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US Supreme Court reviews Polygamy

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was listening to an article on TV about the laws of polygamy being (or are) under review in the States. Below is some points from the programmes website

Polygamy
A new debate has begun over the controversial practice of polygamy. For over a century it's been a crime to have more than one wife, though thousands of Mormons - who reject the official ban on polygamy by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - still live in secret plural marriages.

Now as the US Supreme court is being asked to decide whether polygamy should be decriminalised, for the first time polygamists themselves are going public - risking jail to defend their lifestyle.


umm.........I can tell you the article got me thinking and whilst it showed two sides of the story - interviews with 2 women in a polygamous relationship and another with an elderly gent with more than 50 children then a review of the case surrounding a leader of a so-called polygamous sect who is due to go on trial in April ( ? I think) and how the children of the group where groomed for sex etc.............I am still pondering about what all this would mean if the law came in ??
post #2 of 21
Warren Jeffs is being tried for sex crimes, involving minors. HIS particular sect "marries" off very young girls (12-16) to older men. He is also being tried for child abuse - girls who resisted these "marriages" were beaten and forced to submit.

There are a lot of polygamists who live quietly, go about their business and stay within the law, as far as children are concerned. Its the cultish ones who get all of the publicity, though.

I once read an excellent book, on this subject and will try to find a link.
post #3 of 21
Well... I'm not really a traditionalist about marriage - I think gay people should be allowed to marry - but I do think that the idea of marriage is two people.. not four or six or ten. I have no problem with a man wanting to be with more than one woman, as long as everyone involved knows exactly what is going on, and gives consent. Obviously I don't support these religous groups that are just a front for dirty old men to get their hands on teenage brides - but if everyone is of age, I think it's their own right to decide who to be with. If they are ok with being a man who also has another, then fine. BUT - I don't think they should be able to MARRY more than one person. To me, marriage is a sacred union between two people. So yes, polygamy should remain illegal.
post #4 of 21
If the law does go into effect (which i highly doubt), I would want it to be both ways.

Men can marry as many women as they want, and women can marry as many men as they want. So the U.S. will just be one big party.

Anyhoo, I doubt this will go into effect as then people for gay marriage will cause a HUGE uproar.

I hear there's an island for sale off of England (old naval base from WWII?). Maybe they can all move there and live happily ever after.
post #5 of 21
The problem with legislating polygamy is that the majority of the polygamists just live together. Maybe they married their first wife, but those that came later weren't married in the legal sense - only within their "church." So legally they just all cohabitated. Since there are no laws about living together or what goes on in the bedroom, their lifestyle is pretty untouchable, legally speaking.

My hubby used to work with some of the cultists in Colorado City, and believe me they know how to squeeze every federal/state dollar to their advantage. Since the majority of the women are legally unmarried, but have lots of kids, they are on welfare. The kids get free meals at school. They don't ever finish building their houses, so they can get a cheaper property tax rate. The list goes on........

The only way this can be controlled is if the young women can escape and press charges for rape. So sad.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Anyhoo, I doubt this will go into effect as then people for gay marriage will cause a HUGE uproar.
so are gay marriages illegal in US ? or only legal in some States ? Where did Elton John get married ?
post #7 of 21
You know, I don't have any huge problem with polygamy or polyandry (women having more than one husband), if it's part of their religious belief system, and their faith dictates that this is what their higher power wants them to do. It's not for me, as I have the traditional view of marriage, but hey, I'm not everyone.

My problem, is how polygamy is done. Women are treated like property, cast out, traded, forced into submission sexually and domestically. Women (many of these "women" are young girls, as young as 10 and 11) are forced to have baby after baby, and once the male children are at a certain age, they are basically driven out of the compound, leaving the female children prey to sexual advances and abuse from the sparse number of men on these polygamist compounds. It's terrible...and all in the name of what they refer to as the sacred "principle." I'm just not into the logistics of how polygamy works, although I know this isn't the scenario for many practicing polygamists...but for many, it is, and the women are without choice.
post #8 of 21
You're right. Women are second class in that environment. And personally I believe that polygamy and bearing as many children as possible has more to do with increasing their numbers for political and financial power than it does any "religious" purpose. And of course, let's not forget the polygamy part is something conjured up by horny men who want "religion, aka God" to bless their horniness by providing them with a stream of willing submissive inferior women. Disgusting.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooficat View Post
so are gay marriages illegal in US ? or only legal in some States ? Where did Elton John get married ?

Gay marriages are recognized in some states (Hawaii, I think Vermont) BUT, federally they are not recognized as such.
post #10 of 21
[quote=Dusty's Mom;1571614]y hubby used to work with some of the cultists in Colorado City, and believe me they know how to squeeze every federal/state dollar to their advantage. Since the majority of the women are legally unmarried, but have lots of kids, they are on welfare. The kids get free meals at school. They don't ever finish building their houses, so they can get a cheaper property tax rate. The list goes on........

