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Marriage: mono, bigamy, and polgamy, etc.

Marriage

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#1 ultraviolet

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 11:16 AM

I have to bring up this topic. I know marriage between one man and one woman is legal. Some places recognize same sex marriages.   Many governments (including some state governments in the USA) go after people married to more than one person. My question to everyone is "Should government be involved in who is married to whom (as in same sex marriages) or how many people one can be married to?".   Further, should marriage be the business of the government?   Should government in the USA govern marriage, or is it a clear violation of seperation between church and state?   Are marriage laws too bias due to them being based on religious values which say one man marries one woman?

My opinion is this:
The government has no right in governing marriage. they have no right is saying same-sex marriage is illegal.   And if someone want to marry more than one person, that is their business and not the government's as long as all people involved consent to it (and the finanicial concern is taken care of). Should everyone be married to more than one person? No. For most people, being married to one person is enough.   There are also finanical concerns to worry about.   Of course, most people wouldn't be up for bigamy and polgamy.   Finally, ther is the issue that some people couldn't stand being married to more than one person due to the fact they have enough on their hands to deal with being married to one person. I don't think religious values have no right in influencing the marriage laws.

What does everyone else think?

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(who thinks he probably wouldn't be married to more than one person  whenever he does get married, but respects the rights of others)

Edited by Certifiably Cait, 02 September 2012 - 03:14 PM.


#2 G1223

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 11:38 AM

Well I can see multiple partner marriages as being a very workable arrangement. As long as the parties in the relationship know who the others are.

I think that is why the Bigamy part might not work. As that is the title to the act of being married to multiple partners without the others knowing of the marriage.(I could be wrong)

Basically the way it would work is simular to Heinliens S-Group concept out of Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I agree that the state has started to surrender the rights it placed on marriage quite sometime ago.  There are politcal people andbeuacrates looking at how to get it back. I personally hope they fail.

How people chooce to live is the concern of the state when harm is done to another be it physical emotional or finacal. Other than that the state needs to go back to reading it's newspaper and grumbling from behind it.
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#3 Rhea

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 12:12 PM

My short answer: No.  I think marriages should be registered for legal purposes - care of children, property, benefits, etc. I don't think the government should have any say whatsoever in what *kind* of marriage people choose to enter into.

I don't even have a problem with group marriages or polygamy or polyandry (as long as all parties involved agree and get a fair shake legally). Although it should be noted here that I wouldn't be caught dead participating in a polygamous marriage, I've always thought that group marriages (do I sound like a child of the 60's here?) might have some real benefits. But then, I lived for a long time around Hawaiians, who adore children and see their care as a group effort.

I've studied too many cultures to believe that the Christian ideal of a one man, one woman monogamous marriage is that only way human beings ever choose to form formal bonds.

And I've NEVER thought the government should legislate human relationships.

And for the record, I think bigamists are contemptible people who should be hung up by their thumbs and left to rot. Bigamy, by it's very definition, means that you've entered into a marriage contract with more than one person without the consent or knowledge of all involved. And that's cheating with a capital C.

Edited by Rhea, 17 August 2003 - 12:14 PM.

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#4 the 'Hawk

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 01:12 PM

Rhea, on Aug 17 2003, 01:12 PM, said:

My short answer: No.  I think marriages should be registered for legal purposes - care of children, property, benefits, etc. I don't think the government should have any say whatsoever in what *kind* of marriage people choose to enter into.
*snip*
I've NEVER thought the government should legislate human relationships.
I don't have anything to add, except that Rhea has covered everything I had to say. (Which is a polite way of saying, borg!) ;)

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#5 Shalamar

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 01:43 PM

aww, I gotta, because I do it so rarely...

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#6 Norville

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 01:53 PM

And Borg again, to Rhea! ;)
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#7 Josh

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 01:56 PM

Well, Rhea pretty much covered everything I have to say. :o :p

I have some friends who are in healthy comfortable poly relationships and they will have to deal with scorn from culture for the rest of their lives (although not from me because I have no problems with it whatsoever).

