This is classic gumbyism. The executive director of The Minnesota Catholic Conference, Jason Adkins, was certainly born quite a few branches down on the tree of evolution when it comes to the development of human thought and reasoning.

ADKINS: It’s about preserving an important institution. When you’re talking about marriage and changing the definition of marriage, you’re not creating a separate institution called same-sex marriage. You’re in fact redefining marriage for everyone. There’s little reason why you’d limit it to two people at all. What if a bisexual wants a partner of each kind, a man and a woman? Are you leaving that group out?

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GUMBY OF THE DAY — 18 Comments

  1. Kind of like Chinese Take Away…choose one from Column A and two from Column B…and with three you get egg roll.

  2. It is fascinating that Adkins and his ilk equate relationship with sexual orientation and attraction. If I cared, I would wonder about the nature of their own marriages.

  3. OK, IMHO the state should get out of the marriage business – marriage is a sacrament and let individual denominations define the requirements for participation as they will… Let the state sanction legal domestic arrangments…and not get concerned with whether those arrangements involve romantic connection or not…

    So…that said. Playing devil’s advocate here, what exactly IS the rationale for why three individuals could not decide to “marry?” Why shouldn’t there be polygamy if all the involved are adults?

  4. If I cared, I would wonder about the nature of their own marriages.


    Back in the Great Summer of Marriage in California 2008, I saw a cartoon where some hets were intimidated by the sheer FABULOUSNESS of same-sex weddings…

    …but it’s really about more than the Big Day. It IS about how same-sex marriages may well show up the nature of the phobes’ OWN marriages as sadly lacking. >:-/

  5. No takers? I’m not looking for an argument at all…I’m just curious how we draw a bigger circle that includes two same gendered folk in a loving committed relationship, but we exclude beyond a pair and I don’t know what the answer is to that…

  6. OK, I’ll bite. Because most studies I know of have shown that there is no truly equal relationship between 3 people who all love the other two the same. Because there is always some imbalance, some jealousy, some inequality, some unhealthy emotional price to pay.

    OK, we know about studies! But until there is convincing evidence that genuinely equal and happy threesome relations exist I would be very unhappy about permitting them officially.

  7. Thanks, Erika, so are you saying then that most couples represent “genuinely equal and happy relations?” It would seem that this argument is akin to the argument that a man and woman can procreate, therefore…however, many heterosexual couples are not able to or choose not to procreate…so does that weaken that argument?

    I just don’t know what the honest answer is to the folks who challenge expanding “marriage” to include same gender couples with the argument of why we would exclude other combinations of human relations (e.g., polygamy)…

    Of course, they are using these other relations to show how abhorrent all the abnormal variations are…yet…all I tend to here when polygamy is brought up is – well, of course not, polygamy is wrong…you can’t marry more than one person. Yet that is how it sounds to the nay sayers, — but a man can’t marry a man, you can’t do that…

    Do you understand my confusion? I’m not in anyway against the progress we have made, I just wonder about our arguments, that’s all.

  8. I don’t want to get rid of traditional morality. I want to include everyone within it. It has long been my belief that Christians caused the AIDS epidemic in the gay population because they forced gay people to live outside of traditional morality. Of course, many gay people would still choose promiscuity but in that they are no different from many straight people. But I think that anybody who wishes to follow a morality based on the lifelong commitment between two people should be allowed to. Polygamy is based on inequality. The fact that it is usually one man with multiple wives proves this. It’s just another example of the rich and the mean getting more than everyone else just because they are richer and/or meaner.

  9. It still seems like we’re trying to argue it both ways. MP, you talk of “traditional morality” – but that in and of itself would go against gay sexuality…

    And the Old Testament is full of polygamy given the extreme patriarchy of the times.

    Mind you, I’m not arguing for patriarchy, I just don’t think we have a solid answer for Gumby’s like this.

  10. you talk of “traditional morality” – but that in and of itself would go against gay sexuality

    No. Morality is based on universal principles whilst sexual orientation is a specific thing. In fact, the reason I do not consider gay sex to be sinful is because to class it as such would go against universal principles regarding love and other stuff. I have explained in the past how I do not regard any act as sinful only harmful consequences. I am not in the slightest bit convinced that polygamy is non-abusive. So, in my thinking it should be avoided, like adultery and promiscuity should be avoided, because of the high risk of harmful consequences.

  11. Remember I’m not arguing with you, but you state that same gender relations are moral based on universal truth and many would argue the exact opposite. Regardless we are pushing for an expanded definition of marriage.

    Now we may agree that polygamy is exploitive and patriarchal, yet it exists in non western cultures and even in some western sub-cultures (both Christian and Jewish). So it could be argued that our universal morality is in fact relative to our own cultural prejudices.

    This is the problem I have with our response to the gumbys. Perhaps rather than trying to make a moral argument we should simply embrace the cultural relativism – we demand the expansion of the definition of marriage because within our culture significant numbers of same gender couples exist and are already “married” in every way but legal recognition.

  12. I’m not saying anything about universal truth. What I’m saying is that there is a difference in kind between a moral statement such as “Don’t hurt anybody” and a legalistic statement such as “Gay people must not be allowed to marry each other.” People who believe that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry base their belief on an underlying moral principle (not natural for example). There is not a stand alone moral principle that states gay people shouldn’t marry.

  13. Ok, and the moral truth against polygamy from our cultural view is that it is not an equal situation, male over female, hierarchy amongst wives, etc. One could bring in the age issues in the sub-culture…I can wrap my brain around that argument. Thanks.

  14. There is a lot of evidence that shows that (in general) legally acknowledged, binding, long term faithful relationships between two people are healthier for all concerned than any other form of relationship(s). I think we would need to get a lot more information regarding the health of “true and equal” polyamorous relationships before we could even begin to discuss whether or not they fit within the definition of marriage we generally hold to around here.

  15. Yes, I agree. Like I said, I was struggling to understand the argument we make to the gumbys of the world when they toss out the “what’s next? – polygamy?” red herring…