Now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, I find it pertinent that we bring another civil rights issue to the forefront: polygamy. As it stands now, the practice of marrying more than one person is outlawed in the U.S.
Fredrik deBoer put it best in his op-ed piece that was published in Politico Magazine:
“Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it.”
One would think that in a country that values freedom, people would have the right to marry whoever they chose, whether that’s a man, a woman, or perhaps even both. But yet again, what we have come to find is that church and state aren’t so separate after all, as it is ultimately “moral convictions” that are preventing polygamy from being legalized.
But if we’re going to talk about the role of religion in politics, we have to point out the irony that presents itself. In the Old Testament, polygamy was a common practice.
“Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah,” (Genesis 4:19).
It wasn’t until the New Testament that monogamy became the ideal form of marriage.
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband,” (1 Corinthians 7:2).
It should be noted that although monogamy became the go-to in the New Testament, there aren’t any Bible verses that specifically condemn the practice of polygamy.
My guess is that back in the old days, it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife at a time, but it was not acceptable for a woman to have more than one husband at a time. This poses a whole separate set of double standards that I won’t get into, but for all intensive purposes, I want to make it clear that I am arguing in favor of both the right to have multiple husbands and the right to have multiple wives.
In conclusion, I think people should have the right to do whatever makes them happy so long as that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others. So long as all parties involved are consenting adults, I really don’t see the issue with plural marriages.