After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last Friday that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to get married, Chief Justice John Roberts and many other have argued that the reasoning used by the court to justify the right to same-sex marriage gives “no reason” why plural unions should be banned.
Although the ideas of people legally marrying more than one partner and married couples adding other love interests to their state-recognized marriages might seem far-fetched, Roberts’ gay marriage dissent makes the case that the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, all but sets a precedent that could lead the nation down the slippery slope to the legalization of polygamy, also known as polyamory.
However, whatever the outcome of polygamy in America, the polygamist’s right to multiple recognized marriages, which has been termed the “next horizon of social liberalism” by liberal political commentator Fredrik deBoer in op-ed for Politico, is something that individuals are already attempting to achieve in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
On Tuesday, Nathan Collier, a former Mormon in Helena, Montana who was excommunicated for polygamy, submitted an application to the Yellowstone County Courthouse so that he can be legally married to his “two wives,” Victoria and Christina.
Although Montana, like the other 49 states, bans polygamy, Collier, who was inspired by the high court’s ruling, said he plans to sue the state if his application is denied. Officials at the county clerk’s office initially denied Collier’s request but later said they need to take it up with an attorney before approving or denying his application. “It’s all about marriage equality,” Collier told The Associated Press. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”