Katy Faust
Same tune, different lyrics from Katy Faust

via YouTube

Katy Faust and someone named Stacy Manning are trying to discredit same-sex marriage by comparing it to polygamy.That is why these two have authored Push To Legalize Polygamy Uses Same Arguments As Push For Same-Sex Marriage.

For the record I have no opinion on plural marriage because I have not studied plural marriage. I have no clue whether plural marriage is beneficial or detrimental to child development. That is an important consideration. Nor, for that matter have I seen any research on the matter.

Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states as well as federally due to the Edmunds Act which was signed into law in 1882. If there is a “push” as Faust and Manning contend it has little chance of being successful and doesn’t seem to be well organized or terribly robust. As I said Faust and Manning are focused on marriage equality and have little interest in polygamy.

Faust and Manning provide a group of quotes that are reminiscent of marriage equality advocacy but are really from supporters of polygamy:

“I just came out openly to friends.” “Love is love” and we deserve “equal protection under the law.” We are “not harming anybody.” “The world would be a better place if everybody was more open.” “I am proud of who I am” but I am “rejected by society.” “It’s unhealthy to force people into a choice that might not fit them,” especially when you have “love at the core of your relationship.”

I am not surprised that some people are using similar arguments given that those were successful with respect for marriage equality. However, it does not mean that they are legitimate arguments.

Over time, most of the legal arguments for polygamy have parroted conservative Christian Christian talking points about religious freedom.

Faust and Manning won’t quote those. Quoting those would not make the same convoluted point.

Conservative Christians claimed that same-sex marriage was a slippery slope to polygamy. Our response (including in oral arguments before the Supreme Court) was that polygamy has to stand on its own.

The fact that they are using similar arguments does not mean that polygamy shares commonality with same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage was beneficial to children being raised by gay couples. I do not know if that is true of children raised to some extent by “sister wives.”

Faust and Manning trying to prove that they were right all along:

The latest slip down the slope those uptight Christians warned us about was just served up, compliments of a Utah Senate committee that passed a bill decriminalizing polygamy. This bill’s sponsor reasoned people in polygamous unions are “tired of being treated like second-class citizens, they feel like Utah has legalized prejudice against them.”

They were not right. The timelines are too far apart for one thing and the legal themes are entirely different.

Not recognizing plural marriages and criminally prosecuting the participants are two entirely different things. Moreover, Utah hasn’t really prosecuted people for being in plural marriage since 1946. Obviously that does not correlate to Obergefell. Even in 1946 there were only two criminal cases.

Furthermore a constitutional challenge, Brown v. Buhman, was filed in 2011, predating both United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. The litigants prevailed in 2013 with the district court ruling that Utah’s ban was unconstitutional. The Tenth Circuit overturned and the reasoning is important:

The Tenth Circuit concluded that Utah’s policy was not to prosecute polygamy unless there were other associated crimes. Therefore, the plaintiffs had no reasonable fear that they would be prosecuted. Therefore they lacked standing. Case dismissed.

Faust and Manning keep trying:

Yes, the Same Arguments Apply

The pro-gay and pro-poly scripts are one and the same because both view marriage as adult-centric. From this perspective, the only consideration for what constitutes a marriage is with whom you share a love connection. That’s because when marriage is simply a vehicle for adult fulfillment, as per the Obergefell ruling, marriage morphs into whatever assemblage makes adults happy.

Uh, no. The same arguments do not apply.

What seemingly swung Justice Kennedy was not the desires of adults but the needs of children being raised by gay couples. I hate to be unromantic but the purpose of marriage is to create a marital estate. It’s more about economics than anything else. Taking care of each other and children, if there are any, if one spouse dies or if the marriage dissolves.

Using the “logic” of Faust and Manning, all marriages are about adult fulfillment. Those who want children are going to have to wait about a year in most cases. Obergefell v Hodges does not license “whatever assemblage makes adults happy.” That’s just unconvincing bullshit. And same-sex marriage has nothing to do with polygamy.

Eventually they recycle the losing argument word for word:

But that’s not actually what marriage is about. Marriage is the most child-friendly institution the world has ever known. …

How many times did Brian S. Brown write that meaningless stupidity?

No one is stopping heterosexual couples from marrying and raising children. Even if bans on polygamy were overturned (which is highly unlikely), the overwhelming majority of marriages would continue to exist as one man and one woman.

I don’t know about Manning but Faust is an anti-gay bigot who doesn’t want children being raised by gay people. If only she paid that much attention to all of the abusive heterosexual parents and single parents who struggle to balance work and children.

Gay marriage proponents argued that children don’t care if they are missing a mother or father, because love! Polygamy supporters want us to believe children don’t care if there’s an extra mother or father, because love! Both claims are believable so long as you never ever examine any data on family structure.

Those two arguments are not related to one another. They are also misstating the sentiments of supporters of same-sex marriage. We are guided by the research which demonstrates that children are not disadvantaged by being raised by gay couples.

There is also a more pragmatic approach:

Single people can adopt. Single people divorce and retain custody of children. If either, in turn, form a same-sex relationship then the children are better off if both parents are married. That is undeniable even for a religious lunatic.

I do not understand the dynamic of people entering plural marriage and neither do the authors of this tripe. They did no research because their interest is not in polygamy but in denigrating gay people.

In an attempt to refute the vast body of research they cite the literature reviews of Walter Schumm who is an outlier. Schumm typically does not do original research. He prefers literature reviews.

Using selective observation those reviews can prove that kosher pickles reduce blood pressure

In 2010 Schumm published a study claiming that LGBT parents are more likely than non-LGBT parents to have LGBT children which is utter nonsense.

In 2012, he wrote a commentary in defense of the supremely unscientific methodology of Mark Regnerus’ New Family Structures study. He sort of forgot to mention that he was a paid consultant to Regnerus’ BS.

 I do not know what polygamy supporters claim. Nor have I read any research which should guide us. What I do know is that it must stand on its own, having no commonality with marriage equality (other than the fact that it deals with marriage).

Faust and Manning go on to equate polygamy to things other than plural marriages. For example mommy and her unwed boyfriend. There are lots of links but they are mostly to their own bullshit at other outlets. I was struck by this passage:

The trouble with same-sex headed households is the absence of an adult to whom the child has a natural right, thus a decline in child well-being. Polygamist families will always include an extra adult whom science says will diminish a child’s well-being. Both same-sex marriage and polygamy infringe on the rights of children.

By that logic then the rights of every adopted child, regardless of who the adoptive parents are, have been infringed upon. Katy Faust never has made any sense and never will make any sense. She is a bigot who seeks wisdom from ancient texts.

Evidence and common sense matter less than opinions formed by scripture. Stacy Manning seems to have joined Faust’s little enterprise. Together they make even less sense than Faust alone.

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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.