Home/Rod Dreher/Woke Capitalism Promotes Polyamorous Parenting

Woke Capitalism Promotes Polyamorous Parenting

Detail from a Kohls department store Pride Month ad promoting polyamorous parenting

I got back to Budapest late this afternoon after a few days in Warsaw at a conference, more on which later. The condition of the West came up in a number of conversations. In one of them, I was talking to a Pole about how foolish it is to think that you can permit some of the LGBT Revolution without permitting all of it. I mentioned a Hungarian liberal with whom I had spoken recently, who endorsed gay marriage, but said transgenderism and gender fluidity was not something he could endorse. This man really does believe that his country can accept one without accepting the other. I suppose in theory you could, but come on. It has been only six years since Obergefell, and nobody has yet found the ability to say, “This far, but no further.”

Back in 2003, Stanley Kurtz wrote a piece in the Weekly Standard saying that legalizing gay marriage would open the door to polyamory and polygamy. Excerpts:

After gay marriage, what will become of marriage itself? Will same-sex matrimony extend marriage’s stabilizing effects to homosexuals? Will gay marriage undermine family life? A lot is riding on the answers to these questions. But the media’s reflexive labeling of doubts about gay marriage as homophobia has made it almost impossible to debate the social effects of this reform. Now with the Supreme Court’s ringing affirmation of sexual liberty in Lawrence v. Texas, that debate is unavoidable.

Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and “polyamory” (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female. A scare scenario? Hardly. The bottom of this slope is visible from where we stand. Advocacy of legalized polygamy is growing. A network of grass-roots organizations seeking legal recognition for group marriage already exists. The cause of legalized group marriage is championed by a powerful faction of family law specialists. Influential legal bodies in both the United States and Canada have presented radical programs of marital reform. Some of these quasi-governmental proposals go so far as to suggest the abolition of marriage. The ideas behind this movement have already achieved surprising influence with a prominent American politician.

None of this is well known. Both the media and public spokesmen for the gay marriage movement treat the issue as an unproblematic advance for civil rights. True, a small number of relatively conservative gay spokesmen do consider the social effects of gay matrimony, insisting that they will be beneficent, that homosexual unions will become more stable. Yet another faction of gay rights advocates actually favors gay marriage as a step toward the abolition of marriage itself. This group agrees that there is a slippery slope, and wants to hasten the slide down.

To consider what comes after gay marriage is not to say that gay marriage itself poses no danger to the institution of marriage. Quite apart from the likelihood that it will usher in legalized polygamy and polyamory, gay marriage will almost certainly weaken the belief that monogamy lies at the heart of marriage. But to see why this is so, we will first need to reconnoiter the slippery slope.

More:

There is a rational basis for blocking both gay marriage and polygamy, and it does not depend upon a vague or religiously based disapproval of homosexuality or polygamy. Children need the stable family environment provided by marriage. In our individualist Western society, marriage must be companionate–and therefore monogamous. Monogamy will be undermined by gay marriage itself, and by gay marriage’s ushering in of polygamy and polyamory.

This argument ought to be sufficient to pass the test of rational scrutiny set by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Certainly, the slippery slope argument was at the center of the legislative debate on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and so should protect that act from being voided on the same grounds as Texas’s sodomy law. But of course, given the majority’s sweeping declarations in Lawrence, and the hostility of the legal elite to traditional marriage, it may well be foolish to rely on the Supreme Court to uphold either state or federal Defense of Marriage Acts.

This is the case, in a nutshell, for something like the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution, which would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. At a stroke, such an amendment would block gay marriage, polygamy, polyamory, and the replacement of marriage by a contract system. Whatever the courts might make of the slippery slope argument, the broader public will take it seriously. Since Lawrence, we have already heard from Jon Carroll in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for legalized polygamy. Judith Levine in the Village Voice has made a plea for group marriage. And Michael Kinsley–no queer theorist but a completely mainstream journalist–has publicly called for the legal abolition of marriage. So the most radical proposal of all has now moved out of the law schools and legal commissions, and onto the front burner of public discussion.

