Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
The New York Times: ON every issue save abortion, social liberalism is suddenly ascendant in America. The shift on same-sex marriage has captured the headlines, but the change is much more comprehensive: In just 15 years, we have gone from being a society divided roughly evenly between progressive and traditionalist visions to a country where social conservatism is countercultural and clearly in retreat.
The Daily Signal: Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party of England, recently suggested that her party is “open” to granting legal status to marriages or civil unions involving more than two people.
Al Jazeera: Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah last October, a dramatic cultural shift for many, and eyes are on the expected ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States this summer that could legalize same-sex marriage across the U.S. Now some area residents are asking: Why not the polygamists?
The Salt-Lake Tribune: The brother of an imprisoned leader of a polygamous sect wants to double the amount of water available to the group’s compound in South Dakota, prompting concern by neighbors and law enforcement about a possible influx of members being displaced from an enclave on the Utah-Arizona border.
Financial Review: A woman has lost a bid for compensation after she was sacked by a Catholic Church social services organisation for having too many sexual partners.
Religion Clause: In Bunning v Centacare, (FCCA, Feb. 11, 2015), an Australian Federal Circuit Court judge dismissed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint filed against a Catholic social service agency by former employee Susan Bunning.
The Economic Times: A government employee cannot take refuge under Article 25 of the Constitution dealing with right to profess religion, to challenge rule barring polygamy, the Supreme Court held today.
Summit Ministries:“If we redefine marriage to include same-sex couples,” the argument so often heard in the early 2000s went, “then soon we will be accepting group sex, pedophilia, incest, etc.” Proponents of same-sex “marriage” had little tolerance for this argument, labeling it “scare tactics” and those who made it “homophobic.”
The Christian Institute: Large numbers of Muslim women are in polygamous relationships that deny them basic legal rights, according to an alarming new report.
First Things: It’s only a trickle, not yet a trend, but it is out there, and it has a name: sologamy. Sologamy is the marriage of someone to one’s own self—the his- or herness of it is not relevant, although it seems to be mostly women who are doing it.
The Federalist: All you’ve done is redefine the parameters of marriage. You support gay marriage, not “marriage equality.”
Aleteia: Our society may be about to take another step in the process of denying these wise words of Jesus on human sexual relations. With widespread divorce, we have long ago moved past the conviction that the two become one flesh. Now our courts are denying that in marriage the two must be a man and a woman. Soon, some argue, they will have to deny that the two must be only two.
Yes, you read that headline right. Just a fair warning, the video embedded in the story isn’t for everyone. Via The Daily Mail: Swinging might not be the obvious way to spread the word about religion but for Cristy and Dean Parave, from Florida, it is ideal.
Deseret News: Utah intends to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that struck down part of the state’s anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show “Sister Wives.”
Worldwide Religious News (The Canadian Press): The criminal case against two men from a polygamous sect in British Columbia is likely to re-examine whether the ban on multiple marriages violates the right to religious freedom, experts say, despite a court decision three years ago that declared the law constitutional.
National Review: Polyamorists are coming out of the closet. Feingold told National Review Online that there is “absolutely” a growing trend of openness in the polyamorous community and of accepting attitudes toward it. He added, “A lot of people have misconceptions about what polyamory is.”
Public Discourse: The normalization of polygamy would undermine our commitment to human dignity—our sense that each human being is to be valued as an end in him- or herself, and not merely as a means to others’ ends.
Once one has abandoned belief in marriage as a conjugal bond (with its central structuring norm of sexual complementarity) in favor of a concept of “marriage” as a form of sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership (“love makes a family”), then what possible principle could be identified for a norm “restricting” marriage to two-person partnerships, as opposed to polyamorous sexual ensembles of three or more persons?
Associated Press: “The secluded Texas ranch where followers of imprisoned polygamist Warren Jeffs lived in near isolation was seized by state agents on Thursday, nearly six years after FBI agents raided the property and removed hundreds of children amid child sex abuse allegations.”
