Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Polyamorous Marriage Train Coming in Too Fast for the Curve

As America lurches toward post-pluralism, the groupthink is headed toward outright hedonism.

No sooner had the Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision been handed down on Friday than some same-sex marriage supporters were decrying the fact that polygamous and even polyamorous relationships haven't been seriously included in the debate. 

But even some same-sex advocates thought that a bit over thetop

No matter your opinion on same-sex marriage from a moral standpoint, you have to admit that from a legal perspective it isn't any more complicated than marriage between a man and a woman.

And while one person married to many partners isn't a whole lot more complicated than two people married to each other, things get complicated fast when you add polyamory to the mix. And if polyamorous marriages are legal, what's to stop things from getting even more complicated with people being involved in multiple polyamorous marriages?

To see how complicated things quickly become, let's start off with a traditional marriage: One man is married to one woman.

Now, lets make them polygamous. Let's say the man marries two more women. So he is married to three separate women. As long as everyone is cool with it, no problem. When they have children they belong to the man and whichever of the women bore them. If the man and Woman No. 2 get divorced, it's not really different from traditional divorce. She just leaves the relationship and any child custody and splitting of assets is handled the normal way. (Then again, does she get half the assets or one-fourth?)

Now it's time to get polyamorous. We're going to forget that divorce in the last paragraph ever happened and say that the one man and three women all are married to each other, not just the man individually to the women. Woman No. 1 is married to Woman No. 2 and to Woman No. 3, and likewise Woman No. 2 and No. 3 also are married to each other.

Further, two more men enter the marriage, so now all six are married to everyone else. If two of these opposite-sex members produce a child, whose it? Everyone's? It matters if the natural mother or father decide to divorce the rest of the group.

And what if Man No. 3 decides to divorce two members of the group, but remain married to the rest?

That's too painful to think about, so let's just say the three men and three women all stayed married to each other. But Woman No. 3 decides to marry a man outside the group. And that man marries another man outside the group. Then Man No. 1 (from the original polyamorous marriage) enters a second polyamorous marriage with one man and one woman. The second man from this relationship marries two other women, and the first woman from this latest relationship marries one of the women, but not the other. Then the woman who did marry the other woman also marries the third woman from the original polyamorous relationship, but not anyone else from that marriage.

Do you follow? Probably not, unless you have a 180 IQ or you have been drawing a chart of this whole mess.

A Tangled Web 

But if fair is fair, then the state shouldn't have the ability to ban any of these relationships, and what you've got is a tangled web with virtually no end.

Most people won't choose to enter into such a relationship, but should such be legalized and everyone actually did, then everyone of legal age in the entire country could be part of this insane mega-marriage. Assuming that incest remains illegal, date night could get a little embarrassing.

And if these marriages are just like our current traditional marriage system, some of them are going to break up. That's going to be a "melluva hess," as my Dad is fond of saying. And it will be an even melluva more hess when there are children involved. And property.

What percentage of your property goes to a side spouse who divorces you when you are in another polyamorous marriage of five people? Does he/she get one-half of one-fifth of what you own? What do the other four have to say about you giving up a piece of actual property – jointly owned – when none of them were even a part of this side marriage?

And that's just assuming there were only the two of you in the side marriage. What if there were a couple of more in that marriage. I'm getting a migraine just from the fact that the math exists to make the calculation.

While same-sex marriage might work just as easily as traditional marriage in a legal sense, going any further is going to throw the train off the rails. Conservatives might want to stand aside and watch the wreck.

Owen Tew is the pen name for Greg Richter, a freelance writer whose work regularly appears on Newsmax and The Clyde Fitch Report. He also has had his work posted on The Huffington Post and The Hill. Follow him on Twitter at @owentew.