A column by Ross Douthat in The New York Times (June 3) with the title “The Fascinating Politics of Polygamy” deals with a subject that is, as far as I know, new to Canada.
This is the opening:
“There have been a number of interesting comments related to the new Gallup data showing America’s socially liberal shift continuing apace, but before I get to them I want to offer one more word on the data point I plucked out for my Sunday column: the appreciable increase in public acceptance of polygamy.
“In my column, I argued that this (still on the margins) shift was of a piece with other liberalizing trends, not only on same-sex marriage but also on divorce and unwed childbearing and assisted suicide and more, while also noting that polygamy is distinctive within that issue set because its most famous practitioners often belong to deeply illiberal religious communities.”
And later in his column he asks this question:
“Will the constituency for a secular, liberal polygamy gradually increase, as it has to some modest (though perhaps sometimes overhyped) extent already? Put another way, will the growing acceptance of polyamory as a model for nonmarital relationships – I have at least one friend in an explicitly “polyamorous” dating situation, and I’m not even a millennial! – eventually translate into more experiments in actual plural marriage, and thus more demand for legal recognition? Or will institutional polygamy always remain too fringe (and too associated with patriarchal exploitation and abuse) to have the constituency needed to push liberal courts into action?”
No doubt this discussion will soon cross the border.