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(10,960 posts)
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 04:21 PM Dec 2013

Should Polygamy be illegal? [View all]

Last edited Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:11 PM - Edit history (1)

We are not talking about whether any state should recognize plural marriages as legal marriages—none do, and none are going to—but whether personally defined polygamy can properly be criminalized.

(Utah's criminal law against polygamy was recently struck down, hence the question. I have little taste for Mormon fundamentalism but I've always been amazed no federal court had struck it down previously.)

If polygamy should be illegal, how would you define the crime as a matter of law? (Laws must have rigorous, precise definitions of crimes.)

I do not think people forming odd family arrangements should be illegal. (I also do not think anybody should legally recognize self-styled polygamous households as marriages.)

That does not mean it is a good thing or has a good history... one hopes that everyone gets that illegal and "what I don't like" are not supposed to be synonyms.

And if for no other reason, than because it is impossible to define such an offense in a way that doesn't include all sorts of elements that folks would be outraged to see made criminal offenses. (Like the cohabitation of persons whose marriages are not recognized by the state, for starters... something not being a CRIME is not the same as being state sanctioned. We are not talking about whether a state is obliged to recognize such arrangements as a form of marriage, which no state does or is contemplating doing, but whether polygamy should be illegal.)

But since Utah's anti-polygamy laws were only struck down this month, what seemed obvious to me must not have seemed obvious to everyone. I am curious whether anyone is still of a pro-criminalization view, and (much more to the point) how they would describe the offense.

Background: The recent court ruling was essentially that people can live with who they want to live with.

"The court finds the cohabitation prong of the Statute unconstitutional on numerous grounds and strikes it," Waddoups later writes.

Utah's bigamy statute technically survived the ruling. However, Waddoups took a narrow interpretation of the words "marry" and "purports to marry," meaning that bigamy remains illegal only in the literal sense — when someone fraudulently acquires multiple marriage licences.

