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Marriage equality and polygamy

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, January 24th, 2013 - 34 comments
Categories: gay rights, human rights - Tags: , , ,

Another week, another homophobic crywank by Bob McCoskrie – wait, no, that’s Garth McVicar!  Saying marriage equality will lead to a gay crime wave!  This isn’t predictable and boring, this is fantastic!

Anyway, to continue: … another pointless, copy-pasted “but what about POLYGAMY?????” derail on probably every blog post covering the topic.

Coley Tangerina did a really good post on why marriage equality activists should stop (a) taking anything the bigot brigade takes seriously (b) instantly publishing denials of any intention to discuss polygamy ever.  I especially love this bit:

When activists fervently deny any support for poly marriage, they’re bringing it onto the agenda, when previously the only person doing that was a dude who ran a nationwide campaign in support of assaulting children.

I just want to add one thing, per my comment to whinging unoriginal manchild par excellence, kiwi_prometheus:

Sure, there’s a really interesting conversation to be had about family structure and alternative relationship styles, but the simple fact is this: you don’t give a fuck about alternative relationship structures. You’re exploiting them to derail the current moves towards marriage equality.

You want to derail this entire societal debate away from the simple fact that there are loving, committed same-sex couples in this world who deserve the same legal recognition as two hetero flatmates getting hitched for the student allowance benefits.

You’re only bringing up polygamy because your team’s previous arguments, i.e. “why can’t I marry my dog”, have been definitely laughed off stage.

That’s why I’m not answering your piece of shit “question”, k_p. Because I’m not playing your sad little homophobic game.

This “but what about THREE people getting married?  Huh?  HUH?”  derail is simply exploitative.  It’s exactly the same technique used by exactly the same crowd to derail conversations about violence against women – “but what about men who are victims of sexual violence?  Why don’t you care about them?”

It’s really not funny how, the minute White Ribbon Week or No Diet Day or Womensfest ends, those guys apparently forget all about how much men suffer from sexual violence or body image issues or whatever it was they were trying to get you to shut up about.

Seriously, folks.  We’re not dealing with a group of people who just sincerely believe that gay people cause hurricanes, and can be convinced otherwise with enough gentle discussion.

We’re not in a civilised little debate against opponents who just don’t understand how human rights work.

We are dealing with scary, controlling, unethical douchebags who will say literally anything if they think it has a chance of scaring the middle classes, the “ordinary Kiwis”, the people who aren’t necessarily anti- or pro-gay-marriage – just people without the time, energy, interest or inclination to be particularly political, and who might just believe Pillar of the Community Bobgarth McVicskrie if he swears very solemnly that un-cited research totally shows a correlation between gay people and weather patterns.

Don’t play their games.  And especially don’t crap on other people’s relationships to do it.

34 comments on “Marriage equality and polygamy”

  1. PlanetOrphan 1

    Well said QoT, Divorce them before u marry them

    Nip it in the bud, bud

    Tell them the fantasies of multiple sexual partners is not valid outside their delusional brain

    And tell them to stop transferring the desire to commit crime onto others

    Do Not validate their crap by “Understanding” it M8’s!

  2. Phaedrus 2

    And if 3 people want to get married, so what? What’s wrong with polygamy? Seriously. Someone please explain the problems in an objective, well reasoned and evidence based article (and writings in a very old book do not count as evidence based).

    • Colonial Weka 2.1

      I was going to ask the same thing.

    • PlanetOrphan 2.2

      It’s classic Neo-Neanderthal thinking ….

      How can we enslave and impoverish a family with 3+ incomes ?

      As the Christian Preachers I know have always said … “Money is the root of all Evil”
      (At least they are honest, they did write/instigate most of the Evil in society after all)

      Most of the crap we live with today is based on those styles of thought.

    • QoT 2.3

      Like I said, Phaedrus, that’s a super-interesting conversation – and we could also discuss why only assumed-to-be-“romantic” relationships get special treatment under the law, unlike say flatmates who help raise each other’s kids.

      The problem is that it’s only raised as a prospect by fundies because they want to scare the horses.

  3. RedLogix 3

    As a small diversion QoT, I’d suggest the term polyamory is perhaps more useful term in the modern context.

