Personally, I'm in favor of marriage. The public declaration of fealty steers the focus of any marital problems onto resolution rather than dissolution. However, I don't think the question should be, "Should gay couples be allowed to marry?". It should be, "Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?".
We should be relying on government for assistance in enforcing contracts. But how these contracts are structured should be entirely up to the people involved. This, of course, includes people who wish to structure their households around participation by more than two individuals.
I guess there needs to be a set of default contracts (to protect children and establish ownership of chattels, etc.) which are deemed to be in effect when people share a household; but, other than that, the government should have no role.
I know that polygamy facilitates some injustices that never occur in "traditional" marriages <joke>, but is polygamy sufficiently evil by its nature to require the government to ban it?
OMG are you clueless or what?
Yes, there is plenty of evidence for women being interested in a multi-partnership society. The polyamorous community is primarily female-driven. Almost all of the books written on the subject (in favor of) are written by women. Female psychologists are the ones driving the studies currently being done. Almost all the community leaders are female. Nan Wise, Anita Wagner, Jenny Block, Tristan Taormino, Cunning Minx, Robyn Trask ... the list just goes on and on.
...Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, Deborah Anapol...
Awesome list of ladies, too.
"plenty of evidence"
Mythical amazons apart, exactly what constitutes 'plenty of evidence' to you? There is plenty of evidence that in a sexually oppressed society which has legalized prostitution, around women 25% of women will find that to be a pretty decent career opportunity. At least my 'plenty of evidence' can be cited and substantiated, though it may just not be completely true.
Exactly what is the percentage of female to male dominated polygamous relationships?
Then cite your evidence and substantiate it. A very short trip around google will bring up a wealth of information relating to the names Joreth gave you, as related to polyamory and the current state of research. Try it, if you dare.
On the other hand, you're not naming any names or linking to any studies, just pulling figures out of thin air, which you *claim* are supported by evidence, but producing no evidence. Which implies that you're blustering and trying to claim authority that you do not have. Quel surprise.
You're claim is that merely because you have no experience of it, the female-driven polyamorous community doesn't exist. By the same token, are you perhaps also a moon-landing denier?
Currently travelling, but check out the book "Superfreakonomics" written by Levitt et al - I believe third chapter - for the sources for my claim. Note that the author is in fact a Chicago School economist (the school which has received a substantial amount of Nobel Memorial Prize in Econ the last 30ish years).
I think Arcus may be a bit conservative by my standards. =p We as sentient beings have the ability to both understand and change our own behavior should we choose to. We have more direct control over these things than any other species currently. If you can recognize the issues, you can overcome them. There's not much point to higher intelligence if we can't even overcome petty jealousy and anger via rational thought.
There is no reason to ban polygamy. Laws should only be enacted if found truly necessary (if the behavior itself is detrimental to society at large). It is the job of judge and jury to apply penalty to specific cases where someone has been wronged by view of the law. We should use common sense, not the ban hammer, to enact judgement. That's what the system is based on after all. General laws with human agents to oversee specific cases.
"We have more direct control over these things than any other species currently"
That is the exact point where we depart, though the split is between Liberal and New Left. :)
I can easily manipulate people into doing things they didn't think you wanted to do. I'm currently running a small scale experiment at work, introducing the concept of an honor system.
A ban on polygamy has a very limited number of victims (it's not a widespread phenomenon in the Western world) and the "victims" doesn't exactly suffer under great agony. I find there are two parts to polygamy, one is the sexual bit and the other one is sharing of resources. The sexual bit can be solved by making casual sex socially acceptable, the sharing of resources is really just having a few opposite sex roommates.
The arrangement is quite normal: One guy living with 2-4 girls with which he occationally shares a bed with and routinely shares the fridge with has all the hallmarks of polygamy. The only one for which institutionalizing the concept has any value for is the male who could then refuse the females to sleep with other men.
Allowing polygamy has the real-world result of being nothing but a tool for male control of female sexuality, and I'm honestly surprised that so many females support it seemingly without having personal experience with polygamous relationships.
Allowing polygamy has the real-world result of being nothing but a tool for male control of female sexuality
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
You've already ignored Joreth stating that polygyny is the policy of one man having multiple wives, not polygamy. Ignoring the dictionary definitions of words and claiming to be the sole arbiter of truth is just plain dickish.
Nobody here is arguing that religious-based polygyny is strongly associated with abusive power structures. The point of the legal system however, is to eliminate the abuse, not to control what consenting adults are able to do with each other - and there are already laws against abuse.
Try flipping the genders around in the passage you wrote:
A ban on polyandry has a very limited number of victims (it's not a widespread phenomenon in the Western world) and the "victims" doesn't exactly suffer under great agony. I find there are two parts to polyandry, one is the sexual bit and the other one is sharing of resources. The sexual bit can be solved by making casual sex socially acceptable, the sharing of resources is really just having a few opposite sex roommates.
The arrangement is quite normal: One gal living with 2-4 boys with which she occationally shares a bed with and routinely shares the fridge with has all the hallmarks of polyandry. The only one for which institutionalizing the concept has any value for is the female who could then refuse the males to sleep with other women.
Allowing polyandry has the real-world result of being nothing but a tool for female control of male sexuality, and I'm honestly surprised that so many males support it seemingly without having personal experience with polyandrous relationships.
...and yet somehow monogamy isn't a tool for anyone to control anyone else's sexuality?
Reading through that, seriously, does your logic still hold? Really? If *any* group of consenting adults decide to commit to a relationship structure in which they are sexually fidelitous within the group, then that's their business. The above situation is also not at all uncommon in the poly community, and there are plenty of families who would happily commit to the same on paper if only the law would recogise their setups.
I would add that if you consider a relationship setup in which several partners are dependent on one breadwinner, of any gender, then it is actually the dependent partners who benefit from the legal recognition of their status, not the 'head' of the household (assuming that the breadwinner is the same person, which of course might not be the case). Should the house break up, if all members of the household are legally recognised, then they would be able to claim for some level of maintenance or compensation, and while they're together they would gain from spousal benefits such as health care, insurance, automatic inclusion in wills etc. One might suggest that the 'for better, for worse' thing might put people off from multiple marriage far more than any imagined control of sexuality - imagine having to support several spouses who all lose their job, or get sick at the same time! - yet somehow people stil want to do it, and I say let them.
Finally... your nick seems familiar, Arcus. Are you active in the PUA community?