As three states face ballot questions on whether to uphold the traditional definition of marriage between two members of the opposite sex, some in the national intelligentsia are looking forward to the next victory of the sexual revolution: polygamy.
The faith writer at The Washington Post asked in a recent column, if one believes marriage should sanction any affectionate arrangement that makes its parties happy, “Why is polygamy so problematic?”
John Witte Jr., a law professor and religion scholar Atlanta’s Emory University, has written in a forthcoming book on plural marriages that the case for legalizing polygamy rests on the same ground as that of homosexual unions.
“American states today, viewed together, already offer several models of state-sanctioned domestic life for their citizens: straight and gay marriage, contract and covenant marriage, civil union and domestic partnership,” he writes in the first chapter of a forthcoming work on polygamy. “And the parties can further tailor these built-in rights and duties through private prenuptial contracts. With so much marital pluralism and private ordering already available, why not add a further option — that of polygamous marriage?”
Lisa Miller, who writes the Post‘s “On Faith” column, wrote that she knows defending the indefensible can make libertines uncomfortable. “But really. If the purpose of marriage is to preserve personal happiness, protect and raise children, and create social stability through shared property and mutual obligation, then why is polygamy so problematic if it occurs among consenting adults?”