QUOTE]
That is what I have always read. I have even looked at the internet to see what the polygamists have to say - they use Scripture very convincingly. But of course, according to them, only men may have multiple partners, never women. They forget that even Satan used Scripture to tempt Jesus
post #11 of 21
Blah, i really dont understand why anyone would want more then one wife, one husband.

dealing with one at time is enough of a problem errr, blessing.
post #12 of 21
There are no polygamists that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They would be excommunicated.

The polygamists like Warren Jeffs is an off-shoot and not connected with the LDS church in any way.
post #13 of 21
http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/suprem...r.ami.clji.pdf

The subject of recognizing a polygamous marriage is definitely of interest to us all. For instance, if it WERE recognized, ALL the parties would be entitled to the same federal benefits and if the husband died, all his wives and their children would be entitled to Social Securities survivors' benefits; so instead of maybe one wife with 2 or 3 children getting paid, there would be that many more payees. And how would it effect insurance, etc.
IMO, that would have a significant impact, much more than legalizing same-sex marriage on the national level.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/suprem...r.ami.clji.pdf

The subject of recognizing a polygamous marriage is definitely of interest to us all. For instance, if it WERE recognized, ALL the parties would be entitled to the same federal benefits and if the husband died, all his wives and their children would be entitled to Social Securities survivors' benefits; so instead of maybe one wife with 2 or 3 children getting paid, there would be that many more payees. And how would it effect insurance, etc.
IMO, that would have a significant impact, much more than legalizing same-sex marriage on the national level.
I never thought of that. You make a good point!
post #15 of 21
This is an excellent book, detailing the history of Mormon polygamy:

http://www.amazon.com/Mormon-Polygam...e=UTF8&s=books

I have read it and found it very enlightening.

This one details one of the more violent polygamist cults:

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Banner-H...e=UTF8&s=books

Amazon has a slew of books, on the topic of Mormon polygamy but, these are the only two that I have read.
post #16 of 21
The LDS church gave up polygamy as a condition for statehood for Utah.

I am against it. JMO
post #17 of 21
I try to be open about the idea of marriage and what it means to different people. I am fully supportive of same-sex marriages. I would not be against polygamist marriages, as far as a man having more than one wife or vice versa. I am against the idea that I have of polygamy... I will admit that my idea comes from what I have seen on tv. I don't really have any other knowledge of it. I don't agree with the 'compound" type set up of families, and the way children are treated in these places either. Again, I don't know how much of what I have seen is a true reflection of the polygamist lifestyle.. but if making polygamy legal is enabling this particular lifestyle, then I am against it.
post #18 of 21
I knew this would snowball. The idea is to really destroy "traditional" marriage between a man and a woman - first the homsexuals - now the polygamists. What next?

The comment regarding benefits - no one wants to even THINK of the nightmare that would cause!
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I knew this would snowball. The idea is to really destroy "traditional" marriage between a man and a woman - first the homsexuals - now the polygamists. What next?
You know I always wonder about things like this. In 500 years time when we are obviously dead and gone, what will things be like, what do we accept today as normal behaviour that in 100, 200, 500 years will be seen as totally unacceptable, crazy, abusive etc...etc.... weird..........
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooficat View Post
so are gay marriages illegal in US ? or only legal in some States ? Where did Elton John get married ?
In England presumably

I have no problem with polygamy- I think anyone who has two wives gets everything he deserves
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle View Post
I try to be open about the idea of marriage and what it means to different people. I am fully supportive of same-sex marriages. I would not be against polygamist marriages, as far as a man having more than one wife or vice versa. I am against the idea that I have of polygamy... I will admit that my idea comes from what I have seen on tv. I don't really have any other knowledge of it. I don't agree with the 'compound" type set up of families, and the way children are treated in these places either. Again, I don't know how much of what I have seen is a true reflection of the polygamist lifestyle.. but if making polygamy legal is enabling this particular lifestyle, then I am against it.
That pretty much sums up my opinions, too. I don't think polygamy/polyandry is necessarily a bad thing, although I would imagine that it would be very difficult to manage relationships with more than one spouse (it's hard enough to manage one relationship with one spouse!). What concerns me are the ways women and children are treated in the more sensationalistic polygamist sects, and that it seldom goes both ways: men can have multiple wives, women cannot have multiple husbands. I also don't believe that people in polygamous marriages marry for love, and while I appreciate that this isn't how everyone does it -- people marry for wealth, for status, for security, for the purposing of having children, and so on -- it still seems rather sad to me. If you can love more than one person, and everyone involved in the relationship is willing to make the effort to make the relationship work ... I guess that's okay with me, however wondrously naive that might make me.
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