By Jonathon Van Maren
Earlier this year, a Utah Republican put forward a bill to decriminalize polygamy, receiving unanimous consent almost immediately from a key Senate committee. At the time, I noted that this was unsurprising: Once marriage was redefined and placed in a panoply of morally acceptable romantic arrangements, it was only a matter of time before the number of partners would mean as much as the sex of the partners. Which is to say, nothing. Even promiscuous multi-taskers can demand that the government endorse and financially support their sexual arrangements.
The word “family” now has no readily available meaning, and as such, the goalposts are shifting accordingly. On July 1, the New York Times reported, the City Council of Somerville, Massachusetts “now grants polyamorous groups the rights held by spouses in marriage, such as the right to confer health insurance benefits or make hospital visits.” Councillor J.T. Scott, who proudly noted that this was most likely the first municipal ordinance of this sort in the country (although surely not the last), attempted to pretend that this was simply a recognition of the large extended families that were once so common.