Robert P. George

Princeton professor and staunch Defender of the Faith, Robert P. George, has written a rather verbose piece (4,200 words) in The American Interest titled “After Same-Sex Marriage is Polyamory Next?

On its own terms, the logic of the same-sex marriage movement inexorably leads to the embrace of polyamory and, even, the removal of legal sanctions against incestuous marriages.

After wading through numerous paragraphs (mostly the quotes of others), George defines the issue to his liking:

Of course, the case for polyamory and its legal recognition presupposes that marriage is in fact what so-called “marriage equality” advocates have depicted it as being: committed sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership. And this is precisely what has been denied by defenders of what used to be known as “marriage” and is now called “traditional marriage” …

Worse than a bad argument is mindlessly repeating it:

Robert P. George defines marriage as “procreative.” It is a union designed to have sex in order to crank out children. Before you start reflexively thinking about older couples or sterile couples — spare the brain cells. George’s is the losing argument. It is as relevant as quotes from the Teetotal Abstinence Society. As George states the matter:

In our law and culture, marriage has historically been understood as a conjugal union in which a man and woman consent to unite in a bond that is (1) founded on their sexual-reproductive complementarity, (2) consummated and renewed by acts that unite them as a reproductive unit (“one flesh”) by fulfilling the behavioral conditions of procreation (whether or not the non-behavioral conditions happen to obtain); and (3) specially apt for, and would naturally be fulfilled by, their having and rearing children together. …

Not really. That’s catechism. Nowhere in law will one find the word “complementarity” which seems to be confined to Roman Catholic doctrine. Nor will one find the concept of “one flesh.” That is from Genesis 2:23-2:24. Jesus’ teachings about divorce in Mark 10:8 repeat the Genesis passage:

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Again, no reason to engage in debate. These are the arguments that failed to persuade at least five justices of the Supreme Court. These are also the arguments that failed to persuade our citizenry. George goes on for a few paragraphs with a cut-and-paste from numerous other polemics as well as that book he wrote with his ward, Ryan T. Anderson.

The evil Justice Kennedy and the perverts:

For Kennedy, the conjugal understanding of marriage had to be jettisoned in favor of the revisionist conception because the dignity of persons who construct their identities around same-sex attraction and find their fulfillment in same-sex partnerships requires it. This dignity is conferred by the state and is, in effect, withheld when the state treats marriage as a conjugal union rather than as sexual-romantic companionship.

People with “same-sex attraction” is also a Christian construct. It is a means of denigrating gay people by comparing sexual orientation to a predisposition to abuse drugs or alcohol. Moreover, it’s not just Kennedy. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor joined in the majority opinion.

George wanders into the Twilight Zone:

If Obergefell stands—and, for what it’s worth, I myself hope it will not—the question of legal recognition of polygamous and other polyamorous partnerships cannot be avoided.

If? Is there really an “if” with respect to what is now the law of the land? Does George really believe that there is the potential for a constitutional amendment to undo marriage equality? According to George “A” is same-sex marriage which produces “B,” plural marriage.

We must “abandon” same-sex marriage:

Will there be a C? Sure. That will likely be the abolition of laws against consensual adult incest (parent-child or sibling) and, correspondingly, the elimination of consanguinity laws forbidding marriage between a parent and his or her adult child and between adult siblings.

[ … ]

So C will come in due course, unless A is abandoned.

Marriage equality is here to stay. Each day more people conclude that acceptance of same-sex marriage has no effect on their lives unless they are united in a same-sex marriage. None of Robby’s list of horribles have happened and will never happen. Furthermore, if incest were to become legal (which I doubt) it would be because its advocates had the prevailing constitutional argument. It has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Robby’s argument is that the removal of child making from marriage leads to acceptance of incest. It is absurd because child making has never been a requirement of marriage. George is torturing logic in an attempt to conform public policy to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

A personal journey guided in part by Dr. George:

About 15 years ago I would have called myself “questioning” when it comes to religion. About ten years ago that changed to agnostic. It is not the Freedom From Religion Foundation that caused that change. Not at all. The changes came from the right. Robert P. George is a very smart and erudite individual. It seems obvious, at least to me, that George has squandered his intellect to superstition. The superstition is self-enforcing. It causes George to believe that he is the subject of a foreign sovereign. And that makes George a superstitious fool. I will not surrender my critical thinking in order to adhere to edicts expressed in Bronze Age texts. It makes no sense to do so. I still have enormous curiosity. I want to know how stuff works and the answers to my questions do not come from theologians. Therefore, about five years ago, I changed from agnostic to atheist without even realizing it. So thank you Dr. George for pushing me to personal freedom.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.