Thursday, January 5, 2012

Does Marriage Lead to Polygamy?

Rick Santorum was speaking to a group of college students earlier today in Concord, NH, and was asked about his active opposition to gay and lesbian people and our families. This is how he responded:
"So if you’re not happy unless you’re married to five other people, is that OK?” Santorum asked one student. “Reason says that if you think it’s okay for two [individuals to marry], then you have to differentiate for me why it’s not okay for three,” he argued later.

Basically, he didn't answer the question.  Instead, he redirected the discussion to something else: polygamy.  Santorum pulled what I call the "gays can't marry because if they are allowed to marry how can we prevent polygamy" tactic.  By this logic, how can we allow anyone to get legally married, gay or straight, in this country?  Why should polygamy be outlawed when we allow men and women to marry each other?  Polygamy is the marital union of one man and several wives.  It's been part of most religions and cultures through the ages.  Why should we honor the happiness of a man and his wife while denying the happiness of a man and his wives?  Allowing legalized monogamy between a man and a woman surely establishes a slippery slope towards polygamous lifestyles.

I've long since believed that you don't really have an argument against marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples if your reason for opposing it is that it might lead to other types of marriage, such as polygamy.  If you are opposed to gay marriage, tell me why you are opposed to gay marriage.  Don't tell me that my marriage might someday lead to polygamy.  And if you are frightened of polygamy, tell me why you are frightened of polygamy.  But it's lazy logic to avoid explaining your opposition to my marriage and others like it by redirecting the conversation to some other type of marriage that really has little to do with mine.


Flartus said...

Y'know what's even scarier than Rick Santorum? That millions...MILLIONS...of people think he makes perfect sense.

Jon said...

Yup. Unfortunately...