Victor de Bruijn entered into the Netherlands’ first three-way civil union, ‘marrying’ Bianca and Mirjam (courtesty: Brussels Journal)

The Netherlands has legalized polygamy in all but name, granting a civil union to a man and two women.

Victor de Bruijn, 46, of Roosendaal “married” both Bianca, 31, and Mirjam, 35, in a ceremony Friday, the Brussels Journal reported.

“I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,” said de Bruijn who previously was married to Bianca.

The couple met Mirjam Geven two and a half years ago through an Internet chatroom, and eight weeks later Mirjam left her husband to live with Victor and Bianca.

After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry, the Journal reported.

De Bruijn explained: “A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.”

DeBruijn insisted there is no jealousy between the three partners because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual.

“I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult,” he said, noting he is “100 percent heterosexual.”

A fourth person would not be allowed in their marriage, de Bruijn said, emphasizing they want to take their marriage obligations seriously, “to be honest and open with each other and not philander.”

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to recognize same-sex partnerships. In 1998, registered partnerships, or civil unions, were introduced into law. Marriage and adoption was opened to same-sex couples in 2001

In the U.S., some opponents of same-sex marriage – including, notably, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. – have argued acceptance of same-sex marriage will create a slippery slope, leading to the sanctioning of other types of relationships, including polygamy.

In June, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union said polygamy is among the “fundamental rights” her organization will continue to defend.

During a question-and-answer session after a speech at Yale University, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has “defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy.”

Last year, a Utah polygamist, Rodney Holm, appealed convictions for sex offenses to the state Supreme Court, arguing the practice of polygamy is a constitutional right that never produced the social ills claimed by its opponents.

Monogamy is the minority way of life worldwide, the brief said.

“Current demographics, domestic relations law, and religious diversity all accommodate plural marriage,” attorney Rodney Parker wrote.

The appeal cites a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, Lawrence v. Texas, that struck down the sodomy convictions of two Houston men. A majority of the justices said a Texas anti-sodomy law violated the privacy rights of consenting adults.

Holm’s conviction for unlawful sex with a minor stemmed from his 1988 “spiritual” marriage to 16-year-old Ruth Stubbs, with whom he had two children. At the time, Holm was legally married to Stubbs’ sister and had another spiritual wife.

The three were members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which embraces plural marriage.

The Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says it has no connection to the Fundamentalists and officially opposes polygamy.

Related stories:

ACLU defends polygamy

Policeman: Polygamy is constitutional

Half of town’s cops are polygamists

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