Will gay marriage lead to other socially unaccepted practices, such as polygamy and incestuous relationships?

Asked by: trnman
  • Denial would be unjust based on the logic behind allowing gay marriages

    The gay marriage trend is based on the idea that any relationship between adults that is non harmful and consensual is acceptable. This in turn would open doors to many other similar situations that follow the same rule. Essentially we are advocating individual preferences over societies accepted norms and therefore we must tolerate and acknowledge all persons perception of marriage, regardless of our own personal indifference.

  • But ... It depends on the legal reasoning.

    If the legal basis of tolerance here is that, like religion, it is a protected choice, then I think we will be OK. Other clearly damaging forms of sexuality will remain choices that can be blocked. If its treated like an immutable quality however? We are in trouble. For if sexuality is just born, than there is no deviant form of sexuality and pedophilia is just ... A born problem. Denying it is the crime rather than the pediophiliac behavior. The legal justification is the key here.

  • And it should lead to that

    Society is always changing through the beauty of evolution. When one person gets equality, then more people want equality. Nobody wants to be ostracized! Slowly American society is becoming tolerant. First it was English white men. Then it was western European men who were considered equal to each other. Then other races where slowly added into equality. Then blacks were considered equal and slavery was abolished. Then women were considered equal. Then interracial couples were then considered equal. Now gays are considered and next will be polygamous & incestuous marriages and that's how it should be. It is the evolution of a free society. People from centuries ago, would look at our society and throw up because interracial marriages!? What blaspheme! Blacks aren't slaves!? THAT'S INSANE! I can understand the ignorance of why people against polygamy & incestuous relationships and that's just because how they were raised to be. Society will change, just as it has been and that is a good thing. Nobody wants to be ostracized or made unequal. Nobody is hurting each other and it is not rape, then it is not your concern. What you consider to be putrid and disgusting, the future generations won't. It's the same way past generations would see interracial marriages and people not shackled and being slaves, as being downright putrid and disgusting.

  • Never ever ever

    Seriously the arguments get dumber and dumber. Additionally and this is important. Why is polygamy bad? Why is incest bad? These are societal norms that have been decided on and in most cases they have no rational reason to be frowned upon. For example incestuous relationships are frowned upon as children born from these relationships can have serious problems. But if there are no children what's the problem?

  • Oh, False Analogies...

    Gay marriage is more like straight marriage than anything. Two consenting adults = two consenting adults. No matter the genders.

    The equation doesn't work with polygamy, for example. Two consenting adults =/= five consenting adults. The equation doesn't work with pedophile relationships... A child and an adult =/= two consenting adults.

    The incest matter? Well, that's an issue with a risk to other people. It affects the genetics of offspring of the couples in question. Does gay marriage affect other people? No. Studies show that gay couples may even be better parents sometimes because their children were 100% wanted. No such thing as an unwanted pregnancy for gay couples - I mean, that one should be clear ;)

    Also, the argument that kids with two moms or two dads will be messed up is invalid. Everyone has two grandmothers. Two grandfathers. Maybe a lot of aunts or uncles. Maybe they're the only boy out of five sisters! A gay couple is not going to influence their children to be "too" masculine or "too" feminine. Gender is genetic as much as it is environmental! Also, are people with single mothers or single fathers messed up? Some, maybe. But a child can thrive on just a mother's love or just a father's love. They can even thrive on two mothers' love just as they could having two aunts who love them :)

    Does being gay influence others to be gay? In recent studies, researchers are saying that, in males, homosexuality is strongly linked with *in-the-womb* environmental factors. Chemicals the mother secretes when she's pregnant. And then there's genetic research of course. And other studies say that most children with gay parents aren't gay themselves. If you don't believe me, look it up. It's all online in scientific journals.

  • I wouldn't say so exactly.

    That is a rather dangerous slippery slope used by people who wish to restrict traditional marriage between a man and a woman. What I believe is fine is that consenting, non-family-related partners should be allowed to be married or sexually involved, regardless of the parties' genders.

    As long as they are legally consenting adults and it's not within the family with their own genetics, then I really have no right to intrude in the privacy of others.

  • A Ridiculous Assumption.

    I would like to point out that marrying your cousin is legal in twenty states, bestiality is legal in eighteen states/territories, and while polygamy is not legal in the United States, you can not assume that no one practices it in secret or even right out in public but lie about the relationships. I would also like to point out that a lot of the states that ban same sex marriage such as Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, and Florida allow you to marry your cousin, allow you have sex with an animal, or both and as I said before you can not safely assume people don't practice polygamy already. So it is outrageous to assume allowing homosexual marriage would lead to issues that already exist and are legal.

