Why No Polygamy
in Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed., The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 446-466.
18 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 22, 2017
This chapter, distilled from a long book on the topic, analyzes the 1,850 year tradition of Western laws against polygamy and the growing constitutional and cultural pressures to reform these laws today. I show how the traditional Western cases against polygamy and same-sex unions used strikingly different arguments drawn from the Bible, nature, rights, harm, and symbolism. I conclude that, because these arguments are so different, Western nations can responsibly hold the line against polygamy, even if they choose to accept same-sex marriage and its accompanying norms of sexual liberty, domestic autonomy, equality, and nondiscrimination.
Keywords: Monogamy; Polygamy; Same-Sex Marriage; Mormonism; Muslims; Bible; Judaism; Roman Law; Emperor Justinian; Natural Law; Natural Rights; Cajetan; Luther; Thomas Aquinas; Theodore Beza; John Locke; Mary Wollstonecraft; Sexual Liberty; Religious Freedom; Teaching Function Of Law; Multiculturalism
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