Can polygamy be protected under "freedom of religion" under the First Amendment?
Polygamy, the marriage practice involving multiple partners, should be protected as a "freedom of religion" and may even be considered a sexual orientation. The Constitution is a document of negative liberties which prohibits the government from affecting people unless they are expressly given the authority. So, in other words, we should not be asking if polygamy can be protected, we should be asking if government has the authority to ban such a practice. In truth, it does not. Polygamy operates a natural freedom, involving consent of the partners in question. If their religion tolerates or promotes the practice, it should not affect anyone else.
This is not to say that this removes the right of a young girl to not practice said religion. She retains her right to remove herself from their grasp, as well as anyone else involved. Additionally, those that practice the religion, namely polygamy, would be responsible for proving consent at every step that would be considered immoral in normal society, which could be difficult given the age of marriage, often 14.
While I do not personally agree with the morals code of polygamy, I do believe that, as it is a religious practice, it should be included in the first amendment.
I find it hard to believe that a nation which is almost 3/4 christian does not consider polygamy to be a legitimate part of religion. It is not people trying to skirt the law, it is consenting adults who choose to live this way. Throughout much of the bible, polygamy was practiced. Christians, in general, believe in the bible, so how can polygamy not be a legitimate part of religion? It is currently practiced in other parts of the world.
But, it has to be a true belief of that religion. And, those that partake in it must be a part of that religion. In other words, it can't be a made up religion or a convenient explanation. If someone participates in a religion that supports polygamy, who is anyone to tell them that they can't. All individuals are consenting and no harm is done. People have the right to practice their religion, as long as they are not forcing others to be harmed.
Our country was built on the idea of a multitude of freedoms, one of which is freedom of religion. As citizens of the United States, we have the right to choose what, who, and how to exercise our religious rights, as long as our exercising of those rights does not infringe on the rights of another. Polygamy does not hurt or infringe on anyone, therefore it should be protected under the First Amendment.
I don't condone polygamy by any means, but I do think it is a part of the Mormon religion, and should be allowed. It's none of my business what they're conducting within their homes.
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.
The government should not interfere in people's basic rights, and if two women and a man choose to marry and raise children together, this should be their right. If the women and men are adults and the children are treated properly, then this is not harming anyone and it should not be a religious choice but a civil right.
The Founding Fathers knew that one of the reasons this country was formed was to provide and protect individual freedoms. Certainly one of the most important is the freedom to worship/believe in whatever religion suits a citizen.
It does state in the First Amendment that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof." I have also read that ardent strict constructionistsunderstands that the amendment also applies to the President or the courts. Polygamy may not be a "religion", but it is classified as an ordinance of religious practice. Theres that whole free exercise thereof thing right there. What is the deal with polygamy not being protected under the First Amendment?
In humans, polygamy is defined as marriage to more than one person. In some religions, polygamy is an accepted, and sometimes encouraged, practice. That does not, however, make it legal under the laws and codes of the United States. Freedom of religion under the First Amendment refers to the freedom given to individuals and groups to voice their beliefs publicly, but not necessarily the freedom to perform them. Strictly speaking though, marriage is not defined under the First Amendment either, so therefore it cannot be covered under "freedom of religion".
Polygamy is not a religion and most religions would balk at the idea of it being allowed or encouraged and most do, certainly in our Western religions. Polygamy is not a freedom; it is an indoctrination. A mature woman can decide how she wishes to live her life, but it would not be fair to bring up a child to think that this is their only choice and to be part of that religion, that they have to make that choice, to be forced into marrying more than one person. Polygamy should not be tolerated for any reason, it is far too open to abuse. Too many things in this world are 'covered' under the umbrella of religion.
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.
The First Amendment protects individual rights, but not absolutely. Namely, it protects individual rights up until the point where the exercise of those rights harms others. Polygamy should not be protected by the First Amendment, because the practice is inherently harmful. Dividing a relationship as serious as marriage between more than two individuals creates tension, strife, and negativity within the relationship. Polygamous relationships are very seldom entered into with absolute free will - there is almost always some kind of religious indoctrination involved. Since polygamy is inherently harmful, it does not deserve First Amendment protection.
Polygamy cannot be protected under the First Amendments guarantee of freedom of religion. Polygamy is not written into the religious tenets of the religions who practice it. It is a practice espoused by some religious leaders but it is not written into the Bible, Quran or other religious texts that would be protected by the First Amendment.
Polygamy corrupts the morals and standards that the United States has been built on. If polygamy is protected, other "religious" acts will ask to be protected, as well. The country cannot afford to show religious preferences, for the sake of maintaining peace in the country. The government must rise up for the sake of morality.
I'm personally in favor of legalizing polygamy, but it would not be unconstitutional on "freedom of religio?" Grounds. Just because something is done for religious purposes does not make it protected by the constitution. For example, a cult can not legally have human sacrifice just because its religion says so. As long as it is not the religious practice targeted specifically it is constitutional. But, the 14th amendment's equal protection clause and "right to libert?" Of the lawrence v. Texas case might hold some weight.
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?
If under the freedom of religion, polygamy is permitted to exist. Hypothetically speaking, shouldn't human sacrifice be also allowed if someone brings the subject up as his religious duty?
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.
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.
Marriage was created as a bond between a man and a woman. In our culture when a man is married to a woman and sleeps with a different woman it is labeled as adultery. WIth that in mind how could a many having multiple wives not be labeled as an adulterer. I understand that people feel polygamy is part of a religion but our government was founded under a religion that believed that adultery is wrong and our culture agrees with that. This therefore means that polygamy should not be protected.
Marriage and so polygamy cannot be protected under "freedom of religion" because marriage is both a civic and religious institution. Since one must acquire a marriage license from the government before getting married, polygamy goes against civic law and so the freedom of religion provision cannot contradict other laws. Furthermore, there is limited evidence from religious sources such as the Bible supporting polygamy which should be considered when arguing that polygamy if protected under freedom of religion.