Archbishop Dolan correctly notes that within days of the New York State legislature’s decision to affirm homosexual marriage, some enthusiasts were already upping the ante, asking us to consider “nonmonogamy.” Dolan’s critics think he is falsely sounding the alarm. He isn’t.
When the U.S. Supreme Court rejected precedent and decided to invent a right to sodomy (see Lawrence v. Texas, 2003), Justice Scalia wrote in dissent that everything from bigamy or worse could now be justified in light of this ruling. After all, if moral choice is the only operative principle, then on what basis can we tell Sam and Sally, brother and sister, that they cannot marry?
This is not a matter of idle speculation: in the wake of Lawrence, attempts to legalize polygamy and incest were made, and it is just a matter of time before some enlightened judge decides it’s necessary to break new ground.
If anything, Archbishop Dolan understates the problem.
Five years ago, hundreds of prominent professors, lawyers, writers and activists signed a statement, “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families & Relationships,” that was a veritable declaration of war on marriage. Every conceivable relationship was to merit state approval. For example, it said, “Queer couples and siblings who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households,” should be afforded the same protections as marriage, traditionally understood. These zealots even went so far as to say that such arrangements should be given private [read: religious] recognition.
Archbishop Dolan did us a favor by issuing this wake-up call. Sadly, he does not exaggerate, not by one bit.