View Full Version : Polygamy and The New Gay Puritans

07-07-2015, 08:42 PM
Rock, let me know if you end up wanting this in the DU forum since it mentions DU. Otherwise, this was in the comments section. I follow this guy and apparently he reads us, I think.

So It Begins: Polygamy And Barbarism

(From the comments section)

The New Gay Puritans

A funny thing happened on the way home from the Supreme Court.

Before the Obergefell decision, the rallying cry to extend marriage rights to those who have never had them in human history was both boisterous and threatening. Anyone who disagreed with the right to marry of those born with the "immutable' trait of homosexuality was an instant "bigot", worthy of censure and job loss. From a Firefox executive to a small-time fire chief--any person who suggested that marriage should remain strictly between a man and a woman was attacked with a savage vengeance. Religions with thousands of years of promoting monogamy were suddenly "hate groups" and guilty of "hate speech."

Enter Obergefell. In a rather clumsily argued 5-4 decision, SCOTUS gave gays the right to marry. Or rather, they took away the ability of any state in the union to limit what is characterized as the "fundamental right" of marriage among two people of the same sex. In his rebuttal, Justice Roberts made a fiery and salient point: what was to prevent Anthony Kennedy's majority arguments from being used to also take away restrictions on polygamy?

Immediately on the heels of Obergefell, polygamist and TLC reality star Kody Brown filed for a marriage license. Brown was in the forefront of overturning Utah's ban on polygamy with his celebrity attorney Jonathan Turley. Now he's back, with Obergefell (and Robert's interpretation of it), as support for his bid to marry his various wives.

The interwebs have now come head-to-head with polygamy as a potential legal reality, and, oddly, the marriage equality group has shifted their place on the landscape. One can understand the religious Christian and the social conservative being outraged by the new fight to legitimize polygamy--or "polymarriage", as it is called in some circles. One can even understand child advocates fearing an increase of abuse with more unrelated adults in the home.

What is completely incomprehensible is the view of many gays, who now, like their conservative detractors, are going after any suggestion of polygamy/"polymarriage" legalization with a bitter rage and targeted insults. Look, for example, at this interchange on probably the best known Democratic website, "Democratic Underground" and a recent post-Obergefell thread: "Polymarriage deserves a defense"


The opening post refers to Justice Roberts' assessment of Obergefell and then proceeds to give out websites on the legalization of polygamy and polyamory, which is a form of multiple partner arrangement in non-fundamentalist (i.e. more liberal) communities. A post like this is in the aftermath of Obergefell is not at all shocking. What is shocking is the outright self-righteousness and zealous judgement against polygamy and "polymarriage" from the group that just overturned 2000 years of heterosexual (normal) monogamy: the gays themselves.

For example, this remark by Betty Karlson (a gay man, from all indications):
__________________________________________________ _________
Betty Karlson (1,561 posts)

105. Polymarriage deserves a defense? Maybe. But that defense is not and will never be gay marriage. Because sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. Bigamy is a choice. You want to defend polymarriage? Do it. My boyfriend an I are fine with that. But don't you dare drag us into your argument!
__________________________________________________ __________

A polygamy supporter and author of the thread, Wella, takes on Betty Karlson:

__________________________________________________ ___________
Wella (1,802 posts)
113. Both gay marriage and polymarriage are based on extending marriage rights It's all about marriage equality in its broadest sense. They are both based on marriage as a civil right and the removal of restrictions.

What fascinates me in your reply is this sentence: "But don't you dare drag us into your argument!" I'm not dragging you and your boyfriend into an argument for anything. I am demonstrating that they SCOTUS ruling will definitely apply in the fight for polymarriage and ultimate marriage equality.

However, the fact that you take it personally is fascinating, in a car
wreck kind of way. It's like you and your boyfriend have gotten into the special marriage country club and the rest of us "rabble" have to keep out. Your philosophical support for marriage equality is restricted to your soclal-climbing needs.
__________________________________________________ ___________

Wella makes some good points here, at least in terms of the gay community. First. "marriage equality" as a phrase, aptly applies to polymarriage as well (using Wella's term here) and Roberts himself regards Obergefell as potentially "extending marriage rights" to polygamists.

But where Wella really gets under her interlocutor's skin is with her "country club" reference. Now that gays "got theirs", they can exclude polygamists. How can they do this?

