Posted on | July 12, 2011 | 28 Comments
The New York Times on the slippery-slope beat:
Kody Brown is a proud polygamist, and a relatively famous one. Now Mr. Brown, his four wives and 16 children and stepchildren are going to court to keep from being punished for it. . . .
On Wednesday, the Browns are expected to file a lawsuit to challenge the polygamy law.
The lawsuit is not demanding that states recognize polygamous marriage. Instead, the lawsuit builds on a 2003 United States Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws as unconstitutional intrusions on the “intimate conduct” of consenting adults. It will ask the federal courts to tell states that they cannot punish polygamists for their own “intimate conduct” so long as they are not breaking other laws, like those regarding child abuse, incest or seeking multiple marriage licenses.
And the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, as quoted in Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent:
“[W]e think that our laws and traditions in the past half century are of most relevance here. These references show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.”
What can we say when such an awareness just suddenly starts emerging? And what possible objection can any liberal voice in the matter, without attempting to “impose morality” on Kody Brown and his wives?