    While polygamy (one husband, multiple wives) model is also very common family structure; it’s also very strongly associated in the same societies with intensely patriarchal values. To my thinking using the word polygamy introduces another distraction quite needlessly.

    • QoT 3.1

      I absolutely agree, RL, I sacrificed accuracy (and the associated need to explain the difference) for brevity’s sake.

    • mike 3.2

      Your wikipedia link says:

      “Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly], meaning “many” or “several”, and Latin amor, “love”) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.”

      “Polyamory is a less specific term than polygamy, the practice or condition of having more than one spouse.”

      I realize the definition that you have given for polygamy (one husband, many wives) is different from the wikipedia definition, but by wikipedia’s definitions polyamory is legal in NZ, but polygamy is not. So polygamy is the correct term in the context of this discussion no?

      FYI Wikipedia pulls out some more polys:

      “Polygamy (from πολύς γάμος polys gamos, translated literally in Late Greek as “many married”)[1] is a marriage which includes more than two partners.[1] When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry,”

      Now if someone could please come up with a poly for a marriage which includes more than one husband and more than one wife then I’ll feel a warm sense of completion regarding this whole matter.

      • QoT 3.2.1

        That’s also my understanding, mike – polygyny would be one-man-multiple-women and polyandry is one-woman-multiple-men. Of course this still buys into the gender binary, but for the fun of it let’s say multiple-men-multiple-women could be polyandropolygyny.

        Or, as very well portrayed on Caprica, group marriage.

      • pollywog 3.2.2

        Now if someone could please come up with a poly for a marriage which includes more than one husband and more than one wife

        pollywoggery… in the liberal Pasifikan tradition :)

        • KJT 3.2.2.1

          So. A gay poly marriage. Polybuggery. :-)

          Sorry couldn’t resist that one.

          Always fancied polygyny myself.
          For some reason, though,my wife isn’t keen.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Actually, according to Wiki polyamory is a subset of polygamy which contains all forms of multiple marriage within itself. What you’re actually thinking of there is polygyny which is one male and multiple females.

  4. mike 4

    Well said QoT. I missed that ‘debate’, so forgive me if I repeat what others have said, but it would seem to me that the issues of gay marriage and polygamy are, like, two different issues.

    The arguments of the ‘what about polygamy’ dicks seems to be along the lines of ‘if you change the gender requirement for teh gayz then all the rules are up for grab and you have to change the marriage laws to accommodate the polygamists too’. And then I guess it’s a slippery slope leading to those teeming hordes who wish to marry their dog getting their way, (actually I think it’s just a guy from Southland named Craig).

    The thing that these people seem to overlook is that if we change the gender requirement for gay people then not all the rules are up for grab and we don’t have to change the marriage laws to accommodate the polygamists too. If the polygamists get organised and lobby parliament to change the law for them, and there is enough public support for it, then good luck to them I say. Until then they (and Craig) are out of luck.

    If someone wishes to state their opinion that gay marriage and polygamy should both be legal on some sort of universal fairness principle, then that’s all it is, one person’s opinion. Thanks. So what. The marriage ‘rules’, gender, age, etc, have always been arbitrarily agreed upon by the society as a whole based on what is culturally acceptable. Polygamy in our culture is not not culturally acceptable. No sign of that changing anytime soon. Gay marriage – things are not so clear, signs are that we might get there in the not too distant future.

    But to imply that allowing gay marriage is a bad idea because we don’t want polygamy is simply an example of how the ‘arguments’ against it have little rational basis. My guess is that kiwi_p doesn’t give a flying fug about gay marriage one way or the other. KP just likes stirring up shite on da net. Because of a dick-like nature I’d say. Like a tr0ll.

    • Sosoo 4.1

      Their question is not what you state. They are asking whether the rationale for supporting gay marriage also supports polygamy, and whether people who support one ought to support the other on grounds of consistency. It’s a perfectly reasonable question, which deserves an answer whatever the motive of the questioner.

      In the other hand, your position is essentially boils down to a version of “might is right”. Anyone who thinks that laws concerning minority rights should be decided on that basis is deranged.

      The answer to the original question is that the consequences of polygamy are bad, where those of gay marriage appear, if anything, to be negligible.