Fox 13: “Late Thursday, Judge James Shumate awarded Holm permanent legal and physical custody of his children. . . . Lynda Peine’s attorney, Rod Parker, has repeatedly objected to much of the testimony and evidence being offered in the trial. He argued that FLDS members were being stereotyped as operating in lockstep with leaders and that Holm was seeking to put the religion on trial.”
RNS: “Christian leaders are appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign into law a proposed new marriage bill that legalizes polygamy.”
Associated Press: “An Arizona jury on Thursday agreed that a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border discriminated against a family that doesn’t belong to the church and awarded them $5.2 million.”
Salt Lake Tribune: “The first few hours of Johnson’s testimony at U.S. District Court for Arizona came in response to questions from attorneys representing Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. However, attorneys for the Cooke family — who say they were discriminated against for not being FLDS members — clearly didn’t buy why Johnson was saying.”
The Atlantic: “‘Whatever form marriage and family comes in, as long as it’s about love and commitment, that’s okay,’ Brady said. ‘Where no one’s a victim. Where no one’s being compelled to be in it. Consenting adults who love each other should be able to express that in a family setting.’”
FOX 13: “Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, told FOX 13 on Tuesday that HB 58 has been held as part of a package of bills legislative committees won’t consider because of Utah’s appeal of Amendment 3.”
Infanti, Anthony C., Big (Gay) Love: Has the IRS Legalized Polygamy? (February 5, 2014). North Carolina Law Review Addendum, 2014, Forthcoming; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-07. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2391395
Deseret News: “A proposal to strip away a key part of Utah’s polygamy laws was scrapped for this year because of a pending legal case, a state lawmaker said Monday. Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, said he’s abandoning his bill that would make Utah laws comply with a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a key part of the state polygamy statute.”
Gerald J. Russello at The Catholic Thing: “In defending religious liberty at all costs, is there a chance we will lose it, because it is the very tradition that protects religious liberty will be undermined? The need for such consideration is pressing, as these cases will only increase as demographic and religious changes intensify.”
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.: “The law will continue to embody a morality code, just a very different code from the Christian moral system that undergirded Western law for more than a thousand years. This new secular morality is radically different, to be sure; there is just a very different morality driving the new morality laws.”
WorldNetDaily: Constitutional law scholar Herbert W. Titus blasted Waddoups’ order, calling it a “91-page essay on theology, ethnology, sexology, sociology and psychology masquerading as a legal opinion.”
Des Moines Register: Iowa has had same-sex marriage since it was legalized by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009, but it doesn’t’ appear the state’s top elected officials have any interest in legalizing polygamy.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker at Patheos: Every society that has advanced and moved forward historically has moved beyond matriarchy and polygamy. This must be so because matriarchy demeans men and polygamy demeans women. Only in monogamy are man and woman ideally treated as equals.
Keith Ablow at Fox News: If two men can marry, and three men can marry, and five women and a man can marry, and three men and two women can marry, then marriage has no meaning. It’s over. Go get rings, go get lawyers, go rent a nice hall, but City Hall should bow out.
NPR: Bill Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Foundation and a conservative legal scholar who opposes legalizing polygamy, says the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage played a role in the decision.
Ed Whelan at National Review: Now that I’ve vented about how poorly written the opinion in Brown v. Buhman is, I’ll offer some comments about its reasoning (pp. 52-62) that the cohabitation prong of Utah’s bigamy statute has been enforced in a discriminatory manner against “religious cohabitation.”
Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic: A ruling by a Utah judge gives more latitude to polygamous families.That should make liberals and conservatives alike conflicted.
Eugene Kontorovich at the Volokh Conspiracy: Brown v. Buhman and Bestiality
In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ “slippery slope” arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional.
AP: Herbert says while he had not had a chance to review U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups’ ruling, he’s “always a little concerned” when public policy changes are made by the courts.