__________________________________________________ ____________
Betty Karlson (1,561 posts)

116. How dare you? How dare you take that tone with me?
... Bigamy is a choice, sexual orientation is immutable. What planet are you from that you think those two characteristics have anything in common? What kind of legalistic mind do you have that you think this is just about court precedents?
__________________________________________________ ___________

There are two very interesting things about this post. First, note the overt and combative self-righteousness ("How dare you take that tone with me?"). There is a certain (dare we call it) moral indignation permeates and energizes this post. Betty Karlson clearly sees himself on the right side and Wella on the wrong and undeserving side. It's the perspective of the Elect vs the sinner. Betty Karlson is the elect because he (and his boyfriend) are "born this way" gays, who can now have a legal monogamous marriage. And this was the second interesting point: Betty Karlson invokes "immutability" (born this way) as the chief difference between gays and polygamists/polyamorists. Gays, with their immutable sexuality, were suffering martyrs in a truly unjust world. Polyamorists, on the other hand, are not of the elect. They are mere sinners because are not "born this way"--they are just making (bad) choices.

Welcome to the new Gay Puritans. It is as if the Supreme Court decision was not a legal assessment by a group of secular judges about rights, but a Papal imprimatur, an announcement from some divine emissary giving moral approval to homosexuality as a practice and homosexuals as people. Obergefell is not just about the "legalistic mind" and "court precedents" as Betty warns. It is about much more than that: it is a powerful MORAL affirmation.

In this context, going after Christian bakers makes sense, even though their numbers are small and their influence practically nil. The new Gay Puritan is his own religious zealot, lead by the Almighty Hand of the Supreme Court, into the promised land of his own pristine "born this way" spirituality. Any religious system that does not acknowledge the Gay Puritan as morally good must be stamped out. In order for gays to be morally good, Christians cannot be.

Many of us suspected that the fight for gay marriage wasn't really about marriage, especially when many states were enacting "domestic partnership" legislation that would have potentially provided the same economic and legal benefits. What gays were going for, however, was not legality or even economic goods. What gays wanted was the title of marriage for their unions--they wanted to be morally equivalent to the vast majority of the world who were straight and married. Obergefill is their immersion in the baptism of moral righteousness.

Maybe that explains the absolute vitriol visited on anyone who suggests that polygamy or polymarriage is next. It's worth looking at a number of the polygamy threads on Democratic Underground (listed below). The "mortal sin" du jour seems to be any attempt to equate homosexuality and polyamory. If one even attempts that some people are born polyamorous, it's enough for a witch burning.

I am no fan of polygamy and will fight strongly against any attempt to make "polymarriage" legal. But you can't help feeling sorry for the polyamory advocates, like Wella, who have the teeth-gnashing Gay Puritans at their throats. And you can't help laughing at the Gay Puritans' newly found self-righteousness. They wanted to belong to a club that didn't want them as a member, and now they are closing the door on everyone else. What these Gay Puritans don't realize is that their very presence in the club has destroyed its entire premise. Eventually, members of all kinds will come pouring in because the argumentation used to force gay marriage on the United States can be used as a bludgeon to destroy marriage entirely.

Democratic Underground threads on polygamy this week:

Polymarriage Deserves a Defense

Recent articles on polyamory/polymarriage
(This one coins the term "polyphobe")

Wow, we're not actually f---g doing this, are we? Polygamy?

It's Time to Legalize Polygamy

Equating or aligning polygamy with gay marriage is bigotry and has no place here

The gay marriage decision has put us in uncharted waters with regard to polygamy

08-28-2015, 12:42 PM
Just a bump for "We Told You So"

‘Sister Wives’ family points to same-sex marriage cases in arguing against Utah polygamy ban

...The Browns' attorney Jonathan Turley wages many of the same arguments that were successful in the lower court. But now Turley also cites recent rulings affirming same-sex marriage.

That includes the U.S. Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court upheld the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry, and Kitchen v. Herbert, the case that brought same-sex marriage to Utah. Turley also cites a Supreme Court case that decriminalized all gay sex as sodomy, Lawrence V. Texas.

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to coerce or punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Turley wrote in his answer to Utah's appeal. ...

08-28-2015, 02:47 PM
What is good for the goose is apparently unacceptable for the gander. The gay marriage movement spent so much time arguing against a potential slippery slope that they started to actually believe it. They are now upset that they have to face what they said would not happen.

It Wella's defense, the argument before the court that was made by the lawyers wasn't that homosexuality was a genetic trait and that is why gays should be allowed to marry, but that consenting adults who love each other should have the right to marry regardless of gender. Because this was the argument used, the case for other consenting adults to have their relationships validated through marriage was bound to happen and using the SCOTUS decision is fair game.