Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
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25-05-2013, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2013 05:49 AM by Averroes.)
Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
Hi, I realized one thing: I am in favor of gay marriage and I have always dismissed arguments against it drawn from religion or from tradition as bigoted and backward.

But I would intuitively oppose institutionalization of polygyny. Honestly, not because I give a damn about how many wives one has, but because I don't want to accommodate Islam (which is where such demand is likely to come from in future) in Europe.

I am suspicious that my arguments against it would sound pretty much like those that I dismiss in the context of gay marriage. Culture, tradition...

One could also argue that gay marriage is a step towards equality while polygyny is a step in the opposite direction. But that could be countered by also allowing polyandry, or simply a group marriage of any number of people of any sexes.

I have also heard some "evolutionary sociology" arguments - that polygyny is "bad for society" (basically saying that like that, you get more angry young men who can't get laid because the women are taken by the rich), but if a group of people came to me, saying "We love one another, on what grounds do you want to deprive us of our human right to get married?", answering like this would be rather awkward.

Although this will never make me anti-gay-marriage, I have for the first time understanding for those who are.

My question for you: do you find a rational, decent, consistent way to argue for the former and against the latter?
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25-05-2013, 05:14 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
Well, first of all, polygamy is not only about men marrying many women. That's polygyny.

Islam would never accept polyandry, so you should not be against polygamy in general. So, if you are only against polygyny, the best argument I can think is why let men marry many women and not women marry many men (whoa, tongue twister there).

Unless I'm not getting your point.

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-Guybrush Threepwood-
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25-05-2013, 06:15 AM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2013 06:27 AM by Averroes.)
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
(25-05-2013 05:14 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Well, first of all, polygamy is not only about men marrying many women. That's polygyny.
Sorry for the confusion, polygyny is what I actually meant. I substituted it everywhere now in the original post.

(25-05-2013 05:14 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Islam would never accept polyandry, so you should not be against polygamy in general. So, if you are only against polygyny, the best argument I can think is why let men marry many women and not women marry many men (whoa, tongue twister there).
I think that as long as the islamists would have their way with polygyny, they wouldn't oppose also polyandry being legalized, they just wouldnt practice it. Only in a really islamized society could they try to really impose their religious rules on others on the state level.

But let's leave Islam out of the picture. Is there a fundamental difference between the gay marriage issue and polygamy (that is polygyny AND polyandry) issue that allows for being for gay marriage and at the same time against polygamy? What arguments can justify such position?
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25-05-2013, 06:53 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
I am not educated on this topic much unless you count watching a handful of episodes of "the sister wives
my opinion is based on that show

pro's
-sure would be nice to have an extra wife or two--someone who is good at cooking, someone who can decorate a house, laundry, gardening, making money, someone who is great with the kids. Everyone has their strengths when it comes to a family and getting them under one roof is a bonus. But this could be achieved if I lived in a big house with all my best friends too.

con's
- babies out the wah-zoo. The women on that show had a BUNCH of kids, each. That has to be bad for the planet.
-cody was an ass


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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25-05-2013, 06:59 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
I don't think so. I'm not against either of them.
Gay marriage is about marrying whomever you want, no matter what his or her sex is. Polygamy is about marrying as many people as you want. It's all a matter of personal choices, feelings and human rights.

The only things I can think of that make it different than gay marriage, which in my opinion are of an extremely minor importance, are the issues of jealousy among the family, as well as the problems that arise from the fact that people have different tastes, jobs, interests, etc.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
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25-05-2013, 09:26 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
Before I would worry about how to formulate an argument against polygyny, I'd want to establish the moral legitimacy of inflicting my will on others. Personally, I can't figure out how my will should be inflicted on other peaceful, consenting adults.

If we're to argue that Muslims are polygynists and therefore, we have to outlaw the practice in order to stop them from doing some evil to society, we have to also establish that the act of having more than one wife is directly responsible for Muslim violence.

Muslims also drink water. Should we outlaw the drinking of water in order to curtail Muslim violence?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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25-05-2013, 09:32 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
As long as everyone involved are adults and can provide consent I don't care how many husbands or wives are involved.

I don't have a problem with tax benefits and protections being offered either.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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25-05-2013, 10:02 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
(25-05-2013 09:32 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  As long as everyone involved are adults and can provide consent I don't care how many husbands or wives are involved.

I don't have a problem with tax benefits and protections being offered either.

The inherent pedophilia in most systems of polygyny and the abusiveness that tends to run in such systems are the only issues of concern for me. As far as consenting adults, go for it. On the plus side if it were legally embraced it might help to reduce such abuses since the victims would no longer need to hide due to an uncertain status.

I seem to recall a case not long ago where a Muslim man had been abusing a woman who was in the country (not sure if it was america or canada) supposedly as his live in servant/maid but was in fact his second wife. Since she had no legal status she was forced to accept the abuse that even in her own country would have been forbidden. If Polygamy had been legal and she did have a legal status the abuse may not have happened or may have been stopped much sooner than it eventually did.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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25-05-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
My only real issue with it is the exploitation of marriage. Very few people are polygamous in my country, and I doubt most marriages would be very... genuine. Well, I see marriage in general as a way to avoid taxes. Why should I get taxed for inheritance from my uncle when a trophy wife can get inheritance tax free because her 99 year old husband died three weeks into her marriage?

I think the solution would be to remove most special privileges and tax breaks for married people, keeping ones such as those that relate to children over which they have custody or to whom they are biologically related. That way, marriage doesn't offer any exploitable benefits to the average person.

If there was no way in which marriage could be used for tax fraud, then I'd let 100 people marry each other. I have no opposition to polygamy itself, just the way in which it would be used.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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25-05-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: Gay Marriage versus Polygamy
The law currently allows two people to marry if their sex differs. It's easy to change that law to drop the requirement of differing sex, and not much changes in the society when you do so. As a legal instrument marriage is little changed by dropping the differing sex requirement. Partnerships involving more than two people would be a more significant legal change.

I think there is little reason to be against polyamorous relationships in general. Polygyny in the past as been associated with a loss of autonomy and freedom of women, and I think in America in particular there was a fear historically that a man would effectively get more than one vote out of the deal by commanding his spouses on how they must cast their ballots. That's something to be a little careful of in potentially oppressive environments but where everyone is empowered and consenting I don't see any fundamental problem with having more than two partners in a relationship. Having more than two partners in a marriage, however, could be legally trickier to deal with. There would be a lot of testing and proving to do of various laws currently involved in the protection of marriage relationships, everything from social security arrangements to refusing to testify against one's spouse in court.

I'm not saying that should necessarily not be done, but that the case is less clear and that steps would need to be taken with greater care.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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