US News 24 June 2013
Anita Wagner Illig, a longtime polyamory community spokesperson who operates the group Practical Polyamory, is unsure of the direct impact of a ruling that would legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide. Until recently, she noted, “the polyamory community has expressed little desire for legal marriage,” but now more options seem possible in the future. “We polyamorists are grateful to our [LGBT] brothers and sisters for blazing the marriage equality trail,” Illig said.
Illig believes there is indeed a “slippery slope” toward legal recognition for polygamy if the court rules in favor of nationwide same-sex marriage, an argument typically invoked by anti-gay marriage advocates. “A favorable outcome for marriage equality is a favorable outcome for multi-partner marriage, because the opposition cannot argue lack of precedent for legalizing marriage for other forms of non-traditional relationships,” she said. But Illig concedes, “there will be quite a lot of retooling of the legal system necessary to establish marriage equality for marriages of more than two people. A marriage of two people of the same sex requires a lot less in terms of adapting today’s systems, such as Social Security, for example, to accommodate it.”
Polygamists Celebrate Supreme Court’s Marriage Rulings
Buzzfeed Politics 26 June 2013
Anne Wilde, a vocal advocate for polygamist rights who practiced the lifestyle herself until her husband died in 2003, praised the court’s decision as a sign that society’s stringent attachment to traditional “family values” is evolving. “I was very glad… The nuclear family, with a dad and a mom and two or three kids, is not the majority anymore,” said Wilde. “Now it’s grandparents taking care of kids, single parents, gay parents. I think people are more and more understanding that as consenting adults, we should be able to raise a family however we choose.” “We’re very happy with it,” said Joe Darger, a Utah-based polygamist who has three wives. “I think [the court] has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that’s certainly something that’s going to trickle down and impact us.”
The Economist 28 June 2013
NOW that the federal goverment recognises the marriages of same-sex couples from enlightened states, what’s next? Polygamy? Well, polygamists are hopeful. And it does stand to reason. DOMA was struck down in no small part because it picks out a certain class of people and, by denying them recognition of their marriages, denies their families equal freedom and dignity. Can it be denied that polygamous families, whose marital arrangements are illegal, much less unrecognised, are denied equal liberty and are made to suffer the indignity active discrimination? Joe Darger, a Utahn with three wives, has said, “Our very existence has been classified as criminal… and I think the government needs to now recognize that we have a right to live free as much as anyone else”.