An argument that the religious right keeps shoving down our throats when it comes to legalization same-sex marriage - aside from the fact that gays and lesbians are immoral, disease-prone and promiscuous and therefore deserve no legal recognition of their relationships - is that it would open up a whole can of worms that they claim would lead to the legalization of polygamy.
As such, many of these right-wing organizations and news sources were over the moon when news reached the American press in September 2005 that three people had engaged in the first legal three-way marriage in the Netherlands. LifeSite, “your life, family and culture outpost” (which apparantly doesn’t really care if what they publish is accurate) therefore reported that
Many Canadian MP’s, journalists and marriage defenders warned that the degradation of marriage in law would lead from the legitimizing of homosexual relationships to polygamy. They have been roundly ridiculed for it by supporters of the same-sex “marriage” legislation. Now, with predictable promptness, the Dutch have proved that the warnings have been on the mark.
The article even includes a remark asking if Dutch citizens may also contract a marriage with animals.
Once again, the people so bent on proving the justness of their cause have either manipulated or misunderstood what actually occured in the Netherlands. Three people - a man and two women - visited their local notary and entered into a cohabitation contract (”samenlevingscontract”) - this is NOT state-recognized civil union or marriage. The fact that these three people agreed to share the rent of their appartment and celebrated their signatory status with rings and a honeymoon does not make it a state-sanctioned marriage.
The argument that the legalization of same-sex marriages in the Netherlands will lead to state-recognized polygamy is ridiculous. The Dutch marriage law still requires marriage to consist of two people - no more, no less. Prior to the amending of the marriage law, it read:
“A marriage can be contracted by two people of different sex”
Since the amendment entered into force on April 1st 2001, the law no reads
“A marriage can be contracted by two people of different or the same sex”
Not since, nor before, has any member of parliament ever petitioned to have the requirement of “two people” abolished or replaced with any number you fancy. Polygamy is not legal in the Netherlands, marriages of more (or less?) than 2 persons are not acknowledged and there is no intention to amend the law to broaden the marriage scope.
I know the rumour of “Dutch polygamy” has been well and truly debunked on a lot of websites (including ExGayWatch and Anonymous Liberal), but being Dutch I cannot help being angered at these lies and manipulations that are being hurled our way just to prove their faulty reasons to oppose marriage equality for TWO PEOPLE who love one another.
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