Fair-minded people differ on the matter of homosexuality. I happen to think that sodomy laws should have been repealed (although legislatively). I also believe that our increased social tolerance for homosexuality is generally a good thing. But the core issue here is not homosexuality; it is marriage. Marriage is a critical social institution. Stable families depend on it. Society depends on stable families. Up to now, with all the changes in marriage, the one thing we’ve been sure of is that marriage means monogamy. Gay marriage will break that connection. It will do this by itself, and by leading to polygamy and polyamory. What lies beyond gay marriage is no marriage at all.

Read it all.

The reason I had been having this conversation with a Hungarian liberal was because the government led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban had just added to the country’s constitution the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Hungary permits gay civil unions, but codified marriage as something exclusively between one man and one woman. Orban and the Fidesz Party have clearly learned from America’s experience. To borrow Kurtz’s line, in a stroke, Hungarian lawmakers blocked gay marriage, polygamy, polyamory, and the replacement of marriage by a contract system.

Meanwhile, back in America, we continue to destroy our society. Now, on the verge of Pride Month (doesn’t it seem to you that every month is Pride Month?), the push for polyamory and polygamy has been taken up by woke capitalism — in this case, the largest department store chain in America:

In 2015, the gay marriage advocate Jonathan Rauch wrote a piece for Politico saying that polygamy isn’t going to follow gay marriage, because we know from history that polygamous societies are dysfunctional. That seems awfully naive now. We got gay marriage because the Supreme Court ruled that it’s a fundamental right of people to marry those they love. Fundamental rights don’t depend on whether or not it’s good for a society if people have them. About polygamy, writing in VICE in 2013, two years before Obergefell, Harry Cheadle said:

The idea that after gay marriage is legalized, polygamy will be next—and then bestiality and legal unions between lawn mowers and volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and so on—is one of the main arguments that social conservatives trot out to “defend traditional marriage.” (It’s right up there with “Think of the children!” and “the Bible says…”) Stanley Kurtz made that argument nearly ten years ago in the Weekly Standard, and it got brought up again in several briefs filed this week with the Supreme Court by anti-gay marriage advocates. It goes like this: if the purpose of marriage isn’t to produce children in traditional one-mom, one-dad homes, if it’s just a legal arrangement between folks who really like each other, what basis can there be to deny triads and quads who want legal recognition of multiple-partner marriages?

Actually, yeah—why are polyamorous marriages between consenting adults illegal?

“Kurtz was right for the most part,” Anita Wagner Illig, a polyamorous-relationships advocate who runs the Practical Polyamory website, told me in an email. “Legalizing same-sex marriage creates a legal precedent where there can be no valid legal premise for denying marriage to more than two people who wish to marry each other… We just disagree as to whether it’s a bad thing.”

Now you have the biggest department store chain in America doing its part to normalize polygamy as the next step in Love Wins™.

And so, by the way, is the popular Nickelodeon show for preschoolers, Blue’s Clues — which, in this Pride Month video, features an animated drag queen singing a tribute to polymorphous perversity, and encouraging children to sing along too:

The normalizing polyamory part comes at the 2:00 mark, with the drag queen singing this line:

That line could sound benign in context, but you need to watch the whole video to see that this is about teaching preschoolers to accept chaotic sexual desire as good. Do you want your four-year-old to ask you, “Mommy, what’s ace, bi, and pan?” Then you’d better not let them watch Blue’s Clues.

(Answer: asexual, bisexual, and pansexual.)

The elites who run our culture’s institutions — including children’s media, and corporations — are breaking us down. We are allowing it. So far, Hungary and Poland (at least) have not fallen. But nobody in those countries should trust in the good sense of the people of their societies to reject this poison. Propaganda from the West is coming at them constantly. Churches, parents, teachers, and others have to explain to the young — and to grown-ups too — why traditional Christian marriage and traditional Christian sexual morals are good and necessary for the health and stability of society. And the experience of the United States in this century so far ought to be a warning to other countries for how slippery the slope is. We have gone from “How does gay marriage hurt my marriage?” circa 2002 to, within twenty years, department store advertising promoting polyamorous parenting, children’s cereal boxes promoting transgenderism to kids (read the side panel), and a popular preschoolers’ TV show teaching little bitties about the glories of “ace, bi and pan,” of non-binary families, and all the rest.

UPDATE: The depth of perversion. Making little children aware of this stuff!

Oh, and this adjacent information:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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