Polygamists Celebrate DOMA Ruling: Does Gay Marriage Open the Door for Polygamy?

Supreme Court Ruling Will 'Trickle Down and Impact Us,' Says Utah Polygamist

Polygamists and polygamy activists celebrated the Supreme Court's decision to strike down DOMA Wednesday, claiming the move to promote same-sex marriage in the U.S. promotes polygamy as well. While some gay marriage advocates claim that polygamy is a separate issue, some conservative Christians and traditional marriage advocates have long pointed out the link between the two through the redefinition of marriage.

The Supreme Court voted Wednesday to declare The Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and not hear further arguments regarding Proposition 8 in California, which sought to ban any redefinition of marriage. Many have suggested that the move heavily favors same-sex marriage prospects for the rest of the U.S., and now polygamy advocates have said the idea of traditional "family values" is dying.

"I was very glad (after the ruling) … The nuclear family, with a dad and a mom and two or three kids, is not the majority anymore," Anne Wilde, a vocal polygamy advocate, told Buzzfeed. "Now it's grandparents taking care of kids, single parents, gay parents. … It seems like if more people are accepting of gay marriage, it would follow that polygamist marriage wouldn't be criticized quite so much."

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"We're very happy with it," Joe Darger, a Utah polygamist, said. "I think [the court] has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that's certainly something that's going to trickle down and impact us."

Traditional marriage advocates such as radio talk show host Bryan Fischer agree: "The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time," he tweeted.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor drew the same conclusion previously when discussing Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry. She questioned attorney Theodore B. Olson's argument for gay marriage, saying it included no restrictions.

"If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what state restrictions could ever exist," Sotomayor asked. "Meaning, what's the restriction with respect to the number of people that could get married, the incest laws – mother and child. What's left?"

While some same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to distance themselves from polygamists by saying the "slippery slope" argument is a myth, others have abandoned all pretense. Slate writer Jillian Keenan argued in her article "Legalize Polygamy!" that the practice is "no better or worse than homosexual marriage."

"Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist and sex-positive choice," she wrote.

A number of Christian advocates have been pointing out for years the link between the unbiblical redefinition of marriage and the harder-to-defend practices such as polygamy, self-marriage, and the end of marriage altogether.

"Redefinition has no logical stopping point. Its logic leads to the effective elimination of marriage as a legal institution. This will harm women, children and society as a whole," Ryan T. Anderson, a William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, wrote for The Christian Post.

"Defenders of traditional marriage know that the enclosures that kept marriage a 'monogamous and exclusive union' are being dismantled," John Stonestreet, commentator and radio host of "The Point," wrote in a CP op-ed in April. "And no one should be surprised by what emerges, least of all those doing the dismantling."

However, there is at least one major difference between the polygamy and same-sex marriage movement: "Gays want legal marriage and polygamists don't," said Wilde, admitting that a union between multiple people fully recognized by the government would come with inevitable complications in divorce, death, and in other marital events. She believes in decriminalization instead.

"If you legalize plural marriage, that means the government is going to control certain aspects of it," Wilde, who was involved in a plural marriage until the 2003 death of her husband, explained.

Though DOMA has been repealed and calls for same-sex marriage and polygamy may increase, many traditional marriage advocates refuse to stop fighting the changes, citing time-tested Christian principles.

"Marriage has been defined between one man and one woman for over a millennium, and it is our view that the courts should not get involved at this point in time and fundamentally change the institution of marriage," said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United whose National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer filed a brief in the DOMA case.

"Many conservatives, like myself, are not swayed by the current social pressures to be for gay marriage," said Bossie in a previous statement to CP.

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