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When do polygamists get to come out of the shadows?

When do polygamists get to come out of the shadows?

Bringing people “out of the shadows” is the newest greatest.

So what about polygamists?

We’ve addressed this issue before, in a call for intellectual honesty:

An article in in April sparked some heated discussion: Legalize Polygamy!

The author of that article appeared on an Al-Jazeera talk show in late May, Pluralising marriage: Does polygamy have a place in the battle for marriage equality?


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MacsenMcBain | August 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

They get to come out of the shadows when they start voting the right way.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink- say no more!

Beginning with Griswold v. Conn., the courts have essentially destroyed the legal basis for any regulation of any sexual relations between consenting adults. Polygamy and prostitution will become legal everywhere in the US in a surprisingly short time, I would guess less than 20 years. Polygamy can also be defended as a religious liberty issue as well as a privacy issue and equal treatment issue, and the rapidly rising Mormon and Moslem populations can be expected to push this.

There will also be pressure on the age of consent laws. Not too long ago, the most common age of consent in the US was 16, and many states set it as low as 13. Considering the fact that a majority of high school students are sexually active, and thus guilty of statutory rape (and some have been so convicted), 18 will not survive. NAMBLA and Islam unite on this issue.

We can probably continue to sustain laws agains pedophilia (properly and universally defined as sex with prepubescent children) and bestiality, but that’s it.

How long before NAMBLA is made legitimate, or child pornography is called a harmless pastime?

I’m glad I’m 74yo! I’ve reached the point where I don’t think that I can handle anymore of this.

Here’s the thing… you don’t need the gov’t to legitimize being polyamorous. The problem is, you cannot “marry” more than one person and then expect the one person’s employer to then insure 2, 3, 4, or more “spouses”. Shack up with whomever you like. But you don’t get paid benefits for them.

    TugboatPhil in reply to deadrody. | August 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    You mean that you can’t force the employers to do that now. Look for government unions to include multiple spouses in benefit negotiations. Then with marriage having no true definition, look for retiring union members to marry grandchildren so they can pass along their benefits so we can flush the Treasury down the drain even faster than we thought possible.

Professor Jacobson asks for a rational basis. Good luck with getting that. In my decades of “arguing” with today’s modern liberals I find that they rarely use logic or rational thought as a foundation for their arguments. Oh, they certainly believe they use rational thought, but I find emotion and their feelings to be their guiding force.

For the modern liberal the gay marriage issue is all about fairness. And that’s where all thinking stops. Not a single moment is wasted on contemplating “unintended consequences”, or more importantly what logical and rational arguments do they have against polygamy, which most of them claim they are not in favor of, once they redefine marriage.

When confronted with this now, they merely roll their eyes, claim “strawman”, and say that they are not advocating polygamy and that society will be just fine. Case closed, no more thinking.

It will be interesting to see how the liberals who are not in favor of polygamy react in the future when the polygamists use their own emotional arguments of “fairness” and “pushing your morals on others” against them.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Miata Shinsen. | August 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Miata, they will quite promptly forget their prior position, then claim “old news” if they pay any attention at all.

What is it leading to? Why Gay Polygamy, of course.

Permitting, say, 5000 Gay Men to all be married each other in a grand display of ‘Poly-gay-me’

The moral (i.e. principled) position, when there is no moral position, is to normalize all dysfunctional behaviors equally. This includes sexual behaviors, but also premeditated murder without cause or due process (e.g. elective abortion). There is indeed a slippery slope and we are following it with unmitigated greed and obsession.

That said, with a rejection of evolutionary principles as inconvenient, the issue now is the arbitrary and selective discrimination between sexual and other behaviors. With their stand to oppose universal evolutionary fitness, they can no longer offer consistent opposition to any form, kind, or number of union or any other expression of individual will.

Liberty is only suitable, and possible, for men and women capable of self-moderating, responsible behavior.

Forward to dysfunctional convergence.

This is what I have found interesting.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are strongly against (at least male) homosexual relations. Male homosexual relations are now so protected that CA has a law preventing religious people for getting help for Same Sex Attraction.

On the other hand, only Christianity has a problem with Polygamy. Islam and Judaism do not consider it immoral. (Jews of the West have a long-standing custom prohibiting it, but it is not universal, has exceptions, and no-one really knows the reason.) Yet if you practice polygamy, you go to jail. Even in Israel.

This seems backwards.

    n.n in reply to mzk. | August 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Actually, Judaism does not consider polygamy to be a normal behavior. It was practiced by individuals who claimed an adherence to the religion and its underlying faith, but these behaviors are characterized as engendering dysfunctional outcomes (e.g. conflict). The earliest recording in the Torah of coupling between men and women was between Adam and Eve, exclusively.

