Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

February 5, 2006

"Dissolving Marriage"

National Review Online

Stanley Kurtz, anti-gay-marriage writer at the Hudson Institute, is on another tear about the looming menace of legalized polyamory (see his "Here Come the Brides" several entries back.) This time (February 3, 2006) it's in Canada; to wit, in recent government reports on how to handle polygamous immigrants to Canada. These studies, Kurtz says, are nothing less than a cover for a secret liberal plot to abolish marriage for everyone!

Canada, you don't know the half of it. In mid-January, Canada was rocked by news that a Justice Department study had called for the decriminalization and regulation of polygamy.... Canadians, let me be brutally frank. You are being played for a bunch of fools by your legal-political elite. Your elites mumble a confusing jargon to your face to keep you from understanding what they really have in mind....

The Plan

It's like this. The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless. At that point, Canada can move to what [Queens University law professor Martha] Bailey [chief author of the report on decriminalizing polygamy] and her friends really want: an infinitely flexible relationship system that validates any conceivable family arrangement, regardless of the number or gender of partners....

What's that you say? You still don't understand how a bunch of liberal-feminist elites could even think about supporting an "oppressively patriarchal" institution like polygamy? I guess you still just don't get it.... Canada's anti-polygamy laws stand in the way of Bailey's true goal: the creation of a modern, secular, "non-patriarchal" relationship system that would allow for marriage-like unions in any combination of number or gender. That would mean the effective abolition of marriage....

Don't you get it? Canada's socially liberal legal elites are just using the gay marriage movement, fundamentalist Mormons, and Muslim immigrants to get what they're truly after: the slow-motion abolition of marriage....

...Long-term prospects for some sort of legalized multi-partner unions in Canada are pretty decent.... In 2003, a survey conducted by Canada's Vanier Institute found that 20 percent of Canadians (25 percent of younger adults, and 33 percent of secularists) were willing to accept some form of polygamy, even if only 4 percent of Canadians personally approved of such unions. Given time, growing public tolerance, increased pressure from Muslim immigrants, incremental court decisions, continued growth in Canada's already burgeoning polyamory movement, and the return of a Liberal government, Martha Bailey and friends may yet achieve their goal....

...According to [an article in Canada's national news magazine] Macleans [blogged here], polyamory "seems increasingly common" in Canada. And as organized polyamory groups proliferate, there has already been discussion "about creating a system of legal contracts around issues such as child custody and family rights."

...The four Canadian polygamy studies are a time-capsule from the future, a preview of the argument we'll be having should same-sex marriage be fully established here in the United States.

Read the whole article.

The piece is subtitled "If everything is marriage, then nothing is." And that is the key to understanding the conservative terror about recognizing nontraditional relationships. The key fear — "legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless" — is rooted in a fundamental, core assumption that drives many conservatives: "If everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody."

This was once meant as a snappy comeback to Jesse Jackson leading chants of "I am somebody" among his ghetto constituents. Quite a bit of conservatism is based (either unconsciously or overtly) on the feudal-system assumption that your validity depends on a lesser class of people not having validity.

Seen from this angle, the validity of your marriage really does depend on "undesirable" classes of people being denied marriage. And letting them marry really will invalidate the meaning of your own marriage!

Unless, that is, you change to another, better, post-feudal idea, one that modern conservatives should well recognize: "My freedom is not threatened by your freedom."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home