  • They're different things.

    Gay marriage is a romantic relationship between two of the same gender. Polygamy is having more than 1 spouse. Incest is a romantic relationship between your family. These are all VERY different! Homosexuality doesn't inspire polygamy! Homosexuality doesn't inspire incest either! What kind of question is this? All these 3 things have nothing to do with each other! Homosexuality is both accepted and unaccepted by society. Polygamy has acceptance, but more rejection. And incest is generally considered a no go!

  • Yes gays cannot reproduce by themselves but...

    It is something that naturally occurs in a small percentage of population meaning that gays were gays before their marriages were legalized. Legalizing gay marriage simply acknowledges the fact that they are a part of humanity. They existed, exist and will exist in the future and the larger group has simply accepted them so that they can fit in as well. I think that the question is not worded correctly because the question is making a very clear link between gay marriages and socially unaccepted practices that specifically break the promises made when one individual marries another. Whether a married couple has a child or children and how they will be raised is yet another issue. Gay marriage may have been socially unaccepted and it still is to a certain extent yet that does not make them even similar and clearly not equal in any way to polygamy or incestuous relationships. Unlike those two, gay people cannot reproduce meaning that they will need to find a different way to conceive or get a child. Also in polygamy one partner is not faithful to the other whereas in gay marriages unless they divorce the binding terms of a marriage hold true and same as in a marriage. For incestuous relationships the reason why they are not looked kindly upon by others and especially by their kin are the biological and psychological issues as the purpose of humans or any other living beings' reproduction is to produce better off-springs and expand their territory. In terms of psychological problems, I mean how would you feel if your brother marries your cousin or even worse your younger sister or even your mother? Feeling naturally grossed out anybody? Even though they can have sex unlike gays or lesbians the chances of their babies being born handicapped or with seriously debilitating diseases or conditions is too high which is why the human species avoids or at least tries to avoid these kinds of relationships since it is harmful for their survival in the long-run. How the children brought up by gay parents are influenced in ways they think about gender and themselves is once again an entirely different topic. Once again I think that gay marriage is still a socially unaccepted practice but cannot be put on the same pedestal as polygamy and incestuous relationships since the reasons why those latter two relationships are not accepted are not the same or even similar to why gay marriages have been opposed in the past. Whether one gay and another gay live separately or together does not present any tangible threat to the society at large but whether or not polygamy or incestuous relationships are legalized presents unpredictably countless biological, legal and psychological problems and an unmistakable cultural change to the entire humanity.

  • Makes no sense.

    Homosexual relationships are pretty much the exact same 'type' of relationship as heterosexual relationships are. Unless you're arguing that potential for natural reproduction is a key difference, in which case you are also dismissing the actual, consensual romantic love that these sorts of relationships are *actually* based on, and which is the grounds on which they are recognized. This argument would also mean that you *have* to be excluding infertile couples, old couples who have not managed to reproduce, and individuals who do not want children and take all possible measures apart from literally removing their genitals or never having sex, from this definition of marriage, else you are being hypocritical.

    Will recognition of homosexual marriages, which for almost all intents and purposes are exactly the same as heterosexual marriages (or at least ones where purely natural reproduction is not possible) lead to recognition of entirely different 'classes' of marriage? I highly doubt it.

    Polygamy: This type of relationship is almost universally unfair and unequal, and is as it is entirely because of what *one* of the people in the relationship wants, not what all of the involved individuals want. You would likely be hard pressed to find an example of this type of relationship that does not involve coercion, which nullifies consent. Humans are naturally monogamous, and this clearly shows when people attempt to 'game' relationships by trying to get their hands on as many sexual partners as they can. I would also argue that it is also not psychologically healthy to live in the delusion that it is okay to have as many sexual partners as you are able to get your hands on.

    Incest: As long as reproduction isn't involved, due to the inherent very high risk for genetic conditions in the offspring, and as long as it can be shown that there are no preexisting psychological issues leading to this attraction (again, there is a reason that humans are naturally averse to incestuous relationships), then I actually don't really have a problem with this. Parental incest I *do* have a problem with, in the same manner as I have a problem with any type of relationship where someone in an authority position is clearly taking advantage of someone they are meant to be caring for.

