Gay Marriage Will Lead to Polygamy, Roberts Argues, Citing New York Post Story

Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In his unexpectedly fiery dissent in Friday’s marriage equality decision, Chief Justice John Roberts argues that the ruling may clear the way for a constitutional right to polygamy—plural marriages recognized by the state. Roberts writes:

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships? 

Roberts then drops what may be the weirdest citation in Supreme Court history, citing to a New York Post story on a “married lesbian throuple”: 

If that’s his best argument, no wonder he lost.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court.