Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crossblogging Followup

This is a followup to my last Crossblogging entry, about the comparison between gay "marriage" and polygamy. Just to refresh the point: I'm not aware of any arguments for or against either one that couldn't be applied to the other. Just swap the terms, and off you go.

As it turns out, the Canadian government agrees with me. Not that I'm overly impressed with that, given how rarely I agree with the Canadian government, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

Back when the Canadian federal government was working out the logistics of overriding the will of the majority of its citizens and tossing aside what has historically always been understood as basic morality and common sense, some bureaucrat came to the same conclusion as mine above. If they were going to shove gay "marriage" legislation through, then polygamy would be next. A study was carried out, and committees were formed - the usual Canadian responses to, well, anything.

Unsurprisingly, the results that came back were that there was no problem. When the issue gets raised by a court challenge, then polygamy will be legalized as well.

I found a couple of sources from opposite ends of the spectrum that talk about this in more detail: Lifesite, and Pro-Polygamy (guess which side they're on). Reading both of those, if you have the stomach for it, should get the point across. Of course, you could be excused for then thinking the point is that Canadian bureaucrats are spineless nitwits.

I've heard a lot of conservative folks say that gay "marriage" would start us down a slippery slope. Polygamy, incestuous marriage, and who-knows-what-else will inevitably follow. They're partly correct.

They're correct about the path eventually and inevitably leading to who-knows-what-else. They're wrong about where the slope started.

The slope started with two disastrously wrong decisions. I haven't researched when either was made (in any jurisdiction), but I'd be interested in those details if anyone else knows offhand. These are on my "I'd like to know but it would take more research than running a term through Google so who knows when I'll get around to it" list.

The two decisions were allowing no-fault divorce, and the legitimization of common-law relationships as having legal status equivalent to marriage (or any legal status, for that matter).

Once those battles were lost, marriage (strictly in the legal / civic sense) was lost. By allowing those two concepts to pass into law, the State tossed away any sense of what marriage ever was or should be, and all moral authority to have any say in its future.

I've seen liberals pick up on this underlying truth and say things like. "If you're so interested in the sanctity of marriage, shouldn't you be more concerned with divorce than gay marriage?" Well, some of us are. Simple as that. I don't know, but I hope (again, does anybody reading this know any historical details?) that no-fault divorce and common-law relationships being given legal status were opposed at the time.

Those decisions (most accurately, whichever of those decisions was made first) are where the slope began. We're a long way down that slope now, and picking up speed. Within a few short decades, the word "marriage" is going to become essentially meaningless to most people.

As usual, I don't have an ideal solution to propose. I guess my wish now would be for the State to remove itself entirely from the whole "marriage" concept. Strike the words "marriage", "husband", "wife", "spouse", etc., from all legislation, and institute a new legal status of "civil partner" or somesuch that would replace marriage in legal matters (insurance, inheritance, taxation, etc.). This "civic partnership" would have to be readily available to any persons who wanted to register as such, regardless of gender, previous relationship, or even number of persons involved (as noted, what we currently call polygamy follows inevitably if any other restrictions on what we currently call marriage are removed).

Let marriage be defined and administered by clerics, and completely irrelevant to the State. Of course, the State would in short order decide that it had the right to determine who qualified as a "cleric" and start regulating marriage all over again, but that's a separate matter that the clerics can ignore when the time comes. We're long past the point where people should be telling the State to get stuffed anyway.

This whole system would, of course, be laughable, illogical, and unduly complicated. Then again, so is what the State has already made of what used to be called marriage.

Enough rambling. Here's another picture of my son's feet after a day of playing outside.

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