Group marriage “could plausibly” be legalised as a result of the US Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage in every state, according to a lawyer who identifies as ‘polyamorous’.
Andy Izenson, an attorney who campaigns on gender and sexuality, said that the same legal reasoning from the ruling could be extended to polygamous marriages.
He told Huffington Post that, “as long as you’ve got a consensual union between adults who know what they’re doing, then I think the logic is sound”.
A man in Montana, inspired by the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling, has applied for a licence to legally have two wives.
Nathan Collier, who has appeared in a reality TV show about a polygamist family, is already legally married to one woman and had a religious ceremony to marry a second woman in 2007.
He said: “I have two wives because I love two women and I want my second wife to have the same legal rights and protection as my first.”
He added: “Most people are not us. I am not trying to define what marriage means for anybody else – I am trying to define what marriage means for us.”
Officials initially rejected Collier’s application, but then said they would consult with the county legal officer before making a final decision.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision, Collier said he particularly noted the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice Roberts, who questioned whether the ruling opened the way for state-backed polygamy.
Roberts wrote, “from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions”.
“If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one”.