Legalize polygamy


I have been struggling to write a response to the story on polygamy in the June 11 issue of HCN ("The Darkest Shade of Polygamy"). I don't condone immoral behavior, yet I am astounded by the blatantly negative attitude. While the focus of the article was on the extreme practices by this particular sect, its tone implied that polygamy is evil and should be prosecuted. I can't agree with that. 

It's difficult for me to understand why it's OK to be gay in San Francisco (or anywhere else) and not OK to be a polygamist in Utah. The country is increasingly more accepting of a variety of relationships. Polyamory, the concept of multiple loving relationships, is emerging.

Polygamists have been forced to live outside of the legal system, and as such, will establish their own rules. I'm not for or against polygamy, but I have had discussions with polygamist women in which I have been impressed by their contentment. Some years ago, I realized my Irish ancestors were polygamists: The Annals of Ireland spoke about building alliances between adjoining tribes through multiple marriages and warriors taking in their brother's wife and children when he was killed in war. Polygamy is also common in biblical stories.

I suggest it's time to recognize that some people wish to live in plural marriage. Legalize polygamy among consenting adults. Bring those people who practice plural marriage into legitimate society. Then enforce the societal consensus that it's not OK to marry minor girls to old men. Beyond that, let's live our own lives and mind our own business.

Jim McMahon,
Brookside, Utah

Cara Kociela
Cara Kociela
Jul 31, 2012 11:48 AM
Good question Jim. Why do polygamists on the Utah-Arizona border live outside of the law? Because they are breaking the law. First of all, polygamy and bigamy are still offenses. Most importantly, the lifestyle and culture of the community is based on breaking the law, from the widespread abuse of the government welfare system, which they call "Bleeding the Beast," to the sexual abuse of little girls. It's OK to be gay in San Francisco or anywhere else because the gay community does not perpetrate fraud to collect food stamps, health benefits and other forms of welfare. The gay community does not participate in the sexual abuse of children (that is called pedophilia, not homosexuality, and the two do not intersect.) Polygamy was, and is, practiced in a number of cultures. The moral decision is personal, to be sure, and the activities of consenting adults should be a private matter. Human sacrifice was once also a part of religion and culture. However, does that mean because it is somebody's religious belief and it gives pleasure to some that we should, as a matter of the First Amendment, allow it in today's world? Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has handed down a policy, instructing county attorneys not to prosecute those who practice polygamy. What has this done? It has closed the society, making it even more secretive. In effect, it allows the followers to practice polygamy at will, which translates into the belief that the State of Utah condones the actions of the followers of the FLDS church, further enabling them to engage in their illegal and immoral conduct with young girls. Cause and effect: Since nobody is watching, we can do as we wish. A new book called 'plygs' takes a look into this community. Perhaps it will enlighten your perspective.
Ashley Hennefer
Ashley Hennefer
Jul 31, 2012 03:49 PM
I think comparing polygamy with being gay is incredibly offensive, and that argument cannot be used to justify polygamy. Polygamy is a lifestyle choice, one founded on many years of sexism, sexual abuse and oppression. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice--it is how many people are born. Being in a monogamist gay relationship is no different than being in a heterosexual one, so that's a moot point. Also, polygamy is rooted in religious practices, where as homosexuality is not. But as the previous commenter remarked--not all religious practices should be respected.

Polyamory is also very different from polygamy, and is no less a valid way for consenting adults to live their lives. It does not have the same sexist behavior inherent in polygamy, which continuously places women below men. There is a reason polygamy is about one man with several wives.

I suggest reading "The Ethical Slut," just because that is the polyamory text I'm most familiar with, but I know there are many other good ones that can help educate you about the dynamics and ethics of polyamory. I would also reevaluate your notion of how it is "OK to be gay in San Francisco"--it should be okay EVERYWHERE. It's 2012. This letter feels like it's from the 1800s.
Hakam Echad
Hakam Echad
Sep 12, 2013 02:27 PM
First of all, the United States of America, with its Federal Reserve Central Banking System, is a Debt Reciprocal Fiction which enslaves all who use the Federal Reserve Bank Notes. Every court ruling for the past 100 years, from the U.S. Supreme Court, on down, has been in support of "what is good for corporatism and the corporatocracy." Individual freedom and liberty is a falsehood, a pretext marketed by the elite who use egalitarianism to deceive all men. No man, or woman, receives rights from another group of men, slavery yes, but not freedom and liberty. Autarchy is the basis of freedom and liberty, it simply means, "RULE OF ONE", you.

Now, to these comments that these women, with an obvious ax to grind. It is none of their business, what others do with their lives, as long as they are of the age to make mature decisions. If we simply stopped thinking that we have to do what others tell us, so we can be free, we'd be free.

Live your own life, obey Elohim, and be moral; and do not accept polyarchy - for one minute - as a way of life.

Remember, the elite do not speak for us, they speak for the good of the system, which serves them.