August 4th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Solving the housing crisis

NATIONAL SECURITY: The lessons of the Dr Haneef case

CANBERRA AFFAIRS: Will Liberals dump Howard before election?

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Call for industry policy debate

PORNOGRAPHY: Canberra drags its feet over internet porn

FAMILY: Group marriage on the way

VICTORIA: No more abortions, please

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Bring back King Canute / The entertainers / Broadcaster's bias / Regime changes in Turkey and Pakistan?

SPECIAL FEATURE: Postmodern science - a contradiction in terms

VIETNAM: Economic tiger, political laggard

GLOBAL WARMING: Hosting a hog roast to promote vegetarianism

OBITUARY: A born leader and exemplary Christian - Peter Keogh (1931-2007)

Tough anti-terror laws needed (letter)

Collective bargaining hypocrisy (letter)

Rudd on grocery and housing prices (letter)

Young couples without homes (letter)

First home unaffordable (letter)

Young people deprived by technology (letter)

Film's Christian theme? (letter)


BOOKS: ELLA: Princess, Saint and Martyr, by Christopher Warwick

Books promotion page

Group marriage on the way

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, August 4, 2007
Australia should brace itself for the group-marriage debate, warns Bill Muehlenberg.

Dumb ideas have the propensity to spawn more dumb ideas. Reckless social engineering tends to result in even more radical social changes. Give the radicals an inch and they will demand a light year. Such is the nature of the never-ending radical agenda.

Call this process what you will: slippery slopes, defining deviancy down or politically-correct insanity, but the result is the same. Whenever we give in to the agendas of the radicals, they never stay content with their gains; they always demand more. This happens time and time again.

Consider when the institution of marriage was gutted to allow alternative arrangements in, such as de facto relationships. Those concerned about such downward trends warned that this would be just the beginning, and that even more radical demands would soon be made. They warned, for example, that homosexual marriage would be next on the agenda, but they were howled down in derision for even making the suggestion.


Of course, homosexual marriage has now become a fact of life in many places around the globe, and those warning of the next logical step — group marriage — are also being ridiculed. But the truth is, the call for the legalisation of group marriage is well under way. Simply type the word "polyamory" into Google, and see the million-plus hits that come up.

Many of these hits feature serious academic sites, arguing for the complete legalisation of such relationships. Here they are on perfectly solid ground. After all, if we are stupid enough to devalue marriage by allowing the legalisation of same-sex marriage, then why not allow group marriage?

Indeed, the arguments in favour of same-sex marriage are exactly the same as those being offered for group marriage. Why can't adults be allowed to do what they want? If it is consensual, what's wrong with it? If these people really love each other, how can we stand in their way? Why should we discriminate against these poor individuals? Who says marriage has to be between just one man and one woman?

This exact argumentation used to justify homosexual marriage is now being used to push for group marriage. And there is a logical consistency between the two. Why should we allow marriage to be redefined to include same-sex couples, but not threesomes, or foursomes, or whole football teams?

Elizabeth Marquardt, writing in The New York Times (July 16, 2007), takes a look at how the growing push for polyamory is being aided and abetted by activist courts which are redefining the family. She begins:

"Sometimes when the earth shudders, it doesn't make a sound. That's what happened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, recently. On April 30, a state Superior Court panel ruled that a child can have three legal parents.

"The case, Jacob v. Shultz-Jacob, involved two lesbians who were the legal co-parents of two children conceived with sperm donated by a friend. The panel held that the sperm donor and both women were all liable for child support."

She continues: "The case follows a similar decision handed down by a provincial court in Ontario in January. In what appeared to be the first such ruling in any Western nation, the court ruled that a boy can legally have three parents. In that case the biological mother and father had parental rights and wished for the biological mother's lesbian partner, who functions as the boy's second mother, to have such rights as well."

Well, maybe more is better. Says Marquardt: "Supporters of the rulings argue that if two parents are good for children, aren't three better? True, some three-parent petitions are brought by adults who appear deeply committed to the child in question. In the Ontario case, the two women and the father all seem devoted to the boy. But in Pennsylvania, the sperm donor, whom the children called 'Papa', was ordered to pay child support over his objections, and the lesbian co-mothers have already ended their relationship."


All this is inexorably leading to talk of group marriage rights. Marquardt writes: "Of course, sometimes the three adults might want to live together, which leads to a different set of concerns. As one advocate of polygamy argued in Newsweek, 'If Heather can have two mommies, she should also be able to have two mommies and a daddy.' If more children are granted three legal parents, what is our rationale for denying these families the rights and protections of marriage? America, get ready for the group-marriage debate."

She concludes: "Some situations involve a couple who wants (sic.) the child, the sperm donor, the egg donor and the gestational surrogate who carries the pregnancy. If we allow three legal parents, why not five?

"Fortunate children have many people who love them as much as their parents do. But in the best interests of children, no court should break open the rule of two when assigning legal parenthood."

As usual, the interests of the child are being trampled on as adults argue about how many new rights they can invent for themselves. Children are hurting enough already in today's moonbat world, without having to be exposed to multi-parenting households and group marriage.

But if all that nonsense does eventuate, don't say we didn't warn you.

— Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures in ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at:

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