And I DEFINITELY believe the government has no business in who people choose to live out their lives with.
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#8 Enmar

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 04:21 PM

ultraviolet, on Aug 17 2003, 07:16 PM, said:

My opinion is this:
The government has no right in governing marriage.     they have no right is saying same-sex marriage is illegal

Is it illegal? As in "you go to prison" kind of illegal? I thought they just won't register you as married but you can do whatever voodoo ceremony you choose to do. :confused:

And for everyone saying this is simply not the governments business, I'm not sure. I hate the situation in Israel but there're two important points:
1. It fights marriage at an early age. Or should that be legal as well?
2. When you find multipartnerships, there's a nice chance they come from a patriarchal POV and women are trapped in them. Not always, but this is the way societies that have these families behave. So in order not to hurt a few enlightened and highly entertained western women you allow to hurt others? Because the law can't state that it is a privilege saved for people at least 3 generations in America.
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#9 HubcapDave

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:22 PM

This is an interesting topic!

I can understand the liberetarian point of view, but I don't necessarily agree with it.

After all, our government (theoretically, at least) is supposed to excercise our will (our being 'the people'). Now, here in California, we have in our constitution the right to put certain matters to a direct vote of the people. One such Proposition, Proposition 22 was voted in a couple years ago. That was the one that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. So, we have a law, which is back by the majority of Californians which legally defines marriage. How is that wrong?

Now there may be cultures and religions which advocate a multiple partner relationship, but I submit that in absence of a societal need for such an arrangement (i.e.: unbalanced ratio of men to women, or women to men), monogamy is the ideal method for marriage.

As for same-sex couples. While I am tolerant of homosexual behavior, I am not accepting of it. I personally find it to be aberrated behavior, but I also know that people need to find their own way in life, and nothing is ever accomplished by trying to beat people over the head with how wrong they are.

With that said, I find the arguement for same sex marriage to be flawed. To say that it is on a par with a hetero marriage is to overlook the fact that the behavior is aberrant at its base. Furthermore, a same sex union cannot, on its own, generate a family. And that (to me at least) is the purpose of marriage: the formal declaration of the intent to create a life and a family together.

As for acquiring the same "rights" as married people: I have no problem with changing laws so that stuff like inheritance and medical decisions aren't a problem. You want health care coverage? Work with the insurers to get them to accept same sex partners of "family" plans. there are other ways of going about getting these things.

And when it all comes down to it, if two people love each other and are commited to each other, deos it really matter what the government thinks of it?

#10 G1223

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:29 PM

Then Dave why are infertile couples allowed to marry?
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#11 HubcapDave

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:49 PM

G1223, on Aug 17 2003, 04:29 PM, said:

Then Dave why are infertile couples allowed to marry?
This is why I put the disclaimer, "to me at least".

Here is what I say is the difference: Infertility is a physical problem that one has no control over. Homosexuality (I know I'm going to get yelled at for this!) is a behavioral issue.  An infertile couple can't help the situation they are in (plus I'm sure most find out they are infertile AFTER they get married). For the infertile couple, I say that the infertility is an obstacle they have to overcome, and can be done nowadays through adoption, fertility drugs, etc. Homosexual couples have chosen an activity which is 180 degrees in the opposite direction from using sex for procreation. So, while some of those same methods are available to them, they use them basically because they don't want to do it the old fashioned way, not because they can't.

#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:00 PM

Well being married confers some benefits in the eyes of the law:  insurance coverage, tax breaks, property inheritance rights...

I can see the argument that if you get a legal benefit, then why shouldn't the government be involved.

Not saying I agree, just that I see the argument.

Now, Hubcap Dave, my fellow Niner fan, I am about to take some serious issue with you.;)

Quote

To say that it is on a par with a hetero marriage is to overlook the fact that the behavior is aberrant at its base.

That assumes that the behavior IS aberrant at its base.  Moreover, it assumes that in the eyes of the law, the bahavior is aberrant at its base.  And here, in California, where sexual orientation is a protected class, that argument makes no sense.  

*Note, I'm talking about legal marriages, not trying to force a church to recognize gay marriages*

Quote

Furthermore, a same sex union cannot, on its own, generate a family. And that (to me at least) is the purpose of marriage: the formal declaration of the intent to create a life and a family together.

So, if two people get married and discover that for whatever reason, they can't make babies, should that invalidate the marriage?

What about two people in love who want to get married but DON'T want children.  Are you saying they shouldn't be permitted to be married?

:eek:
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#13 Uncle Sid

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:02 PM

It'd be nice to simply say that the government should not be involved, but since the government makes certain things available for those who are "married", as well as making civil decisions based on the concept, there's simply no point in saying that the government should not be involved.  It is involved, whether we like it or not.  And while it is involved, then a definition of marriage has to be set, and while there is a definition then people will have a right to dispute it.  And since most people would (correctly) see such a move as just a means to slip in same sex "marriages" though the back door, it would have just as much opposition.  You can't take away the need for discretion until you take away the power/resources/responsibilities that makes the discretion necessary.
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#14 HubcapDave

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:22 PM

Alright, let me start out by saying that this is my own view on the subject, nothing else.

