Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Peter Sprigg has a new theory

Peter Sprigg
Wednesday, Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council's supposed gay expert, writesClear Proof Same-Sex Marriage Is Paving the Way for Polygamy.” If there is an abundance of “clear proof” in Sprigg's treatise it is verification of his own intellectual failures. Sprigg, a Baptist minister, is arguing against a biblical structure. In Exodus 21:10, a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry and the New Testament provides not a single prohibition of polygamy. At the same time, Sprigg is championing a passage in Leviticus that supposedly prohibits gay sex.

The Sprigg is a bigoted demagogue. He is also in an embarrassing situation of his own design. A year after the ruling in Obergefell the sky has not fallen.  In addition to causing legalization of polygamy Sprigg predicted that same-sex marriage would cause “fewer people to remain monogamous and sexually faithful.” He also said that, as a consequence of same-sex marriage, fewer people would remain married for a lifetime. The real gem was the prediction that marriage equality would cause birthrates to fall. Marriage equality is a settled issue. Now he is struggling with his own record of idiocy:
Now, a year after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of redefining marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges), we do not yet have the data needed regarding various changes in family structure. Some of my predictions, though, have already come to fruition.
The Amazing Kreskin continues:
The most obvious involves the rapidly growing attacks on freedom of conscience and religion. Before Obergefell, we were assured that redefining marriage would have no impact on anyone except same-sex couples. Yet today, LGBT activists increasingly wage attacks against even the mildest measures to protect religious liberty.
So gay people are responsible for people flouting nondiscrimination laws in public accommodations? When exactly did we promise that Obergefell would provide a license to discriminate? It is our fault that a nutty Kim Davis, an elected official, decided that she needed some attention? I would also note that this is not a “rapidly growing” phenomenon. We are still talking about the same florist and the same couple of bakers and the same photographer. These predate Obergefell. The photographer's case goes back about ten years.
Another prediction has also received considerable validation—although without as much public attention. In the wake of Obergefell, we are much closer to a further redefinition of marriage—to include polygamous and polyamorous marriages.

Some commentators leaped at the opportunity to make the case for polygamy, one literally within hours after Obergefell. Freelance writer Fredrik deBoer wrote an op-ed for Politico, titled "It's Time to Legalize Polygamy," the same day the ruling was announced.
The opinion of a relatively obscure polemicist doesn't prove anything. Nor does it change public policy. Can Sprigg name a single legislator, state or federal, who favors the legalization of polygamy?
However, Jonathan Rauch, a gay activist who works at the Brookings Institution, tried to make a distinction in a Politico rebuttal to deBoer.…
I like Jonathan. He is a smart guy whose thought process tends to be very thorough.
Yet for all his protests to the contrary, the arguments against polygamy are very closely parallel to the arguments against redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. For example, Rauch cited the study's finding that monogamous marriage "results in significant improvements in child welfare." The same could be said about children being raised by their married, biological mother and father—something unavoidably denied to children raised by same-sex couples.
Note that Sprigg is not saying that the arguments in support of polygamy are the similar to those that were made for marriage equality. That is what would be more relevant. But we are adrift. None of this has anything to do with the ruling in Obergefell leading to polygamy.
Media reports sympathetic to polygamy have also been appearing, such as one published by ABC News less than a month after the Obergefell decision. It told the story of a lesbian couple in California that decided to expand to a threesome by inviting a man to join them. One of the women apparently took seriously the theory that as a bisexual, she could only fulfill her sexual orientation by having both a female and a male partner.
It was a story on Nightline. I would characterize it as informative in contrast to sympathetic. These folks were living together prior to the Obergefell ruling. There doesn't seem to be any connection other than the date of the story and that is no connection at all. None of this has anything to do with changing public policy.
The growing acceptance of polygamy is not just anecdotal. The online dating website OkCupid now allows users to search for polyamorous relationships. The website claims their surveys show that only a minority of users say they are committed to monogamy, with the number falling from 56 percent in 2010 to 44 percent today.
Where is the evidence of “the growing acceptance of polygamy?” Polyamorous relationships have nothing whatsoever to do with polygamy. Moreover the opposite of monogamy in that context is not polygamy. It is married with one or more illicit paramours.
All this doesn't mean there will be legal recognition of polygamous relationships—yet. But one of the first steps toward same-sex "marriage" was when the Supreme Court struck down laws imposing criminal sanctions for homosexual conduct, in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). The polygamy movement already has its version of Lawrence—a case in which a federal judge struck down Utah's law making it a crime to live in a polygamous relationship.
Actually none of this means that there will be legal recognition of polygamy—now or in the future. The Sprigg concludes:
The shock troops of the sexual revolution did not stop trying to redefine "marriage" after opening it to same-sex couples. Meanwhile, they are trying to redefine "sex" itself, compelling everyone to affirm and celebrate males who claim to be females and vice versa. Americans are left wondering—from a cultural progressive movement that doesn't ever appear to be satisfied, "What's next?"
Okay, so where is the “clear proof” that the Sprigg promised? It seems to amount to one essay in Politico.

Opposition to same-sex marriage produced a veritable cornucopia of idiotic arguments. One of the dumbest of those was that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy. As it stands there is no serious effort to legalize polygamy either in the courts or legislatively. For that to occur, polygamy stands on its own—unrelated to marriage equality.

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