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Writers debate if gay marriage has implications for polygamy

Published March 18, 2013 7:55 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With the U.S. Supreme Court about to hear arguments regarding gay marriage, a columnist says acceptance of same-sex marriage opens the door for the legalization of polygamy.

No, the columnist does not think either of those are good. And a rebuttal to the columnist is not any kinder to polygamists.

First, the column comes from Cal Thomas writing for Fox News. Thomas writes:

"Current laws restrict "underage" marriage, as well as polygamy. If same-sex marriage is approved, what's to stop polygamists from demanding legal protection and cultural acceptance?"

Thomas' column spurred a response from Carlos Maza on the website for the liberal Media Matters For America. In trying to discredit Thomas' claims, he sticks it to polygamy.

Maza's first bullet point says: "1. Polygamous And Child Marriages Harm Society." He goes on to say while the aforementioned has been found to have negative impacts, there has been no such findings regarding same-sex marriage and children raised in those households.

Maza's next bullet point says "2. Polygamous Marriage Isn't A Basic Civil Right." Maza argues sexuality is ingrained and therefore denying the right to marriage based on sexuality is discriminatory, but plural marriage is a preference not entitled to the same protections.

Thomas and Maza both give something for polygamists and their supporters to dislike. Do you see the question of gay marriage and polygamy linked?

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @natecarlisle