned down a path shrouded in darkness. The issue goes far beyond whether Adam and Steve have a loving relationship and want to get the blessings of the government in the form of marriage. It goes far beyond whether Adam and Steve can lovingly raise children. The issue hits at the very core of what actually defines Adam and Steve - that is - their sexual preference. The issue hits at the very core of how humans have been designed to procreate and nurture their young. The issue hits at the very core of how our young will learn to view the world through their formative years. That incest may become legal because of gay marriage is, in reality, a mere footnote.

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