Some months ago, (this article was first written in February 2006) there was a big push for America to recognize homosexual marriage. The mayor of San Francisco was licensing and performing such marriages, defying the state. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided to recognize such marriages. While at the same time many states were considering propositions and amendments to clearly define marriage to be a union of a man and a woman.
During this time, I remarked to my wife that this might well open up a ‘Pandora’s box.’ If two men can be considered married, then why not recognize polygamy as practiced by the fundamentalists Mormons and Muslims? Why not polyandry (one woman with multiple husbands)? Surely, there would be some soon pushing for equal recognition in these areas if marriage could be expanded to include two from the same gender. After all, if they love each other, who are we to say ‘no’?
In The Weekly Standard, December 26, 2005, there appeared a piece entitled, “Here Comes the Brides: Plural Marriage is Waiting in the Wings” by Stanley Kurtz. Kurtz tells of three strange ‘marriages’. (1) A marriage recognized between a husband – Victor de Bruijn, his wife of eight years – Bianca, and a third – Mirjam. Victor is heterosexual. The two women are bisexual. This marriage occurred in the Netherlands, in the town of Rosendale, on September 23, 2005. This legally is not recognized as a marriage by Dutch law, but is recognized as a cohabitation contract. This isn’t a typical polygamous relationship. It is actually a ‘three-way marriage,’ polyamory. The writer asked the question, “If every sexual orientation has a right to construct its own form of marriage, then more changes are surely due. For what gay marriage is to homosexuality, group marriage is to the bisexual.” (2) A marriage between husband – Serge Regnier, and wife of four years – Christine. Christine’s sister, Katrina, wanted children so the two added her to their relationship. Serge’s love from childhood, Judith, became ‘available’ so they all agreed to add her. The man now has three wives, thirty children and more are on the way. The three wives say that they don’t mind adding a fourth if ‘she was nice.'” This ‘marriage’ is not recognized as a legal marriage in the Belgian town of Marcinella, where they’re from; But, this situation has opened arguments in Europe for multipartner marriages. (3) The marriage of Koen Brand and his wife in the Netherlands. Koen is bisexual and has a relationship with another bisexual who is also married. One wife is uncomfortable with the situation. Koen’s own wife is open to forming a threesome. It is possible one marriage will end and the three remaining will form a polyandrous marriage.
The Unitarian church, which was a power behind the legalization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, is also calling for the recognition of polyamory (group marriages). Unitarian ministers are already performing joining ceremonies for polyamorous families.
Folks, have we been silent too long? Is it not time to take a stand? Regardless of what state and national laws recognize as marriage, should not the church be vocal?
Let’s teach very clearly that God instituted the home. He created Adam and Eve. He didn’t create Adam and Bubba and Eve. He didn’t create Adam and Eve and Becky. When Jesus was asked about marriage, He returned to the Garden (Matthew 19:4-5). So should we!