CNN: As the concept of open relationships rises in pop culture and political debates, some polyamorous families like the Holders and Mullins see an opportunity to go public and fight stereotypes that polyamory is just swinging, cheating or kinky sex.
Christian Institute: If marriage is redefined in Scotland, legalising polygamy could be next, a senior MSP has said. Labour’s Elaine Smith raised concerns about the proposals, saying there is “no logical reason” to discriminate against a relationship of three or more people if “love” is the driving force behind the legislation.
allAfrica.com: Polygamy and polyandry in our modern society have elicited varied reactions and perceptions. The practice of polygamy was common and widely accepted in ancient society, where society was governed by customary law. Modern society has opted for civil marriages in the codified statutes, and religious marriages. However, there are parties who still opt to conduct customary law marriages.
Christian Post: TLC aired its third polygamist show, with the special “My Five Wives,” featuring the Williams family. Brady Williams and his family were featured on the special and spoke about their lives as polygamists who don’t belong to any organized religion.
WorldNetDaily: President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: A quick glance at the arguments to redefine marriage reveals one stunning reality: every argument can be utilized by any other group that wishes to demand “equality” and “rights.” . . . Next, let’s consider the “love” argument. We have all heard the argument that homosexuals are just people in love that want to get married like every other person in love. Well, where does that line of thinking end?
Michael Cook at Mercator.net: When the Supreme Court struck down section 3 in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in US v Windsor in June, same-sex marriage was not the only beneficiary. The decision seems to have given fresh impetus to polyamory as well. This is not news that “marriage equality” fans welcome. They look upon legalised polyamory as a dangerous foe because it confuses the message of their own campaign. “Marriage should be extended to people who can’t get married, not those unable to marry six people,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Gay Marriage: Why It is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.
Dennis Byrne at Chicago Tribune: Among the possible effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week in favor of “marriage equality” for same-sex partners is the legalization of even more unconventional marriages. Just more of the tired “slippery slope” argument? Read on.
CNSNews: Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday at the U.S. Embassy in London that the State Department will now recognize in its visa-processing practices same-sex marriages performed in foreign countries—saying that “as long as a marriage has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it so that it is legal, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws.
AllAfrica (Reuters): A Marriage Bill which seeks to unify Kenya’s various marriage-related laws and customs and strengthen women’s rights in marriage was introduced to parliament on Tuesday and caused uproar among Kenyan men, many saying it is ‘punitive’ and should not become law.
Kent Greenfield at The American Prospect: Opponents of same-sex marriage have long argued that allowing such unions will lead to marriages among more than two people and between adults who are related. They’re right.
CBC.ca: The RCMP have completed their investigation into the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., and a special prosecutor is now considering whether sexual exploitation or polygamy charges will be laid.
CNSNews: In a speech on the House floor on Friday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) suggested last week’s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, which moved marriage “beyond the scope of a man and a woman,” could open the door to legalized polygamy.
Christian Institute: A group of polyamorists say they want the same legal status as other relationships, following the group’s first national convention in Canada.
US News & World Report: The U.S. Supreme Court could rule any day on challenges to two laws blocking legal recognition for same-sex marriages – the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s voter-approved Proposition 8 – but advocates for polyamorous couples say “marriage equality” for that minority group is unlikely in the immediate future.
TheAge.com.au: Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi says he has been “proved correct” that legalising same-sex marriage would lead to demands to endorse polygamy.
ElevenMyanmar.com: Local authorities in Rakhine State recently issued a regional order in Maungdaw forbidding multiple marriages for Bengali men, and restricting them to a maximum of two children. Officials from the National Democracy Party and other parties in Sittwe support the order.
The Spectrum: hile growing up, Kristyn Decker, who now lives in New Harmony, was a seventh-generation polygamist on her father’s side. More recently, she has made efforts to share her experiences of growing up in a polygamous community by writing “Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies.”
