Bruce Hausknecht: Polygamy Waiting in the Wings While Supreme Court Addresses the Definition of Marriage


Dan Savage recoiled when our President Brian Brown argued in their debate that redefining marriage opens the door to legalizing polygamy. Bruce Hausknecht of CitizenLink independently shows how the legal trajectory in the United States supports Brown's claims:

"If you believe that the Constitution requires that a man be allowed to marry another man, or a woman be allowed to marry another woman, then why shouldn’t a man be able to have four wives?

That’s what a federal lawsuit going on in Utah claims. (My earlier coverage is here.) And it’s based on the same 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, that every argument for same-sex marriage – as well as a handful of court decisions – have used for justification. Lawrence, as you may recall, threw out a Texas criminal sodomy statute as an unconstitutional violation of the “right of privacy,” the same “right” that was also used in 1973 in Roe v. Wade to constitutionalize abortion.

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a Utah lawsuit (Brown v. Herbert) that claims that polygamy is a guaranteed privacy right under the U.S. Constitution.

... Although same-sex marriage advocates are fond of saying that this fundamental clash over the definition of marriage is all about them, it’s obvious that it’s not. Same-sex marriage is only the current issue. Polygamy, group marriage and who knows what else, are waiting in the wings.

Either marriage means what it’s always meant, or it will end up meaning whatever the next interest group wants it to mean."


  1. Andrew
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Redefining the institution of marriage has consequences. We'd be foolish to believe such a fundamental change has no societal repercussions.

  2. Good News
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Polygamy has nothing to do with same-sex "marriage" or the redefinition of marriage. Its a sidetrack that will send you off a cliff.

    Every one of the billion plus muslims, who accept polygamy (polygyny), know full well that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The same goes for the Utah population.
    Polygamy is 'moltiple traditional marriages'. And it is acceptable for a society to outlaw such a practice.

    Polygamy (moltiple marriages) is outlawed in the States. We are not arguing for same-sex marriage be outlawed, we are arguing that same-sex marriage is impossible.

  3. Ash
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Many ssm supporters in academy have the warm-fuzzies for polygamy, and the ACLU supports it. If LGBTs really believe that their relationships are special enough to be placed alone on the marriage pedestal with conjugal unions, then they are sorely mistaken, short-sighted, and manipulated by the elites who have loftier goals in mind, i.e. the recognition and support of all families, with a move away from the privileging of sexual relationships. SSM is a way station to that goal.

    Do read the comments under the article. Bruce does a great job handling the SSMers there.

  4. Preserve Marriage
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    SSM advocates oppose polygamy because marriage supporters ask if is redefined to adulterate it with SSM, why not redefine it again by incorporating polygamy too.

    On what basis do we stop redefining marriage, and on what basis?

  5. Little Man
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Good treatment of polygamy in the Bible during the Brown vs Savage debate ('Savage' is not his real name, but reflects his personality).

    The new testament does not discuss many polygamous marriages of the time because Roman domination made it difficult for a man to finance and go into several marriages. But the social acceptance of polygamy was still enduring. The early Christians were persecuted and many killed, so they were not in the position to marry several wives. But polygamy was still acceptable and not prohibited.

    Civil marriage, by definition, involves the regulation by the government. What is hardly mentioned is the expense same-sex marriage will cause the government:
    a) Extra benefits for same-sex couples (basically opening up benefits to all friendships - that is, to all adults).
    b) Same-sex couples separate or divorce more often.
    c) The promotion of same-sex couples by the government will increase contagious diseases the government has to cope with.
    d) Marriage on the sole basis of 'love' is exactly the basis for divorce - "Because i love her/him." This increases the load on Family Court, and leaves a lot of children in single-parent situations.
    e) Schools will change their curriculum materials to reflect that same-sex marriage (or worse, 'gay' marriage) is recognized by our society, and at the par with opposite-sex marriage.
    f) Everyone would have the right to bring in an alien 'spouse' into the US as Permanent Resident, with the right to work. There's not enough jobs to go around as it is.

    Same-sex marriage is socially very, very expensive. It's not like a good economic time to be playing around with marriage experiments (actually, never will be).

  6. Greg
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Redefining marriage will ultimately mean any group of people can get married, two men, two women, 5 men, 2 men and 4 women, you name it...

  7. Trace
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The New Testament favors monogamous marriage when it required its elder/pastors to be the husband of one wife. There was an understanding that as Christianity spread to other cultures the issue of polygamy would be dealt with as it is today in different ways. Some have advocated letting the polygamous marriages continue for family stability but not allowing these men to hold positions of leadership.

  8. grandmaliberty
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    obviously, the majority of states believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and their citizens agree.. those that put it to a vote by the citizens... So if the scotus rules otherwise.. then what happens to those citizens rights..I think this is getting ridiculous..and unless God comes down and tells me I am wrong, I will never accept any marriage except between one man and one woman and I don't care who else tells me different. As my dad used to say, " Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"

  9. Greg
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    When a thing can mean anything, then ultimately it means nothing. THAT is the goal of SSM; to completely eradicate the definition of marriage, and thereby the institution itself.

    Polygamy is, OF COURSE!, waiting in the wings. This will, as has been mentioned, open the doors to any sort of "marriage".

    One must also take into account the fact that male homosexuals, even those in a "comitted" relationship, are rarely monogamous, each partner being allowed to "play". Is "open marriage" now to be the new norm for heterosexual marriages too?

    Wait until the bi-sexual, bi-gendered, trans-gendered, polygamists get into the act. One might as well "marry" into a bizarre and macabre' "family" where one of your wives decides (it) would be happier as a male.

    Or perhaps a homosexual male marries a bi-sexual male, who in turn marries a bi-sexual female, who decides her bi-sexuality will only be complete if she marries another woman. The bi-sexual male finds the new woman attractive. She, fearing disease, however, won't have sex with him, as long as he continues to have sex with his male partner who "plays" outside the marriage.

    The two women decide they want a baby, but the two men do not, so the women find a donor and one of them gets pregnant. Whose child is it since they are all legally "married" to one another?

    If anything goes with respect to "marriage", then marriage is meaningless, and we might as well all indulge our passions on whomever or whatever.

    This is, after all, the ultimate goal of the hedonists.

    I greatly fear the enormous confusion upon children who are born, or adopted, or medically implanted into such "marriages".

  10. jimmy
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    next thing you know, NAMBLA will want to marry little boys! In San Francisco, at NAMBLA world headquarters, they march in the "gay" pride parade.

  11. Posted August 27, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Polygamy has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. For all the fuss made about it, there's nothing in Scripture to indicate that polygamy is a sin.
    This is a complete side show. Polygamy has nothing to do with homosexuality.

  12. Donna
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Joses

    Actually it does. Polygamy is the next step in the destruction of marriage. Once gays have the 'right' to marry (and marriage is NOT a right, it is a sanction), then the polygamists will be waiting in the wings..."If they can do it, why can't we". It's a slippery downward spiral that needs to be stopped.

    Also, just because the Bible mentions polygamist relationships does not mean it condones the practice. Read and see what happened to those who had multiple wasn't pretty.

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