“If You Allow Gay Marriage…” by John Erickson

“We need to start examining the underlying questions of counter-cultural relationships that view one man marrying many women to be hip because we begin to see that although a polygamist idea of marriage may be sexy from a popular culture standpoint, the thought of legally recognized gay marriage always then gets likened to bestiality.”

… you have to allow polygamy, bestiality, and everything else!” The title for my post this week is a quote from an individual I used to associate with.  This individual, haling from a conservative evangelical background, tried to explain to several others and myself the reasons why gay marriage would eventually lead to the repeal of anti-polygamy and bestiality laws across the United States.

The problems that I have with this particular argument are conflating gay marriage with religious freedom.  Activists and scholars can draw comparisons to anti-polygamy cases such as the 1878 U.S. Supreme Court case Reynolds v United States and the 1882 Edmunds Act and 1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act that disfranchised and led to the imprisonment of Mormon polygamists. But in the end, gay marriage is not about religious freedom but rather human rights.

I often feel that there is this need both within and outside religious communities to promulgate the idea that LGBTQ individuals want to get married within the sanctified walls of “the church” just as much as heterosexual couples do.  Although I do not want to disqualify those who desire to see LGBTQ equality within their faith based communities, buying into a heternormative ideal of what traditional marriage should look like needs to result in LGBTQ individuals asking why marriage should be performed in sacred spaces in the first place The normative traditions that have often defined marriage have also served as shackles keeping LGBTQ couples in the mindset that to achieve fully marriage equality with their heterosexual counterparts is to fully immerse themselves within the same traditions and practices. Continue reading ““If You Allow Gay Marriage…” by John Erickson”

Sister Wives, The Terrible Taboo, and Agency by Xochitl Alvizo

A couple of weeks ago I watched a handful of Sister Wives episodes; it was the start of the new season and the network was having a marathon. I was absolutely fascinated. It was my first time watching the show, and interestingly,  I had actually seen the family in person in Boston before I ever saw them on TV. They had been in town in September for a panel discussion that one of my friends was hosting and all I knew about the Sister Wives show was that it was about a polygamist family with three wives and one husband. I never imagined myself intrigued. But seeing the women sitting there, hearing them talk about their lifestyle and how much they love their sister wives, getting to witness their family dynamics and their different personalities, I found that my first reaction to them was not  judgment. Instead I found myself increasingly curious, particularly about the sister wives’ relationship with one another.  Continue reading “Sister Wives, The Terrible Taboo, and Agency by Xochitl Alvizo”

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