    Some people firmly believe that just because it can be done, it should be done, even when it requires them to be inconsistent with the principles of their philosophy. For example: the Judeo-Christian faith recognizes the emergence of a unique human life according to the following:

    And the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul.

    This may be from conception, or shortly thereafter (perhaps correlated with the emergence of consciousness or brain activity), but it is certainly long before birth or the ambiguous and arbitrary classification of viability. The Judeo-Christian faith condemns murder (i.e. without cause or due process). It identifies elective abortion (i.e. murder of an innocent human life or living soul) as a dysfunctional behavior and rejects it. Yet men and women who claim to be “Jewish” or “Christian” will express their support and exhibit this behavior anyway.

    As for homosexual behavior, only male homosexual behavior is rejected in the Torah. However, from a purely objective perspective, both male and female homosexual behavior is dysfunctional. Although, the expression of male homosexuality is intrinsically more risky than its female analog. Perhaps the guidance is that a behavior is, as a rule, tolerated, unless there is reason to either normalize or reject it. The underlying principle seems to be related to a need for self-moderating, responsible behavior, which, not coincidentally, is a prerequisite for universal evolutionary fitness and liberty.

      tarheelkate in reply to n.n. | August 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I am by no means an expert on Judaism. However, at a community Bible study some years ago led by a Duke University Bible professor fluent in Hebrew and Greek, the subject of polygamy came up. I asked when the Jews gave up polygamy, since they did still practice it to some extent two thousand years ago (per the historian Josephus). The professor said they never did give it up officially, although most of them became monogamous in practice. At the time of repatriations to the new state of Israel some Jews from places like Yemen came with plural wives.

      mzk in reply to n.n. | August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      I don’t know where you are getting your information from, but there is absolutely no source in traditional Judaism that considers polygamy immoral. Zero. None. Nada. Perhaps your information is from Christian sources?

      Some of the most exemplary righteous people in the Torah had more than one wife.

      The Talmud has numerous theoretical cases of multiple wives, although it does not seem to have been common.

      The author of the basic work of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch, explicitly denies any prohibition. The Rama’s gloss upholds the Western custom to disallow it, but it nowhere does he, or anyone else, state it is immoral.

      In the United States today, there are in fact religious Jews who are technically married to more than one wife under Jewish (but not State) law, although they only live with one. (This can happen, for example, if the man is entitled to a divorce but the wife refuses; the man can if some circumstances get a dispensation from the Western custom against polygamy.)

      mzk in reply to n.n. | August 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      You are also incorrect about female homosexual practice. Traditional Judaism prohibits it as an “abomination of Egypt” (it appears they practiced Gay Marriage) but it is not in any way comparable to the male practice (as Maimonides says, it isn’t Sex).

      You are correct that Judaism prohibits abortion-on-demand, although there is a disagreement as to whether it is murder or what the Christians call Onanism. Abortion to save the mother is required.

      Judaism is not Christianity. Please don’t mix the two up.

Many more cultures have practice polygamy or polyandry throughout history than have practiced homosexual marriage.

If some woman wants to sit at home on her butt all day, smoking cigarettes and drinking “iced tea” and watching Jerry Springer while her six lawyer husbands are working to support her, who am I to judge?

The only thing she needs are ice cubes for the tea and finding six recent law school graduates that have jobs.

    mzk in reply to Anchovy. | August 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    This is true of Polygamy. Polyandry is a fancy word for adultery. Or do you know of advanced cultures that condone it?

      Phillep Harding in reply to mzk. | August 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Define “advanced”. A culture that is a few hundred years old, or a culture that is thousands of years old?

      Is a culture “advanced” because the men wear trousers instead of breech clouts?

      Or, do you mean “technologically advanced”, as if that has anything to do with the subject.

      Mapleblood in reply to mzk. | August 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm


      I’ve seen a documentary on a cultural group in northern India that practices polyandry. It is not uncommon for brothers to marry one woman. The families tend to be economically better off than their neighbors, which is partially a function of having less children per male adult.

      The majority of countries in the world allow some form of “poly-” marriage. Nonetheless, the most common form of marriage is two-person heterosexual.

        I think you will find that both historically and today, permitting polygamy is pretty common and permitting polyandry (except perhaps among the top class) is rare.

        The very large percentage of the world today allow polygamy. What percentage do you think allows polyandry.

As a resident of So. UT for almost 20 years it was very obvious to me that the law turned a blind eye to the FLDS where girls (some as young as 12) were being married off to older men. It was always sad to me to see a young FLDS girl with a baby in her arms and wonder if it was her sibling or her child.

