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You know someone who is gay, but do you know a polygamist?

Published July 10, 2013 9:53 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court made largely favorable rulings for gay marriage last month, there has been hope in some quarters, even predictions, that polygamy is next.

The thinking, by people favoring polygamy and opposing it, seems to be the court has started a slippery slope, and the slope's next ledge is allowing plural marriage.

Maybe that is where the law is going. But I see one big political science difference between gay marriage and polygamy.

It's said one thing that boosted gay marriage supporters is the personalization of the issue. Gays and lesbians came out, expressed their love for their partners and shared their stories with friends and family. This was so effective, some are wondering if this form of sharing can bolster other social causes.

It helps, of course, when the petitioners have the manpower to reach so many people. Which is where polygamists have a problem.

You can find gay people everywhere. Polygamists? It's a small group. And at the moment, people on the left and right can find something they don't like about them.

Sure, some television shows have introduced us to polygamists. But that's different than the unlikely scenario of someone in Maryland or Iowa celebrating Thanksgiving and having a niece or nephew say that he or she is a polygamist. And I don't see many threesomes or foursomes lining up on the steps of San Francisco's city hall waiting for the mayor to marry them.

So how about it? If polygamists were to make more personal connections, would that influence public opinion of plural marriage? Tell us below or on our Twitter account.

— Nate Carlisle