Yes, the behavior is aberrant. Let me define the term:

1 : straying from the right or normal way
2 : deviating from the usual or natural type


The word comes from the latin aberrare, which means "to wander away from"


Now the behavior of which I speak is sex and procreation. And this is at the heart of it: sex, not love.

Heterosexual sex is designed for two things: pleasure and procreation.

Homosexual sex can only provide one of those things; it runs in the complete opposite direction of the other.

Hence it is aberrant. Legal considerations notwithstranding.


I covered infertile couples in an earlier post. See that for the answer.

In my own personal point of view, yes, I do think that two people who don't want kids shouldn't get married. Personally, I don't see the point otherwise.

#15 Norville

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:07 PM

Quote

In my own personal point of view, yes, I do think that two people who don't want kids shouldn't get married. Personally, I don't see the point otherwise.

Gee, there are childfree couples who get together to do things together, to enjoy each other's company, to travel to places they probably wouldn't go alone (or burdened with kids), maybe just provide each other support, etc.  So you're saying that if you absolutely, positively know that you don't want children, you shouldn't get married and haven't earned a partner? What if you want a partner with which to share interests, because you don't want to be alone? I'm still single; I think what I want is a partner in the sense I spoke about above, because I know I don't want kids. And if someone's going to throw out the line about how it's God's will for women to have children, good grief, some of us don't have money, time, or maternal instinct (and my energy goes toward helping my parents, so sorry). There are plenty of women who think reproduction is their only reason to live, and they'll singlehandedly make up for any kids I don't provide... :sarcasm:

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#16 Delvo

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:58 PM

Norville, on Aug 17 2003, 07:07 PM, said:

Gee, there are childfree couples who get together to do things together, to enjoy each other's company, to travel to places they probably wouldn't go alone (or burdened with kids), maybe just provide each other support, etc.
Nobody said there aren't.

Quote

So you're saying that if you absolutely, positively know that you don't want children, you shouldn't get married...
Bingo. (And yes, that applies to me and anyone else I could possibly be involved with.)

Quote

and haven't earned a partner?
Umm... what subject were we talking about again? What could "earning" possibly have to do with ANYTHING? :wacko:

Quote

What if you want a partner with which to share interests, because you don't want to be alone?
Well, ya, what about it? What's the big deal? What does it have to do with anything? Are you pretending anyone's trying to stop you?

#17 Delvo

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:01 PM

G1223, on Aug 17 2003, 05:29 PM, said:

Then Dave why are infertile couples allowed to marry?
The existence of flaws in the existing system does not constitute a reason to introduce more.

#18 Delvo

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:08 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Aug 17 2003, 06:00 PM, said:

So, if two people get married and discover that for whatever reason, they can't make babies, should that invalidate the marriage?
It's actually pretty screwed-up for their marriage to have been considered valid in the first place when they hadn't had babies yet, a holdover from when people weren't aware of the possibility of infertility in otherwise healthy couples, but were at least willing to admit that marriage was really all about the children, and thus just defining it as man-and-woman was close enough. Set government to recognize family units only when there's a baby produced, and the infertile-couple thing takes care of itself, because there will not have BEEN a marriage to invalidate.

Quote

What about two people in love who want to get married but DON'T want children.  Are you saying they shouldn't be permitted to be married?
That makes perfect sense. I should have no such right at all.

#19 ph3n1ks

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 11:26 PM

Let me preface some of this post by stating that I now find myself in the midst of a divorce, this will color some of the opinion that I am about to add. Let me also add that at some time, Child Welfare/Protective Services has been involved in this divorce/custody battle.

Quote

My short answer: No. I think marriages should be registered for legal purposes - care of children, property, benefits, etc. I don't think the government should have any say whatsoever in what *kind* of marriage people choose to enter into.
...
And I've NEVER thought the government should legislate human relationships.
I do not mean any personal offense by this next statement, but I would ask that a single non-contradictory opinion be expressed. Either the government has the business or it does not. In my opinion it does not, except for cases involving criminal proceedings. Until the government, especially in the US, can agree on what family values are I feel that they have no business dictating to anyone what those values are. Historically speaking, this has been the realm of the particular faith to which one subscribes.

Quote

So, if two people get married and discover that for whatever reason, they can't make babies, should that invalidate the marriage?
Actually yes, many states recognize the ability to divorce or annul a marriage that does not produce children. While I find this a massive, Orwellian invasion of privacy by a government into the reproductive lives of its constituents it simply is and has been the case and often is used as the measurement of the legitmacy of a marriage. I would have thought that Roe v. Wade would have ended some of this practice. But that brings up issues that I do not want to get into in any great detail here.

The fact that people get into this contrived notion of love, unrestrained definitions of community property, and other issues that often are brought up during a divorce or separation suit is getting to be beyond me. If government is really going to get involved, we need to make some real, measurable standards for that involvement.

For instance, the government should REQUIRE pre-nuptual agreements that define property and custody issues BEFORE anything of this nature actually becomes an issue. This is simple enforcement of responsible partnership. If I entered into a partnership agreement without a written mechanism any lawyer that I asked would most likely NOT represent me in any matter regarding that partnership. Such documents should define every aspect of property (real, intellectual, etc.), custody issues, health issues (esp. mental/emotional), and, but not limited too, monogamy/bigamy/polygamy stance of the concerned couple. This would set forth a sort of incorporation level of accountability to the marital relationship (i.e. Articles of Marital Incorporation Between PartyA and PartyB).

As for my part, I will probably never get married in terms recognized by the government again. By doing this, I, my partner, and my children open the entire relationship up to intense, and possibly unlimited, governmental scrutiny. I will probably engage something more akin to a marriage contract that defines all of the above and probably more. I see this as a responsible, thoughtful way to enter into a partnership that I hope will last throughout my life. I entered into marriage in an irresponsible manner several years ago, I am now paying for the intemperance of my youth.
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#20 Uncle Sid

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 08:45 AM

Well, in terms of marriage, putting aside the religious reasons for it, secularly, marriage is a situation that exists for the protection and welfare of children.  Married people who don't have children are still married because they exist in a situation where they could have children very easily, even accidentially.  Nevertheless, it is true that children could result.

While it seems sort of cold, the fact is that the government is right to predicate it's definition based on the tangible results of marriage: ie. new children.  Other means of producing or obtaining children can be satisfactorily be regulated by the government without undue burden on privacy.  Adoption, for instance is a situation where the government would need to be involved, in a regulatory sense, to prevent abuses such as selling of children into conditions of slavery, for instance.  

The government's sole interest in marriage is simply children.  Otherwise, there's no reason for the government to be involved.  That's important because the government isn't passing judgement on certain couples in terms of the authenticity of their "love", and so therefore, saying that the government is unjustly supporting one type of "love" over another is false.  The government doesn't care about love.  If you think it does, you need to look very carefully at just who is allowed to be married both now and in te past.  There is no "love" test involved in legal marriage.  

To extend this to cases currently held in contention, single sex marriages are, in a civil sense, irrelevant.  While same sex couples can end up as guardians of children, they can't produce them together, and so there's no governmental interest in setting up a special case for them.  Their needs for special association can otherwise be satisfied simply by removing unwarrantedly prejudicial laws such as might exist and ensuring that while marriage is a reason to allow, for instance visitation rights, that it is not the only acceptable reason for allowing them outside of blood ties.  I could imagine one or two friends who would be of more comfort to me in the hospital than some relatives that I barely ever see.  

As for bigamy, the government can contend that there is a social and civil interest in ensuring that exclusive couples remain the focus of marriage.  However, this is a value judgement, and not quite as objective a judgement as the distinction between couples naturally capable of having children and those who are not.  I'm against having legal bigamy, but bigamists can and do have children in the course of their normal relations, and so in theory, the "child criteria" is satisfied.

So, speaking completely secularly, as if I were an atheist, same sex marriages are pointless and would introduce a lack of clarity in the governmental interest in the subject's love lives.  Creating single sex marriages is, in effect, an invasion of privacy, because it requires the government to determine what "love" is in order to make ordered decisions about a valid marriage instead of the relatively simple distinction of "children or no children".  That is probably more dangerous than people quite understand in their desire to have their relationships "accepted".  A much better situation, to my mind, would probably be the creation of a set of laws by which not only same sex relationships, but all other relationships, including those of significantly involved "singles" could be regulated and recognized.  And yes, perhaps many of the governmental benefits for children and child bearing should be broken out from marriage and instead given to those who actually have children in demonstratably stable relationships.  Those legally married would inherently maintain only benefits that are commensurate with their status as those most likely to produce children.
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