Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Polygamy Lawsuit In The Works

Today, the New York Times ran an article detailing a lawsuit that will be filed on Wednesday regarding polygamous relationships. Kody Brown of Utah, his one wife though civil marriage, and his three "sister wives", claim that Utah's ban on polygamous conduct violates the precedent set in Lawrence v. Texas. From the Times, 
The lawsuit is not demanding that states recognize polygamous marriage. Instead, the lawsuit builds on a 2003 United States Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws as unconstitutional intrusions on the “intimate conduct” of consenting adults. It will ask the federal courts to tell states that they cannot punish polygamists for their own “intimate conduct” so long as they are not breaking other laws, like those regarding child abuse, incest or seeking multiple marriage licenses.
Making polygamous unions illegal, they argue, violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the free exercise, establishment, free speech and freedom of association clauses of the First Amendment.
“We only wish to live our private lives according to our beliefs,” Mr. Brown said in a statement provided by his lead attorney, Jonathan Turley, who is a law professor at George Washington University.
Of course, we will be hearing organizations like NOM, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, etc., start caterwauling about "slippery slopes" and the decent of the "marriage culture". To them, decriminalization of polygamy will only be another nail in the coffin of the traditional definition of marriage and sexual morality...and its all those gays fault. If it hadn't been for the gays and lesbians, there would be no arguments in present day society regarding polygamy whatsoever. This though, flies in the face of the fact that polygamy has been around far longer than "one-man, one-woman marriage", has been an accepted cultural practice all around the world, and was being debated in the U.S.(1800's) far before the issue of marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

Kudos to Mr. Brown for his lawsuit. As long as the family is not breaking any other laws, I see no reason for the state to deem itself worthy to regulate personal relationships...whether it be marriage equality for LGBT people, or decriminalization of polygamy. What do you all think? Is decriminalization of polygamy a good thing? Should the government have a ban on polygamous conduct?

1 comment:

  1. What a scam. Who knew that bigamy included not only filing multiple marriage licenses concurrently, but also cohabitation? So if he lives with the mothers of his kids under one roof, a man is potentially guilty of bigamy. If he has a wife and kids in one house and a girlfriend and kids in another, he's not guilty of bigamy. Make you wonder what would happen if he kept his wife and girlfriend one either side of a duplex...

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