Patrick Craine

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‘Marriage equality’ means legalized polygamy too: Slate columnist

Patrick Craine

April 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A columnist at Slate made waves on Tuesday after bucking the party line of same-sex “marriage” advocates by penning a column calling for “marriage equality” to extend to legalized polygamy.

After opening her column by lamenting the “tired refrain” from social conservatives that same-sex “marriage” opens the door to recognizing multiple-partner unions, Jillian Keenan quickly shows that she has adopted their logic herself.

“While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too,” she writes.

“The definition of marriage is plastic,” she continues. “Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less ‘correct’ than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults.”

“So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet,” she concludes.

Keenan’s column has Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and one of the leading defenders of traditional marriage in American academia, saying ‘we told you so’.

In a First Things blog post Tuesday pointing out the piece, George writes: “I will be accepting ‘I have to admit it: You told me so, Robby’ messages.”

In his new book, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, co-authored with Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson, George argues that the push for same-sex “marriage” has developed principally out of a revisionist view of marriage that conceives it in its essence as “a loving emotional bond … distinguished by its intensity.”

The authors contrast that view with the conjugal view of marriage that sees it rather as a “comprehensive union of persons” that is only possible when the couple’s sexual acts are ordered to procreation.

They argue that if we define marriage by its emotional intensity then there is nothing distinguishing it intrinsically from other types of relationships, so there would be nothing to bar extending marriage to more than two people.

“If you insist as a matter of principle that we should recognize same-sex relationships as marriages, the same principle will require you to accept (and favor legally recognizing) polyamorous … relationships as marriages,” they write. “As pleasing and valuable as emotional union can be, there’s nothing about marriage so understood that also requires it to be dyadic, sexually closed, or even sexual at all.”

Concluding his blog post at First Things, George says he expects little opposition to Keenan’s column from same-sex “marriage” advocates who have long dismissed the slippery slope argument.

“While I’m at it, I’ll hazard another prediction, though I’d love to be wrong,” he writes. “The Slate article will not produce a single serious critique by a major scholar or activist in the SSM movement arguing that marriage is not completely plastic, and identifying a principled ground for rejecting the legal redefinition of marriage to include multiple-partner sexual relationships.”



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