ABC (includes video): Modern Polygamy: Arizona Mormon Fundamentalists Seek to Shed Stereotypes
“We would like to start having the debate nationally about the decriminalization of polygamy,” Michael Cawley said. “If I had my choices, I would like to see it done right now. I don’t see there is any reason for this lifestyle to be a crime. It’s a religion. Not a crime.”
Norbert Blum at WorldCrunch: In a society designed around individual liberty, has marriage become little more than a temporary link-up of working people choosing to spend some free time together? And the kids?
Christian Post: On Valentines’s Day, the Scientific American published an article claiming that polyamorists could “teach us a thing or two about love,” and the only reason to oppose it was bigotry because of outdated views about love and sexuality. (Rod Anderson comic)
The Rebel Yell: The Browns are like any average American family. If every family consisted of four wives and 17 children. The Browns are polygamists living in Las Vegas, trying to paint a modern picture of plural marriage. In an attempt to denounce the negative stereotypes of polygamy, from sexual abuse to forced marriage, the Browns have put their every move on camera.
HurriyetDailyNews: “If Atatürk did not establish this republic, would you occupy your position? What country’s citizen would you be? What number would you be among the wives of a sheik?” Genç told Şahin from his ranks April 25, Anatolia news agency reported.
LifeSiteNews: Just one week after the passage of gay ‘marriage’ legislation in New Zealand, it has been revealed that a group has been formed whose goal is to have group marriages recognised in law.
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: As a lawyer in the same-sex marriage litigation at the Supreme Court who has spent a couple years working through all the implications of declaring a constitutional right to gay marriage, it became clear that such a declaration would also mean there is a right to polygamy.
Ed Whelan at NRO: The only minor flaw that I see in the “slippery slope” argument is that polyamory may well be upslope of same-sex marriage. By contrast to the novelty of same-sex marriage, polyamory—or at least its polygamous version (one husband, more than one wife)—has a long history
Carson Halloway at Public Discourse: The oral arguments on Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court suggest that there is very good reason to believe that the declaration of a “right” to same-sex marriage will set us on the path to polygamy.
Noah Feldman at Bloomberg: To understand the mess that would result if the court struck down DOMA without finding a general right to same-sex marriage, consider what would happen if the federal government recognized marriages performed in states that allow gay couples to marry while continuing to deny marital status to couples in other states.
CNSNews: “Well, you’ve said — you’ve said in the cases decided by this court that the polygamy issue, multiple marriages raises questions about exploitation, abuse, patriarchy, issues with respect to taxes, inheritance, child custody, it is an entirely different thing,” Olson said. “And if you — if a state prohibits polygamy, it’s prohibiting conduct.
“Gay marriage, then group marriage?” | Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson at CNN
Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson at CNN: But marriage is far more than your emotional bond with “your Number One person,” to quote same-sex marriage proponent John Corvino. Just as the act that makes marital love also makes new life, so marriage itself is a multilevel — bodily as well as emotional — union that would be fulfilled by procreation and family life. That is what justifies its distinctive norms — monogamy, exclusivity, permanence — and the concept of marital consummation by conjugal intercourse.
LifeSiteNews: Boris Dittrich, the homosexual activist called the “father” of the political movement in favor of Dutch gay “marriage”, has admitted that group marriages of three or more people, is the next, inevitable logical step in the dismantling of the western world’s traditional marriage laws.
Altmedia.net.au: With increasing attention brought to polyamorous relationships by members of of the Liberal Party, a formalised Polyamory Action Lobby (PAL) has been founded to combat the image of poly people as relationship bogeymen.
Doug Cook at MercatorNet: Australian activists for same-sex marriage have always insisted, that it will not lead to polygamy or polyamory. Never, ever, ever. Gay marriage is just like traditional marriage, except for the sex of the spouse. Activist Rodney Croome wrote last year that “studies show most LGBTI people want to be part of a two-person marriage, while partners in polyamorist relationships (most of which begin as heterosexual unions) say they don’t want their relationships recognised as marriages.” Former Greens leader Bob Brown described a push for polyamory as “nonsense”. | Hat tip: Ruth Institute