Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Other Shoe Has Now Dropped: Here Comes Polygamy

One of the reasons conservatives opposed the state sanctioning of same-sex marriage was the natural extension that it could open the door to allowing for polygamy. "But that's just not true! People wouldn't jumped to those kinds of conclusions!" cried the libs. Well, here it comes.

(Ironic that Mormons are largely conservative, so ideologically we would naturally oppose this when this was a Church endorsed practice for a good number of years. Some members of the Church even think that this practice will follow after this life. But you knew all of that already and I digress...)

Kody Brown, of Sister Wives fame, was forced to move from the state of Utah after the television show made their lives plain for all to see. Utah, afraid of the association between itself and its past "lurid" history, tends to come down pretty violently on any open attempts at polygamy (think, Warren Jeffs). As a result, the Browns, all 21 of them, moved down to a Las Vegas suburb to escape some of the heat that they were facing. (Incidentally, when Amy and I traveled down to California last and stayed in Vegas on the way down, her cousin(?) had actually come back that night from hanging out with one of the kids belonging to that family and had been taped at Yogurtland by TLC, doing the things that polygamist kids do, which apparently is go eat frozen yogurt by the pound.)

(I'm going to try and limit any more parentheticals.)

Anyway, here is an article that gives a basic rundown of the events. An excerpt:
The lawsuit is not demanding that states recognize polygamous marriage. Instead, the lawsuit builds on a 2003 United States Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws as unconstitutional intrusions on the “intimate conduct” of consenting adults. It will ask the federal courts to tell states that they cannot punish polygamists for their own “intimate conduct” so long as they are not breaking other laws, like those regarding child abuse, incest or seeking multiple marriage licenses.
More commentary on the topic from Matthew Franck over at NRO:
Of course the complete dismantling of all civil regulation of marital relations and sexual conduct is exactly where we have been heading ever since Justice Kennedy’s deeply foolish Lawrence opinion.  The Times manages to find one law professor willing to stick her fingers in her ears and say “la la la I can’t hear you” to the proposition that the Lawrence reasoning has propelled us in this direction.  And Professor Turley, dutifully speaking for his client, wants us to believe that his claim is a moderate and limited one.  But literally no one else has reason to believe such tripe.  Here we go.  Here we have always known we would go.
And then there is this from Stephen Hayward at Powerline:
Meanwhile, I have been waiting for the next shoe to drop before commenting on this issue, but I didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it has.  A polygamist has brought a lawsuit in federal court arguing that laws against polygamy should be struck down on the very same “right to privacy” grounds that the Supreme Court struck down state sodomy laws in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case.  What, exactly, is the argument against polygamy if gay marriage is justified not simply on an expansive “right to privacy,” but also, as Justice Kennedy notoriously put it in his famous “mystery-of-the-universe” clause that each individual has the right to pursue their “own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”?  Law professor and uber-blogger Ann Althouse comments, “I think the Lawrence-based argument for decriminalizing polygamy is much stronger than the Lawrence-based argument for requiring the government to give legal recognition to same-sex marriage.”  Gay marriage advocates always dismissed the question of why gay marriage wouldn’t open the door to a revival of polygamy as absurd whenever it is brought up, ignoring that polygamy has a much longer record in human history than gay marriage—indeed it is still widely accepted in the Islamic world.  Further, what, exactly, is the argument against polygamous gay marriage?
What's interesting about Kennedy's Lawrence opinion is that he states that the state doesn't intrude into private matters of the home and does not pretend to be omnipresent, but it really does in so many other ways. Obviously when it comes to endangering other citizens The State will go to great lengths to enter into the home. But even with simpler things like education. Heck, especially education. I just learned the other day about how Amy's sister was threatened by their school district because of the family's affinity for taking vacations, even though their kids tended to be the most academically accomplished of all of the students. In any case, The State takes a great interest in governing parental behaviors while ignoring other ones that may not be politically expedient at the time. Such is life.

So there you have it. Just like Franck said, "Here we go. Here we have always known we would go."

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