It Was Bound To Happen

In a post on entitled “Big Love,” Michael Greve reports that:

Just in time for the Supreme Court’s eagerly awaited or in any event impending decision in Obergefell, Professor Ronald C. Den Otter (of a California state university in San Luis Obispo) has mounted an impressive Defense of Plural Marriage.

Den’s book, In Defense of Plural Marriage, is available here, but for those who just want the basic argument, Greve provides two quotes from a recent summary posted by Den on the Balkinization blog:

Those who care about gays and lesbians being discriminated against cannot ignore whether those who would marry multiple partners, if they were allowed to do so, are also being treated unfairly. … What too many advocates of marriage equality fail to see is that the compelling reasons that support same-sex marriage, such as the value of personal choice in selecting a marital partner and the importance of equal legal treatment, also support a right to plural marriage.

Americans are becoming more accustomed to the possibility that it may not be wrong for people to have an unconventional intimate relationship, provided that everything is consensual and between or among those who are legally capable of giving consent. Under conditions of moral pluralism, it stands to reason that at least some Americans may want to marry differently and not have the state refuse to provide them with a menu of marital options to select from.


Jon Guze / Director of Legal Studies

Jon Guze is the Director of Legal Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, Jon practiced law in Durham, North Carolina for over twent...

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