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Should polygamy in relationships be decriminalized?
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Marriage equality must not exclude group unions

The legalisation of same-sex marriage demonstrates that love overpowers traditions conceptions of legitimate relationship irrespective of gender. There is no reason why polygamous relationships should be excluded on the basis of number when marriage is a fundament right.

The Argument

Polygamy is legal in over a quarter of sovereign nations which are predominantly Muslim countries.[1] Yet there remain countries, mainly liberal democracies, in which plural marriage is criminalised. This means that those in polygamous relationships cannot legally enter into marriage and reap the benefits of a state-recognised union. Fredrick Deboer argues that marriage should not be limited to two individuals, on the grounds that we have made significant progress concerning marriage involving non-heterosexual couples. [2]The legalization of same-sex marriage is a testament to how society is moving away from traditional conservative ideas and this should also include the number of persons in a marriage. We must grant those in polyamorous relationships the same legal recognition as other adults who are in love which must include their right to marriage. Furthermore, he asserts that reasons to reject polygamy are ultimately grounded in prejudice and a lack of rational thinking. The state cannot continue to deny those in polygamous relationships their right to marriage for logistical or political reasons. With the above said, polygamous unions should be decriminalised. Just as societal and state opinion on gender no longer negatively impact the legal recognition of marriage, neither should ideas of how many people constitute a marriage-worthy relationship.

Counter arguments

First and foremost, same-sex marriage remains illegal in certain countries. To frame legalising plural marriage as the advancement after state recognition of gay marriage appears irrational as many countries are yet to even achieve the latter. Even then, the battle to legalise gay marriage involved demonstrating how the prevention of same-sex union would benefit the state and achieve state goals. The disadvantages of plural marriage are clear and evident as the government would have to redefine marital relationships as well as the inner-workings of social and legal decisions within a polyamorous relationship. [3] This would be incredibly impractical so we should rather opt for accepting polygamous relationships on a social level than legally recognising them.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 10:57 UTC