Many people continually contend that it polygamy is a lifestyle choice similar to same-sex partnerships. Others contend that there is no comparison, and that comparing polygamy to homosexuality is akin to comparing apples to oranges. So which one is it? I suggest that this subject is really more like comparing apples, oranges and grapes. That there is no comparison between polygamy, homosexuality and open marriage because they are three very different things.
In most cases throughout America and around the world, polygamy is not about love. Rather it is about men’s sexuality and the subjugation of women. It is being sold to women as love, convincing them it is for their own good. The history of marriage as a whole is not about love, the sanctity of husband and wife, or about morality. Marriage was created as a means of bartering stock and virgins took top dollar. Women who had been tainted, by whatever means, had no value and became servants in their own homes or even murdered by their families for their disgrace. Women were held responsible for men’s behavior and still are to this day to some degree; don’t even get me started on that…. Men wanted to be guaranteed that their seed was the only seed planted in the womb of a woman. We still see this reflected in the “giving away of a daughter to her new husband” in our marriage ceremonies today. We see this reflected in the white virgin wedding dress and in the veil intended to hide a woman’s face until the transaction is complete. And we see it reflected in the wedding vows when a woman promises to “respect and obey” her new husband. Granted these vows have been changing as women become more assured of their true worth and potential and as marriage becomes more recognized as a partnership rather than ownership.
There is a vast difference between open sexual relationships with multiple partners and marriages with lifetime and eternal contracts that often accompany polygamy. In the tradition of polygamy, women are collected by men who had the financial means to purchase and own them. Great kings of the Bible were the largest holders of land, property, wealth and women. This does not necessarily make them men of God. Each of the men who are revered by modern men for polygamy was chastised by God for their gluttony and greed. Yet modern day men still put them on a pedestal, wanting to be more like them. Many of us base our current day beliefs and practices on the practices of men thousands of years ago, without taking into consideration that the stories were written for the socio-economic situations of the day. They were not written for those of us who might be reading them thousands of years later. We were the furthest things from their mind because just like us they were dealing with their own day-to-day issues. Yet we have made it our business to read into these stories and extrapolate what we want to hear. Anything and everything has been justified in the name of religion and has been extracted from the stories in the historical documents that we consider to be God’s word. Every known atrocity from war, slavery, servitude, child abuse, murder, sacrifice, torture and polygamy has been found in our ancient texts, and these findings are still used today as justification for such human rights abuses.
When I hear people asking to have the law against polygamy overturned it breaks my heart. President Abraham Lincoln recognized it for what it was had it banished along with slavery. Reversing this opens up a Pandora ’s Box. Polygamy is not the same as open marriage, although that is how it is now being sold in America. It is simply a term that is being thrown about as the latest buzzword for alternative relationship choices. But they are very, very different in reality. I agree that we cannot put restrictions on how people choose to express their love and sexuality as long as it does not hurt anyone else. Mutually consenting adults who genuinely express love and explore the pleasures of what it means to be human is entirely different from the binding contract of marriage. Numerous studies show that polygamy, specifically polygyny, is harmful to society. For those who gravitate to open relationships, enjoy all of the love-making you desire, just please don’t call it polygamy.
And then of course there is homosexuality. This is not a lifestyle choice and we now have the scientific evidence to back this up. It cannot be caught like a disease and it is not a perversion. Morality is defined by individuals not by nature. Some of the most beautiful, loving and spiritual people I know are homosexual. It is simply how they are biologically designed. One part of me can’t help but wonder if this is part of our collective evolution. As we overburden the planet will we biologically mutate to slow the population grown? This is yet to be seen…
To recap, Polygamy is a human rights abuse that has most-often been justified by religion, open relationships are a lifestyle choice and homosexuality is biological. There is simply no comparison between the three. Apples, oranges and grapes!