Same-Sex Marriage Leading to Polygamous Marriage in the Netherlands?

Cathy Young explores this story, which seems to have been making the blogosphere rounds, and finds less there than meets the eye.

"...the kind of contract the trio has entered into predates not only same-sex marriage but gay civil unions in Holland."

I think that this statement was the crux of Ms. Young's rejoinder, which I think falls short of the mark.

Simply because the contracts exist does not diminish the argument that the progression from a liberalized view of marriage, to opening marriage to same-sex couples and now potentially multiple partners is a continuous and causal one.

For her criticism to stand, I think it would need to be shown that the push for more multiple partner unions is independent of the movement for same-sex ones.

But she points to evidence, albeit anecdotal, that efforts to accept one type of alternative lifestyle have made it difficult for the culture as a whole to now condemn other lifestyles.

Her proposal to rectify that slippery slope is to simply say okay to same-sex marriages, but no more after that. Forgive me for being skeptical when someone says in effect: we'll change one of society's bedrock institutions just this once...
10.6.2005 4:30pm
noahp (mail) (www):
Actually, there is less to Young's critique than meets the eye. Her argument would be powerful against conservatives who support civil unions and other "quasi-marriage" arrangements but vigorously oppose same-sex marriage. Since most social conservatives oppose both civil unions and same-sex marriage, her criticism is extraordinarily weak. The Dutch law is the functionally equivalent of a marriage, just as a civil union is the functional equivalent of a marriage. Conservative social policy frowns on both gay marriage in disguise as well as actual gay marriage, as evidenced by the broad wording of the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.
10.6.2005 6:14pm
pbswatcher (www):
Young's view of the likelihood of legalized polygamy is remarkably short sighted. She says "there would have to be (1) a non-fringe political movement advocating for the right to multi-partner marriage, and (2) widespread social acceptance of multi-partner relationships. At this point in time, neither factor is present: the polyamory movement has about as much influence as the Flat Earth Society, and multi-partner relationships are almost universally regarded as either immoral or just plain weird." One billion Muslims would disagree. They are already providing the foundation for her first criterion in Europe and the U.S. Condition (2) is also already present in a politically correct electorate afraid to offend the followers of Islam.
10.7.2005 2:02pm