In a recent op ed piece in the Globe and Mail, Margaret Somerville, the distinguished ethics professor from McGill University, argues that if same- sex marriage is legal, there is no reason not to legalize polygamy.
She writes: “Gay marriage advocates successfully argued that the primary function of marriage is to publicly recognize two adults’ mutual love and commitment. But why shouldn’t three or more adults, just as much as two, have their love and commitment publicly recognized…?” She goes on to argue that if same sex marriage is allowed because not to do so would be to allow discrimination on the basis of sex, why should polygamy not be allowed on the basis not to do so would be discrimination on the basis of religion?
Somerville is opposed to both same sex marriage and polygamy because she contends that both prevent marriage from fulfilling its primary objective which is the procreative relationship between one man and one woman. The bottom line with Somerville is that both same sex- marriage and polygamy destroy the biological bond between parents and their children. (The fact that some parents cannot or don’t want to have children does not vitiate her position).
Somerville goes on to say: “Same-sex marriage opens up the possibility of polygamy because it detaches marriage from the biological reality of the basic procreative relationship between one man and one woman and that means there is no longer any inherent reason to limit it to two people whether of the same or opposite sex. Once that biological reality is removed … marriage can become whatever we choose to define it as.”
Do you support same-sex marriage?
Do you agree that if same-sex marriage is legal (as it is in Canada), there is no reason not to legalize polygamy.
Would you be in favour of Canada’s legalizing polygamy?