Saturday, May 19, 2012

Son of Letter to a Friend

Rainbow fallsHi [Friend],

I read your blog entry from earlier today, and I feel that I need to say a few things. You wrote that if we allow same sex marriage, we should also allow marriage between multiple spouses because of their religious beliefs.

1. Although I understand your broader point concerning religious freedom and that those religions that condone and promote polygamy should be accommodated, as well as anyone who advocates multiple spouses, this is yet another "slippery slope" argument against marriage equality, akin to the "what is to stop someone from marrying their dog?" argument.

You are comparing the committed relationship between two consenting adults to all forms of relationships; these are not equivalent. You are once again bringing religion into the argument, stating that all religions have equal say, no matter the harm done to its members. I am of the opinion that religious freedom stops when others are harmed, and that is why I think that no parent should be let off the hook for allowing harm to come to their children based on their own beliefs concerning medical treatment. The children are not old enough to make an informed decision, and when they are sick, they have no say in the matter if their parents choose to withhold medical care from them for religious reasons.

2. There are a few arguments against polygamy and polyandry.

First, there is a financial and societal aspect against it. If the government were to allow full benefits to all spouses and children, the cost would be astronomical. Religious freedom is one thing; the full acceptance and financial support of such decisions is another. I am also not a fan of people having dozens of children, because this places an undue burden upon our society, but I understand that we will never legislate any sort of restrictions on that.

Some would argue that marriage equality for same sex couples also erodes society and places an undue burden upon our government. There have been no studies that have shown that committed couples, regardless of gender, are an erosion upon our societal mores.

Rainbow heartsSecond, although I mentioned both polygamy and polyandry, the fact is that the vast majority of polygamous relationships are those that consist of a man having multiple wives, rather than the other way around. In most of these arrangements, the wives are expected to be submissive and subjugated to their husbands. Marriages are often arranged without consent of the woman, and often at a young age, when they are not capable of informed consent. Again, religious freedom stops when rights are violated, and this is a women's rights and a HUMAN rights issue.

If people want to conduct such relationships within their religion, I do not think that it is appropriate to restrict them...UNLESS they are harming others. Women and children are harmed in polygamous relationships. The marriage of a same sex couple harms no one. Again, if people want to have multiple partners, that is their choice...but that does not mean that the government needs to recognize and finance such relationships. A committed relationship and marriage between two people is a social and governmental contract, and same sex couples should have that right.

3. Finally, you wrote in your entry that someone "sent" you an article with the title "Explaining Gay Marriage to an Idiot." Although someone may have indeed sent you that link, it was the title of something I posted on Facebook. If someone sent this to you, I want to make it very clear that it was not me. I would never do that to you. I did not sent that to you in any way, shape, or form, either via email or Facebook message. I posted it on my own Wall, not on yours. I did not tag you in my post. I do not think you're an idiot, and I have made it clear from the very beginning that I was not dismissing your religious beliefs or ridiculing you for them. However, I do think that the "man marrying dog" argument is idiotic. I totally respect your right to say whatever you want on your blog, I never suggested that you did not have such a right, and I never denigrated your religious beliefs. But if we have public blogs, it is to be expected that others might disagree with the opinions we put up there.

I am a strong and vocal advocate of marriage equality for same sex couples in a committed relationship. I often post articles about it, and I have made no secret of my support. If you think that every article I post is directed towards you, you might want to reevaluate whether you want to continue to see my posts. My posts are about topics, not people, and unless I tag you on something, I am not targeting you with any of my posts.



  1. in some sense the practice of polygamy allows for same sex marriage as all the women who marry one man are in sense married to one another. tell your friend to put that in their pipe and smoke it.

    now for the real reason polygamy and polyandry are different than same sex marriage. not all religions endorse polygamy and polyandry, therefore to allow persons who practice this as part of their faith would be to give their religion preferential treatment over other religions by making a special law just for them. separation of church and state demands that one religion can not be nationally endorsed or given preferential treatment.

    marriage is a contract and if the only reason you can find against having same sex marriage is that god says it's wrong then you need to find a better reason, as religion can have nothing to do with the reason for a law.

    bottom line- someone's cadre of imaginary friends cant decide what is right and wrong for the rest of us. some folks need to man up and deal with it in other ways then by being a schoolyard bully.


  2. Well said. The slippery slope argument is one of the main logical fallacies against same-sex marriage. It is devoid of logic and plays on emotional connections made by those who do not want to exercise their critical thinking apparatus.

  3. I'm afraid to ask. Was your first letter ill-received?

  4. Yes, dmappin, the first letter was well received. As I pointed out to Beth, the link I spoke of, didn't come from her, but from a male friend. Nor would I have even thought such a thing of her; Beth's my friend and she would never hurt me or anyone else in that way. The reason I asked the questions I did, is these are the very questions raised in my Torah study group and by a friend of my who wants to wed his other two wives legality.
    One of the many reasons I love Beth and I treasure our discussions is she does make me think about my long held beliefs. Sometimes I think, "hmmm, that makes sense," and alter my stance (Sarah Palin comes to mind) Other times, we agree to to disagree. My beliefs a part of me and she respects that.
    Though I am quite sure it drives her nuts from time to time.
    One of the lessons from my childhood is that a sure sign of a thinking person is the willingness to ask questions. No matter how illogial or emotional they may appear. It is through asking questions we learn, yes?
    Hugs Beth from your crazy, mixed-uped religious nutty-buddy :)

  5. This is why it's important to keep the lines of communication open. I had a very productive and friendly conversation with my friend above, and that makes me happy. :)


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?