Friday, August 24, 2012

Marriage equality for me, but not for thee

Advocates of "plural marriage" rights draw inspiration from the gay-rights movement, not that the latter approves:
Which is why it was so jarring when, about 20 minutes into the discussion he started dropping terms that were borrowed from another community that hasn't always gotten along with religious right: The gay rights movement.

"We made the decision as a family to come out," he said, at one point.

"All we want is our equal rights," he said, at another.

When finally asked whether he saw parallels between the gay marriage cause and his own, Darger didn't hesitate: "Definitely."

Gay rights advocates want nothing to do with the polygamists, having spent years batting down the right's argument that the freedom to marry could extend in unexpected directions. But to get polygamy decriminalized, Darger said he is modeling his strategy after the successes of that movement (which he supports on Constitutional principle). As part of the effort, he and his family are waging a public awareness campaign to demystify their lifestyle.
Commenters on are taking gay activists to task for distancing themselves from advocates of equal rights for polygamous families and for effectively taking a stance of "equality for me, but not for thee." In my mind, those commenters have an excellent point. Absent a principled distinction, equality for me, but not for thee, is not equality at all. Also, as for whether acceptance of same-sex marriage will set us down the slippery slope to acceptance of polygamy, so what if it does?

1 comment:

annajcook said...

Cosign. I get the practical short-term political expedience of throwing less popular forms of consensual adult relationships under the bus to advance gay marriage, but it's really shitty behavior that will ultimately undermine the world we want to create. Thanks for writing this!