Say What?

04.16.132:13 PM ET

So What If Legalizing Gay Marriage Leads To Polygamy?

One author argues that it's time to legalize all kinds of marriages—including those involving multiple wives.

For years, radical conservatives have dismissed legalization of gay marriage as just one step removed from the legalization of polygamy or—wait for it—bestiality. A few weeks ago, a speech delivered by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made the rounds online. In it, Perkins revived the suggestion that gay marriage could lead to the decriminalization of polygamy—which, most American agree, is a bad idea. Thus, says Perkins, gay marriage is also a bad idea—a gateway drug, if you will.

Over at Slate, writer Jillian Keegan turns the argument on its head to say, Yes, we should legalize gay marriage—and polygamy, too. Keegan doesn’t promote the “we can all take care of each other as one big family” refrain, the theme of TLC’s Sister Wives.  She does, however, lay out a case for government-sanctioned polygamous marriage, asserting that it will curtail unions that ensnare non-consenting, underage girls. The entire culture of secretiveness and isolation in polygamous communities could be eliminated, Keegan says, and lead to a healthier and more inclusive America. (Does make you wonder if she's ever seen Big Love ...) "Let's fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States," Keegan concludes, "and then let’s keep fighting.”