Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic deacon Keith Fournier writes: “Reaping The Whirlwind: In The Wake Of The Obergefell Opinion, Is Legalizing Polygamy Next?” Fournier, who is also a lawyer, is affiliated with the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel and has been associated with other extremist right wing Christian organizations. There isn’t much to Fournier’s Common Good Foundation. It is small enough to file its tax return via postcard. It does have a pretty website.

Conservative Catholics have a problem of their own making. Ever since the first same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in 2004 they have been claiming that same-sex marriage will adversely affect opposite-sex marriage. That has not happened. The purpose for their assertion has not been to address a problem but to provide an argument designed to thwart same-sex marriage.

  • Fournier is opposed to same-sex marriage because the Church is opposed to same sex marriage
  • The Church is opposed to same-sex marriage because the Church does not approve of gay people. 
  • The Church does not approve of gay people because of slavish devotion to ancient writings of dubious authorship and questionable provenance.

Supplicants have published hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of argument. They have written books and provided amicus briefs. Through arcane, theoretical, hypothetical and incoherent arguments they told us about the evil effect of same-sex marriage on opposite sex marriage without ever allowing anyone to get a firm grasp on their objection because the real objection boils down to the Church’s disapproval of gay people. Now they are astonished and angry that they were unsuccessful at imposing their theology on public policy.They are incapable of accepting the simple truth that Obergefell expresses the law of the land.

So now we are down to polygamy — again.

Let’s first give Fournier a chance to vent his frustrations:

…Five lawyers manufactured out of whole cloth a faux “right” for two men or two women to do what they are incapable of doing; that is, to enter into a marriage. They claimed to have found such a new “right” in the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution …

In the wake of that horribly written, unconscionable, and unreasonable opinion of five lawyers, activists within the LGBTQI community have been enforcing it as an edict across the nation. They are also using it to suppress free speech, free association, and the free exercise of religion. A tsunami has been unleashed, as cultural revolutionaries uproot the moral foundations of the social order by removing the unique role which the marriage bound family has long served as the first cell of civil society.

Oh my. And we are drowning puppies too! In June Gallup estimated that about 123, 000 gay couples tied the knot since the ruling in Obergefell. I wonder if they have some formula to calculate how many opposite-sex marriages were wrecked in the process. A handful of wedding vendors (most prior to Obergefell) chose to deny service to gay couples contrary to nondiscrimination laws that have been in place for decades.

883 words and 5,300 characters later (this guy is super pissed), Fournier finally gets to his point (sort of):

The Catholic Herald reports that Hamza Piccardo, a founder of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, recently insisted, “there is no reason for polygamy not to be legalized after the Italian government passed a law to recognize the union of same-sex civil unions.” There is an alliance being forged between some within the Islamic community and the new left, based solely in their joint desire to eviscerate the Jewish and Christian roots of the West.

As compelling as Catholic reporting on Islamic opinion in Italy is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Obergefell which, correct me if I am wrong, does not effect a public policy in Italy. Fournier is responsible for my run-on sentence. There’s more:

Crux News reported that Piccardo further opined, “If it’s only a matter of civil rights, then polygamy is a civil right… Myself and millions of people don’t agree with homosexual unions, and yet it’s licit and we respect them. Those interested in them are a minority, as polygamists would be. Society as a whole can accept everyone.” In the wake of Obergefell, is polygamy next?

Again, Catholic reporting on Islamic thought in Italy is fascinating but it has no connection to Obergefell. Fournier concludes this mess with some scripture.

Is polygamy next? I have no idea if polygamy will ever be legalized in the United States. Nor do I know if it should be. What I do know to a reasonable certainty is that polygamy has nothing to do with the ruling in Obergefell. While polygamy has considerable biblical support it has to stand on its own. We need to learn how it affects women and children. How does it affect society? One other thing is missing. There doesn’t seem to be a considerable effort by anyone to advocate for polygamy. That may be due to the fact that the official policy of the Mormon Church is to excommunicate any member who is in a plural marriage.

What that means is that Fournier’s piece is just sophistry. Its purpose is to provide an excuse to rant and rave over same-sex marriage without identifying any real consequence. He does this because nobody in his circle, including his wife, is capable of saying “Keith, you have come unhinged.”

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.