According to a recent survey of American social attitudes, approval of polygamy has doubled. How long will it be, Ross Douthat wonders, before plural marriages gain legal recognition?
Can Americans say a permanent “no” to recognizing plural marriage once we’ve rooted for the Browns [the polygamous stars of a popular reality-television show]? Can a cultural left that believes in proliferating gender identities . . . draw the line, long-term, when a lesbian couple wants to include their baby’s biological father in their legal family, or when the child of polygamists stands up in court to say he wants his dad recognized as his mother’s legal spouse? Is a culture where prominent men routinely have multiple kids with multiple wives across multiple decades going permanently to deny marriage rights to people who want the same thing, except all at once? . . .
[I]t’s an interesting question. I feel safe predicting that polygamy will not be legally recognized, with fanfare and trumpets, in 2025. But it might be recognized in 2040, with a shrug.