Opponents of gay marriage have often raised the specter that it will inevitably lead to the legalization of polygamy. This has been an effective tactic because while homosexuality has enjoyed growing social acceptance, polygamy remains unpopular.
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer explained in a 2006 Washington Post editorial how the legalization of polygamy follows logically from gay marriage:
After all, if traditional marriage is defined as the union of (1) two people of (2) opposite gender, and if, as advocates of gay marriage insist, the gender requirement is nothing but prejudice, exclusion and an arbitrary denial of one’s autonomous choices in love, then the first requirement — the number restriction (two and only two) — is a similarly arbitrary, discriminatory and indefensible denial of individual choice.
The relative success of gay marriage, it seems, has already inspired new efforts to legalize polygamy. Last week, George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley filed a legal challenge to Utah’s anti-polygamy statutes on behalf of his plaintiffs, Kody Brown and his four wives. The Browns are the subject of the hit reality show “Sister Wives.”