Posts tagged Marriage

One person’s reductio: Marriage Equality edition

Here’s an article from Slate that was recently circulating on social media, in which the feminist author Jillian Keenan argues in favor of legalizing polygamy.

Shared Article from Slate Magazine

Next Step: We Need to Legalize Polygamy. No Joke.

Recently, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council reintroduced a tired refrain: Legalized gay marriage could lead to other legal forms of marriage…

Jillian Keenan @ slate.com


Recently, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council reintroduced a tired refrain: Legalized gay marriage could lead to other legal forms of marriage disaster, such as polygamy. Rick Santorum, Bill O’Reilly, and other social conservatives have made similar claims. It’s hardly a new prediction—we’ve been hearing it for years. Gay marriage is a slippery slope! A gateway drug! If we legalize it, then what’s next? Legalized polygamy?

We can only hope.

. . .

— Jillian Keenan, Legalize Polygamy!
Slate 15 April 2013.

Of course polygamy should be legal. Every form of marital relationship among consenting adults ought to be legal. If you advocate for the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, you ought to advocate for the freedom of people to marry as many or as few other people as they want, too. FRC thinks this is a reductio for same-sex marriage rights. Actually, it’s a positive reason for everyone to take a more expansive view of sexual and marital freedom.

Regulating marriage is one of the most ridiculous pretenses that the state engages in. The state’s activity in controlling marriage licenses has its historical basis in nothing other than massively invasive efforts to preserve the hetero-patriarchal social status quo (and, in the past, the racial status quo as well), and something that ought to be rooted out utterly. Where there’s no victim, there’s no crime, and where there’s no crime, there’s no reason for legal intervention. (You might ask, If there’s no reason for legal intervention here, why is there any reason for legal licensing at all? And of course, the answer is that there isn’t. Marriage licenses ought to be abolished entirely. The only reason that states issue them to some people is so that they can deny them to others. To hell with that.)

We have a tendency to dismiss or marginalize people we don’t understand. We see women in polygamous marriages and assume they are victims. “They grew up in an unhealthy environment,” we say. “They didn’t really choose polygamy; they were just born into it.” Without question, that is sometimes true. But it’s also true of many (too many) monogamous marriages. Plenty of women, polygamous or otherwise, are born into unhealthy environments that they repeat later in life. There’s no difference. All marriages deserve access to the support and resources they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners are involved. Arguments about whether a woman’s consensual sexual and romantic choices are “healthy” should have no bearing on the legal process. . . .

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us.

— Jillian Keenan, Legalize Polygamy!
Slate 15 April 2013.

Collective Soul

This is a news item I’m more or less happy about, as far as public opinion polls go. But what really grabs me is the headline, which was … not so well chosen. Here’s the news:

12:03PM EDT October 18. 2012 - Latinos are changing their attitudes about same-sex marriage, joining growing support in the rest of the country to allow gay couples to marry.

More than half, or 52%, of Latinos say they support gay marriage in a new poll by the Pew Research Center. The general public supports gay marriage, 48%-44%.

The finding for Latinos is opposite of attitudes in 2006: Pew says 56% of Latinos opposed same-sex marriage six years ago, while 31% supported it.

— Catalina Camia, USA Today (May 18, 2012)

And here’s the headline:

Latinos reversing course, support gay marriage

12:03PM EDT October 18. 2012 - Latinos are changing their attitudes about same-sex marriage, joining growing support in the rest of the country to allow gay couples to marry . . . .

Catalina Camia, USA Today (May 18, 2012)

So I guess there must have been a pretty intense debate about all that at the last big meeting? But now gay marriage can rest assured that the they’ll be reversing course, now that the resolution for collective support from the community hive mind of all Latinos has passed by a slim majority?

Monday Lazy Linking

  • Somewhere Near Salinas. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-04-02). The editor of The Commoner, a website devoted to "the commons-based society," travels to South America to study the co-ops that dominate the economy of Salinas, Ecuador. He finds an intricate mix of voluntary cooperation and entrepreneurship -- not the sort of combination that should befuddle a libertarian, but one... (Linked Friday 2010-04-02.)

  • The Mutualist #1 is now available. Shawn P. Wilbur, Out of the Libertarian Labyrinth (2010-04-03). The first issue of The Mutualist is now available for download, in pamphlet and non-pamphlet pdfs. (Linked Saturday 2010-04-03.)

  • Institutional Silencing. cherylcline, der Blaustrumpf (2010-04-03). Bear with me as I take you through my thought process today.  I was directed to a blog post reviewing journalist Lori Gottlieb’s controversial but mostly sensible new book, “Marry Him!“, which claims that today’s young women are too picky and may wind up alone, and certainly with a shorter... (Linked Saturday 2010-04-03.)

  • The War on Kids, Part…I Lost Count. der Blaustrumpf » Cultural, not Moral, Superiority (2010-04-05). State Government Vs. Entry-Level Employment Opportunities: "Often enough, these individuals were employed at nonprofits which would have promptly gone under had they paid their interns anything resembling a 'living wage.' And usually these individuals got ahead at the organization by completing one of these internships. ... The book is only being thrown at for-profit companies for now, but it isn’t hard to imagine that nonprofits might be next. ... Many nonprofits, and small or new for-profits, are only precariously afloat as is, especially with the recession, and even middle-class college kids are feeling pinched. I suppose the usual suspects, the working- and lower-middle-classes, have already been sucked dry and the vampires have to turn to a new class. I doubt many will recognize that this will hurt small businesses and idealistic college kids the most." (Linked Monday 2010-04-05.)