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Should Polygamy be illegal? [View all] cthulu2016 Dec 2013 OP
It's already sort of illegal now. DanTex Dec 2013 #1
It is more impossible than it is illegal. cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #7
I can't think of any legal reasoning about why it shouldn't be legal penultimate Dec 2013 #2
i go with anything being legal as long as its consenting adults, everyone should be able to suffer loli phabay Dec 2013 #3
I think you and I are at the same place with that. nt stevenleser Dec 2013 #4
No and yes and why the government should not be involved in religious rites at all. Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #5
If the inherent issue of imbalance of power is addressed, I'd be happy to look at the issue. LanternWaste Dec 2013 #6
Amazing looks into this culture. Did you read "Under the Banner of Heaven?" Squinch Dec 2013 #45
I'm almost afraid to read Banner. For me, Shattered Dreams was difficult enough to get through LanternWaste Dec 2013 #48
It is horrible. But it is also fascinating how people allow this handful of men Squinch Dec 2013 #53
Another rec for Under The Banner of Heaven. riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #68
I couldn't care if they married a brick named Eloise. There are other things besides their marriage Squinch Dec 2013 #8
K & R Thinkingabout Dec 2013 #49
There is also an aspect of absolute worship of the few powerful men that inevitably leads to Squinch Dec 2013 #54
Should reverse polygamy be legal? pscot Dec 2013 #9
That would be polyandry. Together they are polyamory. n/t Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #93
A limerick shows the way: riqster Dec 2013 #10
Polygamy as it's mostly practiced today should indeed remain illegal. Sheldon Cooper Dec 2013 #11
None of that has anything to do with the question cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #14
Sorry about your inability to read and comprehend. Sheldon Cooper Dec 2013 #17
Yes, it should be illegal. ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #12
Okay. Can you tackle the second question? cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #16
The lawful marriage ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #27
You are absolutely correct get the red out Dec 2013 #40
Wouldn't be the first ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #42
No, consenting adults should be able to make whatever agreements between themselves as they kelly1mm Dec 2013 #13
You would need an overhaul of a number of other laws jberryhill Dec 2013 #15
There is no question of state recognition in sight. cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #21
Oh, then I don't understand the question jberryhill Dec 2013 #26
But jberryhill's point is an interesting one. There is a question with the majority of the Squinch Dec 2013 #43
No. It should be legal LittleBlue Dec 2013 #18
I am against such accommodation. cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #22
Long-term, I think this will be viewed no differently than gay marriage LittleBlue Dec 2013 #28
The value of one sex comparable to the other get the red out Dec 2013 #37
When I read that, it feels like the rationalizations LittleBlue Dec 2013 #66
Read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by John Krakauer. It's a lot more than "ewwww." Squinch Dec 2013 #67
Actually, I have LittleBlue Dec 2013 #69
So you are aware there is a lot more than "ew" here. Squinch Dec 2013 #70
No. Because I could write a book 100 times as lengthy LittleBlue Dec 2013 #71
Not abuses that encompass women, children and men, Squinch Dec 2013 #73
lol what nonsense LittleBlue Dec 2013 #74
Oh, dear lord. You really are invested in believing that. Squinch Dec 2013 #83
Those aren't institutionalized into the entity of marriage get the red out Dec 2013 #88
No, it doesn't read like that get the red out Dec 2013 #87
No to polygamy. Yes to polyamory. Blue_Adept Dec 2013 #19
If there is informed consent on the part of everyone involved... Lizzie Poppet Dec 2013 #20
How is it informed consent ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #29
Well that wouldn't be informed consent, would it? (nt) Lizzie Poppet Dec 2013 #31
We would jump all over ourselves to claim it was get the red out Dec 2013 #39
The question, though, is an interesting one. In, say, the FLDS, is informed consent possible? Squinch Dec 2013 #55
Only thing I can think of is, people might take advantage of group marriage for tax reasons. Warren DeMontague Dec 2013 #23
No tax implications, since no government recognizes the unions. cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #25
I guess I misunderstood the question, then- Warren DeMontague Dec 2013 #32
I do not see how people living together can be illegal get the red out Dec 2013 #41
Strange this came up when it did... ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #47
No complaints get the red out Dec 2013 #89
Something else not talked about is ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #91
Hmm...it's currently only illegal if the parties attempt MineralMan Dec 2013 #24
"currently" cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #90
Illegal. I can't even begin to imagine how you'd work out the legal contractual problems. riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #30
+1000000 CFLDem Dec 2013 #34
So only a man with many wives? get the red out Dec 2013 #33
What's the difference between polygamy and polyamory? n/t cherokeeprogressive Dec 2013 #35
No. Nor should polyandry. Or, any other combination among consenting adults. Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2013 #36
short of claiming any kind of legal rights and responsibilities arising from the geek tragedy Dec 2013 #38
Sure, adults can marry any other adults they like... Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #44
And the polygamy is a ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #51
Absolutely correct. Assuming we can eliminate that as an issue... Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #57
Of course, but I ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #58
You could be correct. Hopefully we will one day find out. nt Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #62
I don't care what they do, but...... dem in texas Dec 2013 #46
I don't think it's so much about the sex ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #50
I support the rights of consenting adults. Vashta Nerada Dec 2013 #52
If you can find a woman who ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #59
as long as all the participants are consenting adults, no it shouldn't be illegal. liberal_at_heart Dec 2013 #56
I would love to know, ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #60
Are you talking about ones who know they are in one? jberryhill Dec 2013 #61
If they don't know they are in one, ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #65
If you want more information ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #63
Cohabitation is not Illegal On the Road Dec 2013 #64
Cohabitation in many countries Harmony Blue Dec 2013 #75
No, it should not be illegal (nt) bigwillq Dec 2013 #72
No. As long it's between consenting adults. PeteSelman Dec 2013 #76
Hell no. Polygamous communities are unhealthy and abusive lanlady Dec 2013 #77
Consenting adults should be able to marry Blanket Statements Dec 2013 #78
Polygamy doesn't work due to findnacial reasons alone Harmony Blue Dec 2013 #79
What about polyandry? hobbit709 Dec 2013 #80
Yes treestar Dec 2013 #81
No. People should be able to marry whoever they want. MadrasT Dec 2013 #82
It should absolutely be legal Riftaxe Dec 2013 #84
I would agree with you IF ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #92
Right....because forcing men and women Riftaxe Dec 2013 #94
It's not about my ideals... ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #97
Ask the married men you know... KinMd Dec 2013 #85
I was going to go with multiple mothers in law, but that works, too. ManiacJoe Dec 2013 #86
Good point davidpdx Dec 2013 #95
Between consenting adults, quaker bill Dec 2013 #96
No, but only if I could have more than one husband. n/t RebelOne Dec 2013 #98
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