    Bestiality/pedophilia: Children and non-sapient animals are definitionally not capable of giving informed consent. Any form of sexual relationship between them and an adult person is by definition rape. There is never going to be a way to get around that issue. Either rape is legal as a whole (which is ridiculous, and a violation of human rights), or these two types of relationship are illegal.

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thg says2014-06-08T01:54:17.657
As implied already in the posts and responses, I agree there might be a bit of ambiguity in the OP as presented above. I do not pretend to speak for the OP, but I believe the OP is trying to posit the following valid premise: that the reasons for justifying same-sex liaison are ones that also can be used to justify polygamy, incest, and other "alternatives" to "traditional" marital liaison. So, I believe the question is legit: If we legalize same-sex liaison based on what appear to be its popular justifications, then doesn't it follow, if we are to be just and fair, that we who might traditionally have condemned these other kinds of liaisons would now be compelled to legalize them (regardless of which ones you believe already are being justified, practiced, or legalized in some parts of the world)? My own view is that trad marriage (which, for purposes of clarification, we'll restrict to lifelong, heterosexual, monogamy) can be touted as morally preferable only if based on a theology of sexual teleology...On which involves a God-designed purpose for the juxtaposition of sex, gender, and lifelong monogamous loyalty and intimacy. This is not the time and place for a lot of detail (you can check out an ongoing thread over in the religion forum:, but I happen to believe that without this theological basis, it is nigh impossible to establish any kind of sexual morality whatsoever. It's not that easy to do even when we appeal to theology, but I'd say it's extremely difficult without it. As many of my able atheist friends point out, without a theological basis, there really is no basis for treating sexual behavior than we do any other behavior...Making moral determinations on fairly "universal" moral bases, such as whether a behavior is harmful and/or consensual. Let's just say I believe in the beauty and majesty of trad marriage, and I believe it is something designed by God, and I believe our general aversion toward incest, polygamy, and same-sex union (at least up until recent times) is a reflection of our awareness of God's design for marital intimacy. If monogamy, for example, is a part of one's definition of a morally valid marriage, my question is...Why? And, if heterosexuality is NOT part of one's definition, why not? What makes monogamy so special and wonderful...While heterosexuality has to take a back seat? My atheist friends often point to this same logical issue. But their resolution is to pronounce that most, if not all, "traditional" marital parameters have no moral basis...And, therefore, should be relaxed. My issue is not with trad marriage nor with these atheists...But with those who want to maintain some parts of trad marriage (monogamy) while abandoning others. I am after logical consistency.
thg says2014-06-08T01:57:23.377
* for treating sexual behavior differently than we do any other behavior...(and the M on "making" should be lower case).
trnman says2014-06-08T05:08:17.610
@thg: To reference your god as a source of morality of course assumes that your god is the accepted norm for an entire population, if not world, which fortunately it is not. Moral standards have and do exist perfectly well in complete absence of your god in many other societies around the globe, and with many individuals in this country. As do a variety of marital union styles. Each individual society dictates what standards they live by and these standards are in a constant flux of change from generation to generation. Currently, our hot and rapidly changing cultural marriage issue is gay marriage, but there have been many other transitional points throughout history, and will be more in the future. And of course, god's perception of these issues repeatably changes to fit man's gradual acceptance. So using a god to implicate moral acceptance is only a method of defending the standard set at that particular era of time to resist inevitable changes. Man chooses what his god preaches.
Not very long ago unacceptable marital unions also included protestants marrying catholics, and interracial marriages. Gay marriages weren't even considered at that time, and were virtually unheard of. But time eroded the resistance to these unorthodox unions, and now they are relatively completely acceptable. And of course its only a matter of time before gay marriages follow the same path, as statistics already clearly show just by comparing national attitudes towards gays today with 10 years ago. So logically one can reason that a host of other, similar situations will follow suit, such as polygamy, polyamory, incest, etc. Even object marriage could be acceptable: after all whom are any of us to tell who or what anyone else chooses to love and marry? (google "sal9000" for an interesting example).
Ultimately, then, the challenge societies face is where to draw the line in the sand between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This unfortunately will always result in some collateral damage, as there are always certain individuals whose rights will be denied because they are just on the wrong side of the line. We live in a society that is ripe with wealth and abundance, so we have plenty of excess time and effort to spend attempting to equalize and make fair for all persons all situations. At a different, more desperate time these issues are of little concern or relevance as we would be struggling for basic fundamentals of life, such as the period that america was succeeding from the tyrannical British and forming its own nation. The current generation is attempting complete and universal tolerance, but is this killing our society and country? Doesn't the strength of a nation come from its strong cohesion and rigorous adherence to its core beliefs? Is it possible to have the strength of unified body yet practice complete tolerance for all variances?
