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Marriage Equality

More Panic From the Right: Polygamy, Religious Persecution

More Panic From the Right: Polygamy, Religious Persecution


The over-the-top reactions to today's Supreme Court rulings continue.

Hyperbolic reactions from right-wing commentators regarding today's Supreme Court rulings continue to flow, with many of them claiming (erroneously) that the decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 will interfere with religious freedom, and some raising the specter of polygamy.

"You are about to lose your right to have your church say I'm not gonna marry homosexual couples. ... What they're gonna ask you to do is deny the Bible," said
Glenn Beck on his radio show, also bringing up the old saw that legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to polygamous marriage: "You can't change one variable without the other." contributor John Nolte wrote in a blog post today that because of the rulings, "We no longer have an argument against polygamy. All the arguments that won the day on the issue of same-sex marriage directly apply to the idea of polygamy: Why shouldn't more than two consenting adults who wish to, not be allowed to get married?" He further contended, "I am not comparing polygamy to same-sex marriage, and I am not even arguing against same-sex marriage. This is merely an intellectual exercise."

Meanwhile, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer tweeted, "The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable."

Laura Ingraham, on her eponymous radio show, asserted that she's for granting same-sex couples rights through civil unions, but with same-sex marriage at issue, she worries, "from the Catholic perspective ... that the culture as it's developing turns us into the persona non grata of the moment."

Penny Nancy, CEO of Concerned Women for America, issued a statement saying, "While the justices sit in their high chairs, these decisions will have very real-life consequences for American families, especially as it relates to our religious liberties. Those who hold a biblical view of marriage can expect much persecution from the government in the years to come. In addition the 38 states that have affirmed the traditional definition of marriage can expect to be dragged into future courts. The justices have thrust us into another life-long battle for religious freedom and a bitter dispute for truth, just as they did with Roe."

David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, which is opposing a marriage equality bill in that state, also claimed religious people would be oppressed. "These rulings advance the homosexual political agenda, and will lead to more anti-religious bigotry and persecution," he said in a statement on the group's website. "While conservative people of faith and moral conscience should be able to freely exercise their religious beliefs, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, these newly manufactured rights are being used to quash individual liberties."

Mat Staver, chairman of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel, called the rulings "the height of hubris" in an online post. "Today, the United States Supreme Court has lost its legitimacy as an arbiter of the Constitution and the rule of law," Staver said on website. "Today is the death of the court's legacy, because the decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act case defies logic and is a pure invention of a handful of justices."

And the ever-reliable Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program that the decisions were part of "the disintegration of the United States" and claimed to a caller, ahistorically, that "nobody in this country has ever been denied the right to get married." He later admitted there have been some "qualifications" on that.

Media Matters for America has audio of several of the radio talkers and some other links.

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