Monday Lazy Linking

  • Somewhere Near Salinas. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-04-02). The editor of The Commoner, a website devoted to "the commons-based society," travels to South America to study the co-ops that dominate the economy of Salinas, Ecuador. He finds an intricate mix of voluntary cooperation and entrepreneurship -- not the sort of combination that should befuddle a libertarian, but one... (Linked Friday 2010-04-02.)

  • The Mutualist #1 is now available. Shawn P. Wilbur, Out of the Libertarian Labyrinth (2010-04-03). The first issue of The Mutualist is now available for download, in pamphlet and non-pamphlet pdfs. (Linked Saturday 2010-04-03.)

  • Institutional Silencing. cherylcline, der Blaustrumpf (2010-04-03). Bear with me as I take you through my thought process today.  I was directed to a blog post reviewing journalist Lori Gottlieb’s controversial but mostly sensible new book, “Marry Him!“, which claims that today’s young women are too picky and may wind up alone, and certainly with a shorter... (Linked Saturday 2010-04-03.)

  • The War on Kids, Part…I Lost Count. der Blaustrumpf » Cultural, not Moral, Superiority (2010-04-05). State Government Vs. Entry-Level Employment Opportunities: "Often enough, these individuals were employed at nonprofits which would have promptly gone under had they paid their interns anything resembling a 'living wage.' And usually these individuals got ahead at the organization by completing one of these internships. ... The book is only being thrown at for-profit companies for now, but it isn’t hard to imagine that nonprofits might be next. ... Many nonprofits, and small or new for-profits, are only precariously afloat as is, especially with the recession, and even middle-class college kids are feeling pinched. I suppose the usual suspects, the working- and lower-middle-classes, have already been sucked dry and the vampires have to turn to a new class. I doubt many will recognize that this will hurt small businesses and idealistic college kids the most." (Linked Monday 2010-04-05.)

Saturday Lazy Linking

  • To-day in Anarchist history: The pacifist-Anarchist Gustav Landauer was martyred 90 years ago today, on 2 May 1919, when he was imprisoned and then stoned to death by soldiers sent on the orders of state socialist politician Gustav Noske, to crush the independent Bavarian worker’s councils and force the Bavarian Free State back under the political control of Germany.

    One can throw away a chair or destroy a pane of glass; but those are idle talkers and credulous idolators of words who regard the state as such a thing or a fetish that one can smash in order to destroy it. The state is a condition, a certain relationship among human beings, a mode of behavior between human beings; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another…. We are the state, and we shall continue to be the state until we have created institutions that form a real community and society of people.

    — Gustav Landauer, Schwache Stattsminner, Schwacheres Volk, in Der Sozialist (June, 1910).

  • To-day in Right to Keep and Bear Arms history: On May 2, 1967, 42 years ago today, the California State Assembly debated the Mulford Act, a bill to ban the open carrying of firearms. In response (since the bill was largely targeted at criminalizing their practice of openly carrying while on cop-watching patrols), the Black Panther Party staged a march to the state capital and walked onto the Assembly floor openly carrying rifles, shotguns, and holstered handguns. (The weapons were unloaded and were kept pointed either at the ceiling or at the floor.) Bobby Seale then read a declaration written by Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, urging that The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the American people in general and the black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is now considering legislation aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder, and repression of black people. After they left the capitol building and began to head home, they were surrounded by a battalion of cops and arrested en masse for conspiracy to disrupt a legislative session.

    NRA-approved, anti-gun-control conservative politician-saint Ronald Wilson Reagan was governor of California at the time all of this went down. When the Panthers showed up, Reagan ran and hid inside the capitol building. Shortly thereafter, he showed his commitment to the right to keep and bear arms by signing the Mulford Act after the state legislature passed the bill.

  • On government-backed traditional marriage, women’s property rights, and conservative mythistory-as-justification: killjoy, wreckage found floating (2009-04-19): daily dose of stoopid

  • On bottom-line principles for a constructive secessionism: Carol Moore, Vermont Commons (2009-04-16): SECEDE & SURVIVE: Prepare to be Overwhelmed by Secession

  • On Leftist anti-statism and the class structure of the State: Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling (2009-04-17): Shrink the State: A Leftist Aim

  • On assumed audiences and gender politics in FLOSS and web development: Shelley Powers, Bb RealTech (2009-04-29): Open Arms

  • On the literacy monopolists and popular writing tools: BLDGBLOG (2009-04-22): How the Other Half Writes: In Defense of Twitter

  • On Enron, corporate privateers and deregulatory rhetoric: Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-04-03): The Smartest Guys in the Tomb. Jesse mentions along the way:

    Leftists and liberals have a word for polluters who pose as careful environmental stewards: greenwashing. We need a similar word for times when the eager beneficiaries of the corporate state pose as free-market entrepreneurs. A word, that is, for propaganda like the Enron ad.

    Of course, I’ve promoted the use of the word privateering for something that’s roughly in the neighborhood, but privateering is really suited to a different purpose (it has to do with a critique of phony privatization, which is often bundled with, but not identical to, phony deregulation; and it focuses on the phenomenon, not the use of rhetoric around it). So, what’s your best suggestion for a left-libertarian counterpart to greenwashing, when state capitalist firms pose as free-market entrepreneurs?

    My own best effort, to date, is gold-plating. Thoughts? Comment away.