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Can polygamy be protected under "freedom of religion" under the First Amendment?

  • I Support My Religion

    Polygamy is a part of a religious practice and is more common than you think. Love shouldn't be divided, it should be multiplied. I as a polygamy supporter believe that I should be able to freely express my beliefs. If LGBTQ people can get married, then why can't I get married?

  • Nothing worse than a hypocrite!

    So if my religion allows me to marry 2 wives under freedom of religion i should be able to do so, the world is upside down when you allow a man to marry a man under no religion but you claim freedom of religion and then say a man can't marry 2 wives? And its a known fact that there are more women in the world than men and there is noway every women will have a spouse without the solution of marrying more than 1 woman, God set the system up to be perfect but us humans think we know everything.

  • Compelling state interest?

    This ruling was in 1878, a time when discrimination was the norm and state genocide of Native Americans was law. The court is filled with politicians in robes, then as now. This is targeting a specific religion.

    There is no compelling reason for the state to stop the practice of sincere institutionalized polygamy. It doesn't effect the health, welfare or interests of the state. It is all about the prevailing dominate culture, shoving their values on everyone else, the reason for separating church and state. I don't think that it would wash today. The dominate culture has changed. This was a requirement to be accepted for statehood of a state that was a religious state.

  • Freedom of Religion and the Pursuit of Happiness

    Freedom of Religion and religious practices are part of our constitutional rights. If someone wishes to practice polygamy, any form of it (multiple wives, husbands, anything) then they should be able to if it falls under a religious practice for them. And even without the religious aspect, what about the pursuit of happiness? All humans beings, as said in the declaration of independence, has a right to the pursuit of happiness. If a set of people are happy in a polygamous relationship, then they have the right to that relationship. They're born with that right.

  • Not significant that Polygamy isn't a religion

    Just writing to address the comments that say something like "polygamy isn't a religion so it isn't protected." Religion, by definition, is a collection of practices, so it's more about protecting a set a practices (which polygamy, at least at one time, could be be considered part of Mormanism and even an old part of Christianity). So, when Christians get denied public resources they wish to use for prayer (like a school after hours), they sue to protect their religious practices, not they're religion. *end rant* If we close the government on Sundays, provide for Chaplains in the military, give national religious holidays, kill science in the classroom and a lot of concessions for Christians, not sure why we can't do the same for other religions. As long as there aren't a bunch of social scientists out there saying its terrible for kids, I'm OK with consensual polygamy.

  • Polygamy is a part of the scripture of the Mormon church.

    Plain and simple the scriptures that are used in the Mormon church talk about Plural Wives, their prophet Joseph smith was a polygamist. Unfortunately it is protected under the constitution. I personally do not believe in polygamy but who are we to criticise what consenting adults partake in or what they feel is correct.

  • It is within the words of the Constitution.

    It clearly falls under the First Amendment as previously stated in arguments. It goes with practicing religion (Mormon/ Latter Day Saints) with it have the constitution listing they cannot interfere with religion it must be constitutional because of being part of a religion and the practices of it. For it may not be correct to all of the public it is a belief and should be respected and or not bothered.

  • Constitutional Rights and Free Exercise

    While I find the practice disgusting, the Constitution grants all citizens the right to freely exercise their beliefs. If polygamy is an essential element in a religious practice, it must be protected by the Constitution. The only exception is in the event that the practice is denying someone else of their Constitutional rights.

  • It should be protected it is a religion too.

    Witchcraft is legal and baptist muslim, buddhist, penticost, amish, and so on so why is it fair to ban polygamy? It is a religion too. Its kind of like discrimination. There are many many many people in the bible that are polygamist. This is america and was founded on freedom, freedom of religion also but discriminates against polygamy. So really in all reality we do not have freedom of religion.

  • Polygamy is up to the persons involved

    Polygamy is logical and good for society as a whole. For example it allows for more women to marry and produce children (inside of marriage) in a world were the numbers of women looking to marry outnumber these of men. It is also good for the economy as women who are married are less likely to claim state support. In addition it gives women who would otherwise have little chance at marriage (widows, divorcees, etc.) more options.

