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