Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seems to suggest that if gay marriage were to be legalized by the Supreme Court the decision could potentially lead to polygamy at some point down the road.
In a recent interview with Larry King, Rumsfeld took a very generational perspective of the issue, asking what comes next if gay marriage is approved by the courts.
"I listen to some of the Supreme Court justices and one of them said, well, what’s next after that? Is it two people? Three people?" Rumsfeld responded when asked by King if he supported gay marriage.
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The polygamy question was also raised in March by the left-leaning Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a President Barack Obama appointee.
"If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what State restrictions could ever exist?," Sotomayor asked former U.S. solicitor general Ted Olson, who was arguing for gay marriage. "Meaning, what State restrictions with respect to the number of people, with respect to . . . the incest laws, the mother and child, assuming that they are the age. I can accept that the State has probably an overbearing interest on — on protecting a child until they’re of age to marry, but what’s left?"
When pressed by King about the gay rights movement, Rumsfeld said he wasn't able to equate today's push for gay rights with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, of which he was a proponent of.
"I was proud of the work that the Congress did in the 1964 legislation and 1965 legislation," Rumsfeld said. "I guess I just don’t equate the two. And it’s not a subject I’m knowledgeable about, and I guess the Rumsfeld Rule here is, 'I don’t know.'"
As for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," Rumsfeld agreed with the decision overall, acknowledging that gays and lesbians have long served in the military and sacrificed alongside heterosexual service members.
"I think it was an idea that its time had arrived," Rumsfeld told King. "I think that implementing it is probably going to be easier in the Air Force than the Navy. I think that ground forces and unit cohesion have got to be very careful about how they implement it so that they don't weaken unit cohesion."
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Rumsfeld, a former captain in the Navy, did not elaborate why it would be more difficult in some branches than others.
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