For all of those in favor of gay marriage, what are the feelings on polygamy?

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Comment by Simon Mathews on May 26, 2015 at 4:28am

One of the arguments you hear from people opposed to gay marriage is that it is not in-keeping with the original idea of marriage. I don't agree with this because the original idea of marriage, to me, seems to be about commitment, loyalty, support and also the legal recognition we give to married couples (things like automatic inheritance). None of this is affected, in my opinion, by the gender or sexuality of the two people involved.

However, polygamy seems to me to be a different ball-game. By definition you cannot have fidelity with polygamy and I would argue it would make it a lot more difficult to provide the same level of support and commitment to multiple people compared with a single person. 

I'm not saying polygamy could not work or that society would crumble, etc, etc I just think polygamy is a different thing from marriage and should not be considered within the same category.

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 27, 2015 at 7:41am

The definition of marriage is being challenged. Traditionalists have come under a lot of fire for being not open minded enough. My question regarding marriage is, how open ought the mind be? Where does it end, and why does it end there?

 

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 27, 2015 at 2:08pm

Some wit once said that the punishment for bigamy is two wives...

Comment by onyango makagutu on May 27, 2015 at 3:04pm

When people talk of traditional definition of marriage, I ask myself which one. And which tradition? In ancient Greece and Rome, marriage was sometimes for political ends. They had no problems with swinging wives if that could bring the desired influence.

Simon says polygamy is a different ball game, that it is not marriage. I ask according to whose definition. In traditional African societies, apart from livestock, ones wealth was also measured in terms of how big his harem was. It didn't lead to the decline of those societies. 

Monogamous marriage, being the ideal, was introduced by the missionary who was followed closely by the colonialist.

Comment by Dr. Bob on May 27, 2015 at 6:34pm

Is there any rational basis by which you would allow gay marriage but not allow polygamy?  I don't see @Simon's "fidelity" being a big deal.  Four people can be faithful to each other as easily as two.  Perhaps more easily.

The social challenge that you have, once you have allowed polygamy, is that polygamy generally results in the oppression or marginalization of women.  As @onyango says, women are treated as a measure of wealth, not as full human partners.  It also results in more violence and warfare, as the remaining men compete within such a system.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 27, 2015 at 7:09pm

@Onyango – your words remind me of a quote by Desmond TuTu

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

Comment by matt.clerke on May 27, 2015 at 7:17pm

For all of those in favor of gay marriage, what are the feelings on polygamy?

Why is the government regulating ANY marriage? Imo, the government shouldn't recognise marriage, it should recognise relationships. It's the relationships that are important.

how open ought the mind be?

Not so open that things start falling out but open enough to realise when something is non-harmful, particularly to yourself, that there is no reason to stop it.

Where does it end, and why does it end there?

It ends with consent. This is the reason children and animals cannot currently enter into the same kinds of relationships, with adult humans, as adult humans do. They just aren't able to make that kind of decision.

polygamy generally results in the oppression or marginalization of women

Yes, Dr Bob, the word polygamy means many wives. For the record, I'm sure the "poly" community have a better word for what they do. I can assure you polygamy is not the only type of poly relationship out there.

women are treated as a measure of wealth, not as full human partners.

In current societies allowing polygamy. Doesn't mean the same will happen in western society, particularly given that polygamy is not the only "poly" relationship out there.

It also results in more violence and warfare, as the remaining men compete within such a system.

See above.

One last thing to note, Andy, I think this really should of been posted as a discussion. Although maybe I'm putting in more effort than was originally intended?

Comment by Unseen on May 28, 2015 at 12:46am

Why are you only interested in the views of those of us in favor of gay marriage? And why just polygamy? Why not polyandry (one woman, multiple husbands). 

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 28, 2015 at 12:53am

Thanks for all of the intrigue brought to this/ these question(s).

It seems to me that a union between two people transcends what any government or religion has to say about that union. I'm also eager to point out that I feel that equal treatment is in order as far as legal and financial matters go for homosexual couples.

There have been some well informed comments on polygamy. I can easily accept that marriage does not just mean one man and one woman, and I am soliciting thoughts on why polygamy shouldn't afford the same legal and financial implications as a marriage between two.

 

Comment by onyango makagutu on May 28, 2015 at 4:59am

It should not be understood that I promote the view that women should be property as Bob pointed out. The question I am asking is for the advocate of traditional marriage is to tell us what tradition do they refer to when they say traditional marriage is under threat

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