My husband worked at the local paper in St. George, UT (The Spectrum, a Gannett paper) for 16 years as the local news editor (including the years of the Jeffs trials). With all the research he did during that time he found many instances of the “lack of law” in this area and the corruption going on. He wrote ‘plygs’ a fact-based journalistic novel of the FLDS.

As for the “slippery slope” … there should be none. What the people of the FLDS and the AUB practice as their “lifestyle” is SO far from it. People want to look at polygamy along with the LGBT and it is a totally different world. The LGBT just want to marry ONE person and have a life the way other monogamous couples live. The Polygamous world is based on religion. They hide behind it, they survive on the words of a prophet that has ended himself and several others in jail. What good can come of a “religion” that 12, 13, 14 yr old girls are “married” to the “highest bidder” (tithing and favors) within a

Polygamy that is taught through religion is NOT a choice.
They live it or they are forever damned. They live it or they will not see their children in the afterlife. They live it or they will be cast out with nothing… no home, no food, no family, no children, no friends… NOTHING…

Tell me where this is a choice! Tell me how this should be legal! Explain how this is so slippery… those that speak of this slope have NO idea what true polygamy practiced by the FLDS and the AUB and other groups are doing to these women and children… there is no slope… there is a mountain and our politicians are terrified to climb it!

    mzk in reply to CaboCara. | August 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    This may be true of LDS splinters, but it is certainly not necessarily true of other religions.

    PS – I am NOT arguing for legalization of polygamy in the US. I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of criminalizing polygamy of celebrating homosexuality. You do have a very good point in your context.

    BTW, there is a difference between a society that allows polygamy (as Judaism did) and a polygamous society (such as occurs in parts of Islam); the latter often results in a surplus of young men who can be recruited by terrorists.

    Phillep Harding in reply to CaboCara. | August 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Oh, yeah. The religious sorts.

    What happens to the extra boys?

      It’s assumed that women will be the greatest losers when polygamy legalized, but women will develop tactics of navigating the system. It’s the men who stand to lose most.
      …Also, there is a reason why homo sapiens produces roughly equal number of male and female children. Polygamy is an unnatural mode of social organization.

      What happens to the extra boys/men?

      They get ex-communicated. Usually for small, inconsequential stuff, and they have to make a living in the “outside” world, of which they often have no appreciable knowledge and/or skills. But, hey, it reduces competition for the girls, so it’s good for the community, right?

    innocent bystander in reply to CaboCara. | August 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Bob Sykes, I disagree with you about Mormons (see below).
    CaboCara, I agree with you, and thank you.
    Edgeofthesandbox, please read Escape by Carolyn Jessop.

    It is my understanding that the LDS church and the vast majority of Mormons can be expected to continue to strenuously and unwaveringly oppose legalized polygamy. While polygamy was practiced very early in Mormon history, the LDS church banned it in 1890 and reaffirmed that ban in 1904. Only “fundamentalist” splinter groups practice it today. Members of such groups number 20,000 to 60,000, with about half living in polygamous households, according to Wikipedia. That’s about 0.2% of Mormons.

Polygamy is an efficiency. Instead of having serial ex-wives, you could detach simultaneously and save on the legal bills. But, I’m a pragmatist…

The FLDS is small, fortunately. I am more concerned for the nation as a whole about Islamic polygamy. Like the FLDS, the Islamic system is very negative for women.

Polygamy is probably better for women on a whole, but its really bad for society on whole as well. In polygamy, the top 20% of men get to have 3, 4 wives, taking away all the available women for about 50% of the male population. You see in some islamic countries the numbers are even more lopsided. Any of these societies are absurdly dysfunctional and always on the verge of collapse. Men resort on masse to either prostitution or gay sex to alleviate themselves. Polygamy on the whole is extremely vicious to men and by extension to civilization, that is why it is outlawed.

    mzk in reply to imfine. | August 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    As I mentioned, you can allow polygamy without having a polygamous society. Although it is probably just as well the Western countries prohibit it.

I’m (sadly not) amazed at the absurd, ill-informed, and ludicrous comments I’m reading here.

Polygamy is thought of a one man and multiple women. But what about other matrimonial possibilities now that gay marriage is a reality?

You could have 3 men married to each other. Or 5 women. Or put a bisexual slant on it (it’s coming) and you’ve get 3 men and 5 women in one big polygamous/polyandrous marriage.

At the very least, it gives the lawyers something to do.

I guess a form of polygamy is the “Open Relationship” aka A San Francisco Marriage. Which, if I am reading this report correctly, the chance of HIV/AIDS goes UP for gay males in a “committed” relationship???

Sexual Agreements and HIV Risk
Among Gay Male Couples
Colleen Hoff, PhD
Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality,
San Francisco State University

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter