Debate:Polygamy

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Am I the only person disappointed with the result of the polygamy reference in the Supreme Court of British Columbia? To me, support for polygamy and support for same-sex marriage go hand-in-hand (any number of people of any gender should be able to get married, provided that they, and all their other current spouses, if any, agree). Oh well, it's only the trial phase, there are still the appeals. (((Zack Martin))) 10:32, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Maratrean. If people want to add to the number of people they can't have sex with, they should be allowed to. SJ Debaser 11:05, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
You really don't see any difference between allowing any two people to marry if they so choose and allow any group of people to marry? Marriage being an exclusive arrangement between two people is fairly deeply ingrained in our treatment of married people legally. Here's just a few of the things allowing plural marriage of any sort would break:
  • Marriage as a personal decision. At the moment the situation is very clear. Alice may marry Bob, or Alice may marry Carol at the sole discretion of Alice. If plural marriage were allowed, and Alice were Married to Bob, could Alice marry Carol without Bob's consent? Could Carol then also marry, or have a pre-existing marriage to Dave without the consent of Bob? Is Dave then married to Bob through Alice or merely to Carol?
  • Marriage as a factor in immigration considerations. While marriages of convenience do take place to secure immigration status, they're rather rare. Marriage being an exclusive arrangement means that most people don't want to be married to someone they don't especially cherish. Plural marriage would be the death of any reasonable prospect of considering marriage as a factor in immigration, to the detriment of people who actually are legitimately married.
  • Marriage as a factor in tax policy. In most countries, married couples are privileged with various tax breaks as a piece of positive social engineering to prefer stable families as child raising units. Plural marriages would render this impossible to sustain, since people would again inevitably end up being married for money-saving convenience.
  • Marriage as a factor in inheritance. A spouse is privileged when the other spouse dies intestate. They automatically become the soul benefactor of most estates. How should the interest be divided in a plural marriage? If all spouses are married to the person who died, are they all still married to each other after the death of the spouse they originally married? Can they force the sale of assets against the will of other partners to get their share of the estate? The complication of court proceedings would increase exponentially.


These are just a few of the things I can be bothered to list right now. The only way to plural marriage could be sensibly integrated in to society is if marriage was either totally meaningless, or heavily regulated like the trade of shares in a company. Either way, plural marriage rewrites our society in a fashion that gay marriage does not. There isn't any real likeness between them, nor should support for one imply support for the other. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:47, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Plus, if polygamy was legal, there'd be less chicks free for Josh to nail. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:49, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I've brought it up before, and should really keep the link on hand for occasions like this, but there's a very good blog post establishing the issues with it from a database management perspective. They're actually very similar points to what Jeeves brings up because looking at it that way drops all the emotional attachment and looks at what it really is not what people think of it. And then the actual legal ramifications stem from that. When examined that way, the jump between "no same-sex marriage" to "same-sex marriage" is considerably smaller than the jump from "same-sex marriage" to "polygamous marriage". Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:29, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
As a social liberal I was fully in favour of polygamy until I read the Red Queen, in which Matt Ridley gives a good reason for why many societies have made polygamy illegal: Since men marry multiple women, not the other way around, and since the sex-ratio stays around 50:50, women become in short supply, are soaked up by the rich and powerful, leave the proles sexually excluded, and ultimately lead to social strife, uprising, civil war and revolution. So Crundy makes a good point. ONE / TALK 15:51, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
That just comes off as silly. In the past, polygyny likely functioned because women had less rights than men and a lower mortality (childbirth is deadly, but not as deadly as being drafted). Now that things are more even, women don't have to find mates, and they don't have to settle for mates. I'd also like to remind you that marriage is not a barrier to forming polygamist commitments, or polygamous commitments in return for wealth. A person being able to bang as many men or women as he likes is the status quo. Legalizing polygamy will change nothing, since nothing is legally stopping "rich people" from having harems in the first place. The reason women don't flock towards rich men is because there is more to romance and love than money. Cynical evolutionary psychologists may not get that, but then again, they are the laughing stock of psychology. We are not animals. We do not behave like animals. We have transcended natural selection and the boundaries it has placed upon us.--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 16:11, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Wait, what? Тytalk 21:14, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
How might I clarify for you?--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 23:36, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The last few sentences are wrong, and conscription is a relatively recent development. Тytalk 23:41, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, I don't know how convincing you'll find this, but... not according to Wikipedia! And as for the last few sentences, well, do animals create art? Is breeding at all affected by viability of offspring (and not in the sense that your kids might die if you give birth to them, but more in the sense that people don't care about the other parent's genes)--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 00:10, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes animals do.Тytalk 00:17, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the last 5 sentences are just flat out wrong. But this one is worth addressing because it's a good point:
Legalizing polygamy will change nothing, since nothing is legally stopping "rich people" from having harems in the first place.
The latter is true: rich people can effectively buy sex, and enough money can buy exclusive sexual access to individual women. That's never going to change. But it's false to assert that polygamy changes nothing. It changes the options that are available to the women. Women want children, and they want them to be conceived by a successful man and to be invested in by a dedicated father. The minimum investment they are guranteed to get under the law from a rich guy they fucked out of wedlock is child support, so the woman would be better off marrying a less-successful but more dedicated man, in which the law will enforce a sharing of assets even if the guy buggers off. With polygamy, women have greater legally-enforced access to resources to invest in their children, so they'll gravitate towards the rich and leave the proles without wives. I suspect you'll write this all off an evolutionary psychology bullshit, but others might find it interesting. ONE / TALK 14:28, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Sir, you have a disgustingly low opinion of women. @Ty: it isn't art, it's mimicry and training. Moreover you will never find an animal capable of suppressing its instincts. training, and desires.--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 22:09, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not an opinion, genes built us this way. Men work in a similar fashion, so if I explained what drove men you would probably think I have a disgustingly low opinion of men too. 81.141.71.112 (talk) 20:04, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually living together of all sorts is closely connected to the environment one lives in. If you have problems growing food, you want to keep the population as low as possible which is possible through one woman marrying several men as the fertility of one woman is limited but not the fertility of one man. The form we all think about when we hear polygamy — one man having several women — works well for a fast population growth, that can be used for several things (wars, pensions, high death rates). The classical monogamy is, of course, the most spread around the world, and considering were such populations are located (Europe, East Asia, India) the food suply and cultures are very well trained for a steady but not explosive population growth. Also the monogamic culture has the pro that the family is more immediate which will ultimately lead to female ancestors of the children are able to be more involved (also the older children are then able to look after their younger brothers and sisters). It shouldn't be forgotten that the environment in which a people is placed will have a hand in forming it's culture.
But as technology evolves our techiques of manual population growth (condoms, not abortions) have become better than that, and therefor a polygamistic culture is maybe even more beneficial than a monogamistic one is. Either way "we'd have to change the laws around it" is one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard, you can say the same thing for legalizing drugs, prostitution or any consideration to change any kind of law. Every change has remafications and questions that comes with it. Also neither does law make a society, behaviour makes a society and opinion makes law. That the behaviour is illegal or neutral to the state does not make it non-existent but just not officialy recognized as special. If polygamy was to be officially accepted by the state that does not mean that polygamy itself will jump through the roof but only that those who already live in it would now have get the priviliges society did not want to give them befor. --ʤɱ structuralist 16:49, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Marriage is a legal contract. If a number of people want to shack up together, even raise kids together, regardless of whether to not the relationship is sexual, it's not our place to stop them. If the legal system needs to be tweaked to make sure it works, then go ahead an make some changes.--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 14:14, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

As usual, that's some very hard hitting analysis, Brxbrx. I'm convinced. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:18, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

You know, I'm starting to think that we should abolish marriage as a legal institution and just start handing out child licenses instead. Fluckedtalk to me :D 15:19, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

You know, I think I'll write a blog post (my first ever!) on the subject of marriage and child licenses. Flitzertalk to me :D 16:30, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I say marry as many people as you want. Only the first gets any legal/official recognition (until a divorce, at least). Imprisoning people for having a ceremony, shacking up and/or reproducing together, and calling each other their spouse makes no sense. Then again, just having read a book and the Mormon fundies who marry their 11 year old daughters, I can see why polygamy has a bad name. Obviously, in such cases, statutory rape laws and the like should be what's enforced. DickTurpis (talk) 16:52, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

People aren't arrested for "having a ceremony, shacking up and/or reproducing together, and calling each other their spouse" since none of those things is illegal. Bigamists are arrested because (under current laws) marriage is an exclusive legal contract & therefore bigamy is fraud. As Jeeves & others have pointed out, there are a lot of legal implications which would need to be ironed out if legalised polygamy is even possible. "Only the first gets any legal/official recognition" isn't much of a solution at all. What if somebody ditches their first spouse & marries another while concealing that he/she is already married? In current systems, this is bigamy (i.e. an act of fraud). Under your system, no crime would be committed even though the second spouse is unaware that they may have no legal rights as spouse. Somewhat less than ideal. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:09, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The real issue I don't see being address is the legal contract side. IN modern marriages you hold legal responsibility for all children produced in the marriage, support of eachother in teh case of illness or death, sharing of financial debt ect. the trouble with pologamy that needs to be addressed before it can be legal, is how you deal with all that. If three of us marry, are we both marrying one man, or are we all three married to eachother. Are the two women legally responsible for eachother's children? and what happens in a divorce. do you divorce teh "unit" or the individual? can one person leave the marriage and does that leave teh other two still married? if sterotypically, the one leaving the marriage is male and the two he leaves are homemaking females, does he have to pay to both, indivudally, or does he pay to a unit? etc. until these kind of contract based issues are resolved, legal polygamy is a pain in the neck. Pink mowse.pngGodotAround, around, around, around, over, and under and through 21:34, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I have nothing else to add apart from "exactly the point". Marriage is effectively forming a corporation between two people, forming a single legal entity, although with ramifications upon leaving it. Legal polygamous marriages would have to chew through that in a way that wasn't completely retarded. But why stop there, why not allow all other relationships to be legally recognised as what they are? If the issue was "simple", then there would be no barrier. For instance, we could allow Goreans to legally recognise their slave relationships where the legal rights transfer but one way, because it's not an equal marriage by intention. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 22:01, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Child licenses, baby. Flitzertalk to me :D 22:03, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
They have those in China. It's not a great system. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:19, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
If it's a legal knot that's not a reason against going ahead and legalizing it. I'm sure it was a pain in the ass getting freed slaves processed, but we still went ahead with that, didn't we? Another of my metaphors, I suppose.--"Shut up, Brx." 01:23, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
You appear to have serious issues a) addressing points that people raise and b) apparently understanding those points in the first place. I'm not going to reiterate them, it's your job to note them and actually provide solutions rather than dismissing them. That something is legally problematic certainly is grounds for not just throwing it in the box marked "legal". We're not talking about it being "allowed" or "disallowed" type of legal, it's about it being meaningful and enforceable legal. Scarlet A.pngmoral 01:50, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
You appear to be a serious dick, but I know you're just rigid and stubborn. Polygamy might require some modifications to existing laws, but it is still implementable and enforceable. Instead of splitting and combining things in two, you do them in however many groups are forming as a result of the plural marriage/divorce. If a man divorces himself of a group of two women and three men, he gets the same treatment as he would divorcing a single person- instead, though, the group he's separating from is treated as one entity, and there, much of the issue has been resolved.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:13, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
No it hasn't. That's a gross oversimplification caused by you not even giving the situation the slightest thought. The other people aren't one entity, and can't be treated as such. Lets consider just a few scenarios of the unlimited potential for legal wrangling this would cause. Imagine four people were married, one one spouse was clearly abusive giving grounds for divorce. Can they divorce just the one person with the consent of the other three, over the objection of the offending spouse? Or do they have to divorce all the others too and get remarried as a threesome? What if two people want a divorce from the offending spouse but a third objects? How is seniority taken in to consideration? Could a rich spouse be taken advantage of by new partners he had taken, by them kicking a long standing partner out of the marriage? How is custody of children to be divided amongst married parties when they divorce? How is the division of goods to be achieved, especially where many partners have equally pressing claims on the wealth of a richer partner? Is seniority to be considered in that case?
The only comparison we have in existing laws is the rules governing company formation. We have a couple of centuries of caselaw governing exactly how companies form, companies die and how the division of the wealth produced by a company is achieved. Plural marriage would require an equal body of law that we currently just don't have. I reckon it'd take at least a couple of decades to thrash out all the issues in interminable committee meetings and then another century of litigation to really seal the deal on exactly what the law should mean. You can't just write it off with a dismissive sentence or two. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:48, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
The law evolves on demand, especially in the common law system. Besides, since polygamy is legal in many countries (especially Muslim countries), it is not as if there is no pre-existing body of laws you could refer to. Of course, much Islamic law on polygamy would be objectionable in Western societies due to feminist criticisms. But, the other reality is, feminist criticisms of polygamy are heard in the Islamic world too (especially by the more secular/liberal Muslims), and while sometimes the answer is to abolish polygamy, in other cases the answer has been to impose restrictions without abolishing it completely. (For example, traditionally under Sharia law, a man does not need his wife's consent to take a second wife, although he is required to have financial means to support both wives; but many Muslim countries, while still permitting polygamy, have imposed the legal requirement of obtaining the prior wives' consent before the man may marry a further one.) You also ignore the fact that some Western countries, while not permitting polygamous marriage, still have laws that recognise polygamy for some purposes. For example, in Australia, although polygamous marriage is not legally recognised in general, it is legally recognised for some specific purposes, such as divorce law (see Family Law Act 1975, s. 6.) I know in the Australian context, the Australian courts have a fair amount of experience in dealing with polygamy (in areas of law such as divorce, social security, immigration, etc.), since although polygamous marriages are not recognised as legal marriages, the reality is they happen anyway (especially with some immigrant groups), and so the law needs to deal with that reality in an appropriate way, and so there is legislation and court precedents in place to deal with those scenarios. So your suggestion that we lack any sort of legal background to deal with polygamous marriages is not true. There is a foundation in legislation, case law and legal scholarship, in different countries and legal systems, which could be extended to handle the legalisation of polygamy gracefully. (((Zack Martin))) 09:56, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
The only prior experience we've ever had with polygamy in any legal framework is a relationship with one man who has all the power and a number of women who are essentially his chattels with extremely limited rights under the law. While that's a very simple relationship, you'd have to be insane to think that it's any basis for a modern system of plural marriage. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:42, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Consider the status of polygamy under Australian law. As I said, it is *not* fully recognized, but it is for certain purposes such as divorce law. And I think you will find that polygamous divorce law in Australia is no different from monogamous divorce law in Australia, it tries to treat the parties to the marriage equally, and despite the usual complaints from all corners (both feminists and men's/father's rights activists), it does a reasonably good of job it. I honestly don't see how legal recognition of polygamy would make any difference to Australian law, since polygamous relationships are already recognised for several purposes (e.g. divorce, social security), although the arrangements are not always favourable to it (e.g. social security law effectively makes it harder for polygamists to access payments than monogamists). Marriage in Australia is mostly a question of having a piece of paper, since de facto relationships are for most purposes legally equivalently to de jure ones; and while de jure polygamy is illegal, there de facto polygamy isn't. (((Zack Martin))) 19:23, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
What I'm hearing here is "don't legalize polygamy, because it's hard." So we are effectively denying people their rights because we're unwilling to sit down and do some critical thinking? Fine, let's say there's no precedent we can learn from. Then make it from scratch. I'm sure a group of forward thinking lawyers and lawmakers can figure something out. I'm starting to think you're not really this constipated, that you just want to disagree with Maratrean.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:29, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
What "rights" are people actually being denied? You seem to be viewing "marriage" as an end in itself, when in fact it is a legal partnership. The situation re polygamy is completely different from gay marriage in this respect: gay people are/were denied a bunch of marital rights which are there for straight people, like spousal inheritance of property, next of kin rights, etc. It's much less convincing to say that polygamous people are denied these rights, since we don't even know how things like inheritance & next of kin would work under a polygamous system. There are several different models proposed on this page (e.g. marrying into a collective with all other parties, or marrying specifically to one partner regardless of your/their other marriages, etc.). None of these will be universal or suit all polygamous relationships. Really, if people want to attach some legal rights & responsibilities to their menages, they should make individual contracts for how they want it to work, cause there really won't be any one-size-fits-all polyagmous form of marriage. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:44, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Rights? What the fuck? Now it's a right to marry the any group of people you choose? Since when? Polygamy is across the board banned for every group of people in society. It's a fair and non-discriminatory law. The whole point of this is that you have no idea what the implications of allowing any kind of plural marriage are. You won't even think about it. All you're thinking is "Polygamy! Way cool!" How do you know that it's a good idea unless you have a reasonably solid grasp on what you're proposing? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:48, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
You know, you guys sound a lot like Michele Bachmann...--"Shut up, Brx." 22:54, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Go on, unpack that. I'm going to enjoy watching you wrap yourself in knots trying to figure out exactly how this sounds anything like anything Bachmann has ever sad. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:19, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Easily. You say that polygamists have the same rights as monogamists, that they can marry a single person just like everybody else. Michele Bachmann (and a number of conservatives- she's just the most recent example) says that gays have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex just like straight people. Why not extend this legal partnership to more than two people at a time? If we have to recombobulate things, then let's go ahead and do it. Sure, there may not be "one size fits all," as you say, but in that case we can make multiple sizes. You know you're just being a contrarian here. --"Shut up, Brx." 23:45, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Brx, why not make a suggestion for how you think things should be recombobulated? So far you haven't brought anything to this debate but red herrings, false analogies, strawmen, ad hominems, & handwaving. You keep talking about the legal aspect as if it's a mere technically & not worth troubling yourself about. If it's so important to you that polygamy is legalised, try to explain how you want to see it work. + You haven't answered my question about rights. Is it simply the concept of "marriage" itself that you view as a right, or does it represent something more substantial that polygamists are currently being denied; if so, what? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:09, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Uhh... Because I'm not a lawyer. As for rights, marriage is a right in the same way forming a club is a right. But you know, instead of handwaving and presenting red herrings to counter what I say, you could address it.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:13, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
If you said anything substantial, I would try to address it. Yes, you're not a lawyer (no shit Sherlock), but you could try to describe what it is you want to be legalised. What kind of deal is it you're thinking of when you talk about legalised polygamy? As for "the same way forming a club is a right", I have no idea what you mean by this. Is that a human right, a civil right or a legal right? There are all kinds of "clubs" and most don't really have any legal basis (unless operating as a business). If you mean freedom of association, yes that is generally regarded as a right, but that doesn't really have any application to polygamous marriages. Nobody in this debate has denied that people have a right to form polygamous relationships if they want to (the same way they could form any other sort of group or "club"), but there's a lot of difference that and a contractual polygamous partnership which has workable legal ramifications. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:46, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

It disappoints me so much how people insist on viewing polygamy through a heterosexualist lens. People talk about polygamy causing gender imbalances, patriarchal domination, "lost boys", etc. But all that is only true when we conceive of polygamy exclusively in terms of heterosexual polygyny. When we see polygamy as involving marriages involving any number of women, men, or both — a marriage of three or more women, three or more men, a woman and two or more men, a man and two or more women, or of two or more woman and two or more men, then our view becomes very different. Maybe we should stop seeing things as pivots / stars (i.e. many separate marriages with one person in common between them all), to group marriage (everyone is married to everyone else) or line marriage (A is married to B is married to C is married to D and so on) or network/web marriage... Actually I think the study of different structures of polygamous marriages or polyamorous relationships is mathematical, and reflects the beauty of mathematical objects... or maybe the beauty arrow is the other way around... I look at a group like the FLDS, and yes it involves major gender imbalances, but they could solve them, either (1) by encouraging excess males to practice homosexuality (they could introduce two types of marriage, one man with many women, and the other being a group of men married to each other), or (2) by adjusting the gender ratio at birth (e.g. by sex-selective abortion). Actually, it is an interesting question, in our society most people are straight, yet there is so much pressure to be straight — one wonders whether, if one's society or subculture, imposed pressure to be gay, might not many people be homosexual as a result? I am sure, that just as in our society there is a certain minority of people who are gay despite immense pressure to be straight, in such a society there would be a certain number of people who would be straight despite immense pressure to be gay; but I suspect the majority of people are probably far more sexually malleable than they themselves realise, or would care to admit... If they tried to deal with the gender imbalances by encouraging male homosexuality, I wonder what kind of results they would have??? (((Zack Martin))) 09:37, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm starting to think this is your MO. No matter what people are actually saying, just trot out your side of the argument you were having with the people in your head. What possible relevance did any of that crap have to what people were saying above? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:38, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, given I started out by linking to Chief Justice Bauman's judgement, maybe you should consider my comments in light of his judgement, and the factual background that led to the constitutional reference in British Columbia (i.e. attempts to prosecute the Bountiful community). Bauman's judgement certainly to me seems to view the world in a heterosexualist way. (((Zack Martin))) 19:11, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean, I know you think you produce nice rational, reasonable self-consistent arguments but really you don't. It's mostly just pure bullshit. (Except that bit about cultural pressure to be straight - nothing new there but not relevant either.) Sorry to be harsh but there it is. Ajkgordon (talk) 12:01, 1 December 2011 (UTC)


Isn't polygamy legal in Nevada?--Tiberius Gracchus.jpg. 12:02, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

No. In fact, it's a felony. (ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 17:39, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

"Polygamists (should) have the same rights as monogamists" and Bachmann[edit]

So Brxbrx is making the argument that denying "polygamists" the right to marry in the fashion they see fit is akin to denying homosexuals the right to marry. Brxbrx, does this mean that you believe that "polygamy" is not a choice? That people are just born that way, as most homosexuals tend to understand their own sexual orientations? If not, does that mean that you believe that a conscious choice to engage in a particular type of relationship dynamic should be a basis for claims-making in the same way that gender, race, and sexual orientation have become the basis for making claims for rights and protections? PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 00:58, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if homosexuality is a choice. It probably isn't, but, hypothetically, if it was a choice, I'd say it isn't anyone else's choice but yours. To provide protection to opposite sex monogamous couples (marriage) that may not even be "together" but not to varying combinations (polygamy, same-sex marriage) is obviously an example of unequal rights.--"Shut up, Brx." 22:01, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
So your argument boils down to "because I say so." So we should give choice the same political and social weight as the kinds of subject positions that people embody? PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 22:25, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
What? It's not because I said so. Why are monogamous straight couples allowed to form unions and nobody else? Why can't any group of citizens form such a union? I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand your rebuttal. Could you please reword it? Hopefully, I've made my position a little clearer for you, though.--"Shut up, Brx." 22:27, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Soo... Do I win? Tongue.gif--"Shut up, Brx." 01:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Show me data that puts the choice to marry in a group context on the same plane as sexual orientations which are not a question of choice and I'll start to worry about people making claims on that basis. Until then, the reluctance of society to accommodate the desires of people who want a particular social arrangement just because they want it won't be anywhere near as important an issue as the reluctance of society to accommodate the desires of people who are denied access to a particular social arrangement because of what they are. PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 01:35, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Also, no you didn't "win." An exchange of ideas is not a contest. Also, that stupid smiley is incredibly smug and annoying. I'd be more inclined to take your opinions seriously in its absence. PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 01:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

PoS, meet Brx. ArchieGoodwin (talk) 16:18, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
On the "choice" angle, I highly doubt polygamous relationships are not a choice. For a start you need to think long and hard about it and put an extreme amount of effort in to maintain your "orientation" (I know a few, it's not easy) and this requires the mental effort to say "I want this". It's not anything people ever seem to be compelled into from birth. It's difficult to compare anyway because the analogy with sexual orientation is so fragile to start with. I still suggest that BDSM-based relationships are the better extension to look into as a step between same-sex marriage and polygamy. From the "choice" perspective, most people will agree that they don't feel their sub/dom lifestyle is actually a choice and is a valid sexual orientation (so it more closely resembles the argument for same-sex marriage), but at the same time recognising it as a such in a legal fiction would require a significant change in what we actually mean by "marriage" or "civil partnership" (making it akin to what polygamy requires). So if you agree that polygamous marriages should be legal, then you agree that Gorean ownership should similarly be legal - as it's monogamous and not a choice, like marriage based around sexual orientation. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 02:08, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I was joking. Relax.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:20, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Also, Armondikov, I never said polygamy wasn't a choice. --"Shut up, Brx." 02:21, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Good thing I wasn't directly addressing any of your points, then. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 02:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Do people choose who they fall in love with? (I don't think that matters.) If "choice" is the important thing, could we say that the law need not make an exception for bisexuals since they could settle for someone of the opposite gender? It may be worse for those who have no "choice" but that doesn't mean it is okay to deny someone the right to marry who they choose just because they could live without it. Brightless (talk) 04:10, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
ADK and Brightless have said most of what I would say. A rather arbitrary definition of "choice" is being bandied about here. On the BDSM scene, many dom(me)s are polyamorous. Intimate relationships often involve formal contracts. I haven't given this much thought yet, but I am in a polyamorous relationship and if we wanted legal recognition of that, why should we be denied? I don't know if it could be considered "marriage," but it could get some kind of stamp of legal recognition. I'm tempted to paraphrase Barry Goldwater here: Just who do you think you are? And from where do you presume to claim the right to dictate your moral beliefs to me? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:28, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

I personally think that the "choice" argument is stupid. We are choosing to have this debate, we are choosing to go on RationalWiki, we choose to take the mickey out of UKIP, you choose to eat Co-co pops instead of Frosties. As long as everyone consents, what is the problem? Bazer63 (talk) 18:17, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Gender Imbalance - Castration[edit]

In a isolated community which uses Polygamy marriage the imbalance of young men can be solved by their castration prior to sexual acts taking place. This would give you , if done carefully, a somewhat docile worker who is not trying to get into the pants of the single women or wives. The prettiest nubile young women will of course be taken into the families of the more powerful/influential men. The ugly women will be either taken into the less powerful families or simply used as household workers. The older women , being ignored for sexual purposes by theor older husbands will of course develope lesbian groups with the other older wives. 67.72.98.45 (talk) 00:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Who let a parodist out of CP? ONE / TALK 22:16, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Back to Jeeves' points[edit]

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm late. I want to jump right in and address the fine points made by Jeeves, one by one. The following quotes are from Jeeves first post near the top. Brightless (talk) 05:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Consent of spouses[edit]

"If plural marriage were allowed, and Alice were Married to Bob, could Alice marry Carol without Bob's consent? Could Carol then also marry, or have a pre-existing marriage to Dave without the consent of Bob? Is Dave then married to Bob through Alice or merely to Carol?"

No one could marry without the consent of their spouse.
Carol could not get married again without Bob's consent. When Bob and Carol attempt to marry the state would look up their names and find that Carol was already married. The state would alert Bob. Brightless (talk) 05:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I would personally take the opposite position here. I think in a more just society, any number of people can intermarry. Marriages would have the symmetric property (A married to B implies B married to A) but not the transitive property (A married to B and B married to C does NOT imply A married to C). This would still allow for N people to all be intermarried, but it also means that individuals within the marriage are free to marry outside of it. This doesn't introduce any new issues (as far as I can tell upon first writing), but it does potentially solve a few. A can marry B, and B is allowed to marry C if B wants to, without forcing A to be part of the marriage as well. It limits the consent to only those who want to be part of the arrangement. In cases where A does not want B to marry C, we don't end up in a more difficult arrangement than in the case of transitive marriage... in the end their options for resolving it are expanded. --ShadowofLords (talk) 02:31, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
We could just have a rule saying that men are allowed to get a second spouse without their wife's consent, but women aren't allowed to get a second husband. Our society has a lot of sexist norms already that most women accept (such as women having the last name of their father and later their husband), and they might accept this one too. L's Ideology (talk) 18:31, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Immigration[edit]

"Marriage as a factor in immigration considerations. While marriages of convenience do take place to secure immigration status, they're rather rare. Marriage being an exclusive arrangement means that most people don't want to be married to someone they don't especially cherish. Plural marriage would be the death of any reasonable prospect of considering marriage as a factor in immigration, to the detriment of people who actually are legitimately married."

The important thing is not that they are cherished by the spouse but that they are not a detriment to the rest of the society. Marriage should have a role in immigration qualification, but it should not be the only factor to be considered. Nationalizing multiple people through group marriage might be scrutinized a more carefully than a dual partnership but there are other points of the marriage contract to consider. How much does the natural citizen stand to lose from a divorce? This also gets into issues of discrimination based on national origin and immigration law apart from marriage. Brightless (talk) 06:06, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Under current law, in order for someone to immigrate via a fiancee or spousal visa, it is necessary for the sponsor to have met the prospective immigrant within the last two years, and to sign an affidavit of support (form I-134 and/or form I-864) promising to financially support the immigrant and to repay the government for any means-based assistance it provides to the immigrant. The sponsor's income and/or assets have to be high enough (as proven by his tax returns, pay stubs, etc.) to support ALL of the immigrants he is sponsoring, or a visa and/or adjustment of status won't be granted.
This acts as built-in check on how many immigrants a person can sponsor. Unless that immigrant is trustworthy, he can get screwed over pretty badly if she decides to sue him for support. L's Ideology (talk) 17:35, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Tax policy[edit]

"In most countries, married couples are privileged with various tax breaks as a piece of positive social engineering to prefer stable families as child raising units. Plural marriages would render this impossible to sustain, since people would again inevitably end up being married for money-saving convenience."

Should tax incentives be denied to those who have no children? Are you sure they are not simply to reward "Christian" values? Why don't we investigate the matter scientifically and see how well communes or group marriages do at raising children or providing other benefits to the society? Or drop the prejudice entirely and allow the tax breaks for the benefits themselves. Brightless (talk) 06:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Inheritance[edit]

"A spouse is privileged when the other spouse dies intestate. They automatically become the soul benefactor of most estates. How should the interest be divided in a plural marriage? If all spouses are married to the person who died, are they all still married to each other after the death of the spouse they originally married? Can they force the sale of assets against the will of other partners to get their share of the estate? The complication of court proceedings would increase exponentially."

The state could have a default policy or it could require that the spouses answer these sorts of questions before a third spouse can enter the marriage. Is this any more complicated than when siblings inherit an estate after the death of the last parent? I don't see how it would be. When a deceased party has left no will and named no executor, disagreements about selling assets would have to be arbitrated by the court. Brightless (talk) 06:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Effectively enforcing a pre-nup agreement for all parties, then? That's the thing, it would cease being marriage as we know it now and become a corporate contract. And if you have to change marriage to get polygamy to work... then you haven't made polygamous marriage possible, you've made normal marriage impossible and replaced it with a proper corporation. Which sort of defies the point, right? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand. It sounds like you are saying that if "prenuptial agreements" are allowed, this somehow changes the meaning of marriage for people who don't use them. (Like if you allow homosexual marriage, this somehow ruins marriage for "normal" heterosexuals.) In a secular state, marriage is a means by which people become family when they are not related by blood. All marriage involves "prenuptial agreements" in the form of vows or implicit promises and expectations. A secular state has the responsibility to ensure that each party has the ability to consent to the contract, and to enforce it if there is a dispute. Maybe your idea of marriage is more like a religious tradition. The important thing is that those who are entering into a contract, are clear about what they expect of each other so the courts are not tied up with divorce drama. The state should not give out marriage licenses so easily when there are so many divorces using public courts/funds as a battleground. Brightless (talk) 00:04, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

See also[edit]