Robert George gloats that gay-marriage supporters, in this statement, have finally dropped the veil and blurted out what they really want: plural marriage and other forms of legal recognition for "committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner." Well, the statement is wrongheaded, and it's poorly drafted to boot (don't they mean more than two conjugal partners?), but George nonetheless gets it wrong.
First, there's nothing new here. Left-wing family radicals have been saying all this stuff for years. Second, what they're saying has no particular link to same-sex marriage. Few if any of the signers have been leaders of the gay-marriage movement. In fact, many of them (Judith Stacey and Michael Warner, for instance) have expressed ambivalence or outright hostility toward same-sex marriage. That's because, third, they're not particularly interested in including either plural relationships or same-sex couples in marriage; their agenda is to deinstitutionalize marriage by extending legal recognition to everything else-"conjugal" and otherwise. In other words, they don't want to put gays or polygamists on the marriage pedestal; they want to knock the pedestal over. They'd like to see a world where there'd be little legal or social difference between same-sex marriage and same-sex cohabitation.
Fourth, the likeliest way to get where these folks want to go is by not having gay marriage. The result, over time, will be to create and legitimize alternative family structures, including cohabitation benefits. Not by coincidence, "Beyond Marriage" folks are pointing to the recent string of judicial defeats for SSM as evidence that gay-rights supporters should "rethink and redirect" their energies away from marriage, and toward creating a host of marriage substitutes.
Finally, George claims that gay-marriage advocates "have made no serious effort to answer" the argument that there's no logical way to favor same-sex marriage and hold out against polygamy. On what planet? Here on earth, we have answered early and often-and we're still waiting for a substantive reply. If George wants to bone up, he can start here, here, here, here, and here (where he'll find a whole chapter on the subject).