And baby makes four....

Our Northern Ireland correspondent brought to my attention this story, about three married Boston lesbians who are expecting their first child.

It may seem odd but the underlying logic seems sound: if marriage is no longer to be confined to a relationship between one man and one woman, the numerical aspect would seem to be no less (perhaps historically even more) negotiable than the traditional gender restrictions.  Why should we not have five women marrying each others, or Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, and Grub being treated as an item in the eyes of the law?

A more interesting question for the future might be: what happens if I want to marry a dog, or a cow, or a giraffe?   Given that human nature, like gender, is now regarded as just one more floating signifier, the basis for trans-species marriages seems plausible.  One might of course respond by saying that the same-sex arrangements above still all assume consent of the parties, however many individuals may be involved.   But why would we need animal consent?  Animal consent is not required under the law formolesworth_reasonably_small.jpg slaughtering livestock for food and I am guessing most turkeys, given the choice of marrying someone or being eaten by them, might well choose the former option.  Indeed, I am not sure on what grounds one can object to trans-species marriage, if the human party regards it as personally fulfilling and was,to quote Lady Gaga, born that way.  Animals have no say in whether they get eaten; why would we grant them that privilege relative to marriage?

When it reaches the statute books -- and I predict it will -- remember folks: you heard it here first.