  • This is illegal for good reasons!

    It has been well documented that polygamy is linked to the shrinking of a communities gene pool, causing inbreeding to take place. This has occurred in many communities that practiced polygamy, and after only a couple of generations, the gene pool of that particular community shrank so much that cousins were marrying one another. This caused a huge increase in rare genetic disorders. It is banned not only to prevent immorality among a group of people, but to also protect against inbreeding and the shrinking of the gene pool.

  • This is illegal for good reasons!

    It has been well documented that polygamy is linked to the shrinking of a communities gene pool, causing inbreeding to take place. This has occurred in many communities that practiced polygamy, and after only a couple of generations, the gene pool of that particular community shrank so much that cousins were marrying one another. This caused a huge increase in rare genetic disorders. It is banned not only to prevent immorality among a group of people, but to also protect against inbreeding and the shrinking of the gene pool.

  • This isnt okay

    I think that this is wrong because no one deserves the right to marry more than one person. If you love more than one person than you should set the first love free because if you really loved the first one you wouldn't have liked the second one that is why i think that this statement of marrying more than one person is the most untruthful and the most unthinkable thing i have ever seen.

  • No because it is a cult!

    Polygamy is just another negative view of straight marriage. This cult should be banned! Polygamy is the reason how we all got on this earth (not biblical because I'm an atheist). How ELSE did you think we got here? USE PURE LOGIC!!!!!!! IT'S SICK!!!!! I feel too grossed out to date anyone in general!

  • This Was not the intention of the First Amendment

    The intention of the First Amendment was to protect individuals from being persecuted due to their religion. There are limitations, and the line must be drawn somewhere. Freedom of Religion has limitations, and claiming religion for polygamy goes too far. I hope this does not become as out of hand as gay marriage has.

  • No it should not be protected.

    No it should no be legal... If not for the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act put into place in 1862, how would the bloodlines be now? There would be so much inbreeding. I do not have a religion, but I do not think that there should be no religion, some people need it and believe it, but this is pushing the act of what God and church is meant to be for. The Bill of Rights give us many individual rights and freedoms but freedom does not come free there has to be limitations. The second definition of polygamy is a pattern of mating in which an animal has more than one mate of the opposite sex, and that's what these people are acting like.

  • No, because it is not a religion.

    However, I do agree with others mentioning it being a civil right. Polygamy by and of itself is not a religion, therefore, should not be protected by the First Amendment. Other issues involved as well, such as how would such a marriage function? How would the children of such a union be provided for? Would it affect them in their upbringing? If allow, would there be a limit on how many spouses one should have? Should a polygamist marriage be of sisters/brothers or of two different women of different bloodlines? Would bringing someone of the same sex into the relationship be considered? Most importantly, how would such an union be supported and funded?

  • Religion should not be used as a ruse to break the law.

    Polygamy should not be protected by "freedom of religion", because the First Amendment's intent was not for people to try to find a way to get around the laws by claiming religion. If this were the case, any crackpot Charlie Manson wannabe could develop their own extensive religion to justify anything from murder, to dealing drugs, to jay walking. This is definitely not the intention of the First Amendment.

    Posted by: Ment0n3
  • Freedom of religion does not give a person license to commit illegal acts.

    The freedom of religion guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is not an absolute freedom. When the practice of that religion violates the norms of society, the society passes laws to protect itself. For example, it would be possible to claim that conducting human sacrifice would be a religious act, and protected under the freedom of religion section in the First Amendment. But, murder is a crime that society abhors and does not allow. Polygamy is not as extreme of a crime, but the principle still applies.

    Posted by: ddeathnote
  • The First Amendment does not protect all religious expression.

    Just because something is described as a religious "practice" does not make it legal. This may be extreme examples, but human and animal sacrifices are not protected as religious speech. Rape is never protected as a religious practice. Also, free speech has limitations. There are legal consequences for inciting people to violence. So, no. Polygamy is not protected religious expression.

    Posted by: MarriedRudy

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