thg says2014-06-08T07:38:28.870
@trnman: I agree with much of your OP, and with your recent response to my comment. I'm not sure, therefore, why you take such issue with my point about theology, which was not meant to "preach" so much as to describe how I believe morality is developed. But, since you did take issue with that point, I'll try to respond. My view is that God is back of all morality, whether people realize it or acknowledge it or not. I readily admit this is a statement of faith, and, as such, it is difficult to prove--or refute. That is, while you are correct that many cultures and persons have "developed" their own morality, my view is that they have been endowed with a God-given moral compass, such that every person's desire for moral viability stems from this compass. This is a statement of faith. I can't prove it any more than you can disprove it. Pointing to examples of people who claim their morality has nothing to do with religious faith doesn't actually prove that my view is wrong, since my view accounts for the fact that many people don't acknowledge the source of their moral concern. As for traditional marriage, my view that it stems from God's design also is beyond proof. It's a matter of faith. But disproving it also is difficult. My point in my initial comment simply was that I am after logical consistency (and I believe you are, too). If we accept same-sex marriage based on "love makes it OK", or "adult consensuality", then we must be consistent and apply this to all manner of sexual and marital variety. If, on the other hand, we subscribe to a more restrictive sexual morality, we must appeal to other bases. Maybe you are right to doubt a theological basis, but my point is that without it it is difficult to contend that marriage or sex should be restricted in any way (except perhaps by constructs of harm and consent). I believe trad marriage is not merely a cultural construct, but is a (moral) ideal that has, amazingly, pervaded all cultures throughout history. Heterosexual monogamy is not so culture-bound as we might think. It is by far the most sought after marital model throughout history, across all cultures, ethnicities, and religions. That doesn't prove it's the only acceptable model, of course, but I believe, by faith, that this dominance is a result of divine guidance, however subject to human error that guidance might be. So I remain skeptical of lines such as "love makes it OK" or "consenting adults can do whatever they please". I believe there are moral imperatives pervading heterosexual monogamy that can't be easily shaken, regardless of which era or culture we may live in. But, again, I still agree with what I believe is the focus of your OP.
trnman says2014-06-08T12:47:05.857
As much as I appreciate and enjoy your response, (thank you for your very mature and cordial dialogue), I guess the theological injection is for me the most frustrating to hear. Not that I am anit-religious, just that it opens a door into a world of compete irrationality that is an endless pit, and takes all sound, logical assertions and alters them to individual desires. One word I almost never use in my statements is belief, because it has little validity in any issue, and is 100% egocentric. To say that it is your belief is to say that you have decided upon a choice and that no logic, reason, rational or sense is needed to support your claim. And statements like "I can't prove it any more than you can disprove it" simply infers an unwillingness to use sound reasoning in your argument. For example, I can also use that statement by suggesting that I believe santa claus is actually behind all morality, and since you can not disprove it this somehow inclines that such ridiculous nonsense is valid, and worse yet, relevant, which of course it is not.
I lieu of "beliefs", we can apply logic and reasoning to arguments and take courses of action that will best suit the continuation and comfort of our species. We can project outcomes using extrapolation, experimentation and hypothesis to determine if a particular trend is innocuous and should be recognized and accepted, or detrimental and be disputed. In this way we can support our reasoning and offer sound cause for the acceptance or denial of any particular progression and all persons can understand the reasoning behind the position our society takes. A theistic reason offers no universal acceptance, only individual desire backed by your chosen mythological conviction that refutes any objection based on the inability to prove it wrong. And as history has repeatably shown, this is a very dangerous stance.
thg says2014-06-10T03:49:44.257
@trnman: I continue to agree with pretty much everything you say, including that often statements of faith are poor excuses for claims that otherwise would be much enhanced with better efforts at logic. I would just say that I believe some statements of faith can be so enhanced, just as I believe scientific and logical assertions often must rely on some degree of presuppositional premise. While the Santa Claus or Pink Dragon examples are well taken, I contend that some statements of faith are more reasonable and believable than others, and, therefore, are fair game in such forums as DDO. But, again, I'm just stating my perspective on trad marriage and morality as a kind of side note. I still contend that your OP is correct.