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« What he said! Cardinal Ratzinger on reason, religion, and atheism | Main | At long last, the end of the world is at hand. Or, in the hand. »

Friday, January 06, 2006

Comments

MenTaLguY

And then:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/woman-marries-dolphin/2006/01/01/1136050339590.html

Shaun G

I do agree that when marriage is reduced simply to the union of people who love each other, all sorts of absurdities arise, but I think the "what gay marriage is to homosexuality, group marriage is to bisexuality" comparison is off the mark.

Bisexuality, like homosexuality and heterosexuality, mainly defines a scope, not a quantity. In other words, a bisexual person -- who feels attracted to both men and women -- is, in theory, no less capable of being monogamous than a heterosexual person who feels attracted to both blondes and brunettes.

Of course, one might argue that bisexuality and homosexuality, for other reasons, tend away from monogamy and toward polygamy or promiscuity or what have you, but I think it's better to focus on whatever those reasons are than to link bisexuality with polygamy merely because of the logic Kurtz uses.

Mark Brumley

Except that the bi-sexual person can argue that his bi-sexual orientation is insufficiently expressed or is unfulfilled by a marital relationship with one person, whether that person is of the same sex or the other sex.

There are at least two potential meanings to "bi-sexuality": indifference to the gender of the other and desire for union with someone of each gender. Bi-sexuality can mean, "I can be content with one person of either gender." But it can also mean, "I can only be content in a union with both genders." Who is to say that someone who claims his orientation is fulfilled only by "marriage" to members of both genders has an "incorrect" understanding of bi-sexuality?

The bi-sexual person's bi-sexuality, so it will be argued by some, cannot be adequately expressed so long as he is limited to monogamy. He will argue that he is forced by monogamy to live as if he were mono-sexually oriented. In other words, the bi-sexual person will argue, he is forced by the "social convention" of monogamy to "deny who he is", just as the homosexual person argues that he is forced by the "social convention" of "heterosexual marriage" to "deny who he is".

That, it seems to me, is Kurtz's point. If one begins from the premise that every sexual orientation ought to be allowed to be expressed in terms of a "marital union", then it is hard to see why bi-sexual orientation ought not to be expressed by a bi-sexual "marital" union. And "bi-sexual orientation" can mean "orientation to union with two people, one of each gender." But neither homosexual "marriage" nor "heterosexual marriage" is thus expressive. So something else, on this view, would be needed in order to satisfy the alleged needs of the bi-sexual orientation.

Of course the premise is flawed so the conclusion is as well. But granted the premise, the conclusion seems to follow.

Charles R. Williams

I still don't understand how polygamy can be further down the slippery slope than "single sex marriage".

At least consumation is possible for this triple.

Shaun G

I don't think I've ever heard bisexuality defined by anyone -- even within the LGBT community -- as a desire for union with someone of each gender. (Where "union" is understood as a permanent relationship that is exclusive, in the sense that the relationship is limited to those who are part of the contract.)

In my experience, practically everyone, from orthodox Catholics to way-gay activists, differentiates between what is commonly called orientation (e.g. heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) and what one might call "lifestyle" (eg. monogamy, polygamy, casual sex, group sex, celibacy).

Again, this is not to say that one orientation or another is just as likely to tend toward a certain lifestyle.

I'm merely saying that the alternate definition of bisexuality described by Mr. Brumley is not one I've ever come across.

Mark Brumley

Apparently, it has "been come across" in the Netherlands.

Ying L

If everyone in the group can accept it, and they all agree to stay together with no forces. Personally I don't mind polygamy. There is nothing wrong that people love each other or love many people.

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