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Conservatives are right about gay mariage, admits sociologist Peter Berger: there really is a slippery-slope to polyamory .

Anyone with knowledge of American religion will not be surprised that polyamory has become an issue in the Unitarian Universalist Church, ever in the forefront of progressive causes. (A few years ago it proclaimed its headquarters, a building on Beacon Hill in Boston, to be a nuclear-free zone—much to the relief of neighbors worried that an atomic weapon was being put together in the basement.) Some polyamorous UUs (members, that is, of the UUC) discovered that about a fourth of people attending polyamory conferences were also UUs. Accordingly, in 1999 they created an organization, Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (UUPA), with the avowed goal of making Unitarianism the first denomination to endorse polyamory. Denominational headquarters, alas, disagreed, officially declaring that it had nothing to do with UUPA and its purposes. UUPA, by the way, is tax-exempt, suggesting that the Internal Revenue Service holds a progressive edge over the UUC.

Conservative cassandras (please note: I am not one of them) are turning out to be empirically correct, even if one disagrees with their philosophy: once you legitimate same-sex marriage, you open the door to any number of other alternatives to marriage as a union of one man and one woman: polygamous (an interesting question for Muslims in Germany and dissident Mormons in Arizona), polyandrous, polygenerational – perhaps polyspecies?

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