      • mike 4.1.1

        Actually I was replying to kiwi_p’s statement in the original debate that QoT refered to in the OP wherein he said:

        ““why changing the gender portion of the legal definition of marriage automatically endangers the monogamy portion.[Quoting QoT]”

        You’re not “changing a portion”, you are redefining marriage that leaves no argument for monogamy or any other kind of limitation if you bother to actually consider what you are trying to do. How do you come to the belief that you are only changing a “portion”.”

        Admittedly I wasn’t clear about that. However I stand by my statement that gay marriage and polygamy are two different issues with, as you say, two different sets of consequences for society. This seems obvious to me, so anyone who goes the ‘what about polygamy?’ route in a discussion on gay marriage deserves what they get imo.

        Also, if you could point out where I said that laws concerning minority rights should be decided on the basis of ‘might is right’ that would be sweet.

      • QoT 4.1.2

        They are asking whether the rationale for supporting gay marriage also supports polygamy

        And they are totally asking this for the purest of intellectual reasons, and not to derail the whole conversation about the current marriage equality law.

        You know, I kinda doubt their motives are pure. Maybe I should write a post about that OH WAIT NO I FUCKING DID ALREADY. Please trying reading the shit you’re commenting on in future.

  5. millsy 5

    Polyamory, gay marriage, open relationships, fuck buddies, threesome, twosomes, foursomes, who cares? None of McCroskie’s business really. Sex and love is awesome. Best high ever.

    Over 16, consent and respect are my only qualifiers.

  6. BM 6

    Nothing wrong with having 10 wives or husbands, if everyone is cool about it.

  7. vto 7

    Yeah well I aint entirely convinced but happy to let you fullas and fullesses lead the charge and see how it pans out (which will be fine I am sure). Call me conservative some of te times. Sometimes big doors take a lot of bashing down so keep at it.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Yeah. Personally it’s the kind of social experiment I’m content to let others try out first.

      My partner and I can talk about possible alternatives to the standard nuclear model; but at some point you realise that the social milieu is stacked against you. At least it sure is in provincial NZ.

      To a very large extent we’ve forgotten just how profoundly the extended family (with all it’s biologically related aunties and uncles, nieces, nephews and oldies) has been broken down into little atomistic mums and dads because modern capitalism has been so keen to exploit the idea of a ‘mobile workforce’.

      The scattering diaspora of families over the globe has come at a social cost we rarely count; and those of use who’ve paid it look back and wonder if it was at all worthwhile. To some extent I count these alternative poly family models as an attempt to replace what we’ve lost in the rush to globalism… the idea of the village.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Yes, that is broadly what rests under my position on this. A discomfort at the change in family and community structure and its effects. As you say, unmeasured. Brought about by the massive changes wrought on the world the last couple centuries …

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        The scattering diaspora of families over the globe has come at a social cost we rarely count;

        That would be more that we’re told that the cost of that scattering and atomisation isn’t there.

  8. Tanz 8

    Don’t get too excited. You haven’t won yet.

    • Polish Pride 8.1

      Yes we have.. you jsut haven’t realised it yet ;)

      • Tanz 8.1.1

        So, it’s okay to push the minority view onto the country is it? The battle is won maybe, the war not. It’s not going to be the push over you imagine. No wonder Colin Craig in gaining in the polls…

        • QoT 8.1.1.1

          2/3 of MPs voted in favour, Tanz. That, at its very least, says a significant majority of MPs believe this issue is one worthy of discussion and consideration by Parliament.

          So … the minority view would appear to be yours.

          • Tanz 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but those MP’s arn’t reprepresenting the view of all Kiwis are they? No, Just their own views, as well as a handful of the publics Key may well find, if he helps to push this through, that in 2014 he will be swiftly voted out. The arrogance of the left is high arrogance indeed.’
            NZ is already under fire…

            • QoT 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Welcome to the concept of conscience votes. It’s weird, though, I get the feeling we have some kind of three-yearly cyclical thingy where we play some minor role in determining the identities of the MPs involved in the conscience votes.

    • QoT 8.2

      80 to 40 on first reading blew plenty of people’s minds, and marriage equality isn’t nearly as contentious as e.g. prostitution reform.

      Not to mention that the opposition are getting so desperate that the Sensible Sentencing Trust has been forced to distance itself from Garth McVicar’s ravings.

      … yeah, I’m feeling nice and comfortable about this one.

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