Plumb Lines

April 20, 2009

The Two-Marriage Limit

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Schaengold @ 9:32 pm

Yglesias has a suggestion for supporters of traditional marriage:

…if we want to bolster traditional marriage it seems to me that a much more reasonable measure than discrimination would be to say that you only get two divorces. After that, you can go about your business as you please, but no more spouses; you’re clearly not a person capable of making credible commitments.

While it’s question-begging to call opposition to gay marriage “discrimination,” that’s just the state of the discourse these days, so I’ll just say that I agree. Sociologically, this would be a much greater victory for marriage than maintaining whatever is left of the institution’s orientation towards complementary sexual union.

David Schaengold



  1. I know this pertains to religious marriage and not the civil variety, but the Orthodox only allows maximum three marriages (in the event of a marriage ending due to the death of one party, not divorce). And technically the second and third marriages aren’t full marriages since the crowning ceremony is not performed. Furthermore, the third has to be with the blessing of a bishop, too. If that spouse dies, no more marriage.

    Does the Catholic Church have a similar policy?


    Comment by Michael E. van Landingham — April 21, 2009 @ 6:58 am

  2. I don’t think the Church does. You can have unlimited sacramental marriages serially,so long as each dissolution is due to the death of your spouse. Which reminds me of something a friend of mine was told when he got engaged to a Brazilian: “Be forewarned: We’re Catholics, so we don’t believe in divorce. We believe in murder.”

    Comment by Keith Staples — April 21, 2009 @ 8:25 am

  3. […] The Two-Marriage Limit Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith Staples @ 12:37 pm David thinks that establishing a two-marriage limit would “sociologically. . .be a much greater victory […]

    Pingback by Re: The Two-Marriage Limit « Plumb Lines — April 21, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

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