A man in the mid to late 1800's by the name of Brigham Young openly practiced polygamy and was married to fifteen different women at the same time. He once said that in his own personal opinion that and might I add he must have strongly believed it with all the conviction in his mind, heart and soul that it is better for a woman to be the third wife of a man that loves and cares for her, than it would be for her to be the first wife of a man who beats her and does not love her. I am not sure if those were his exact words verbatim, but the message in itself I believe should be able to speak volumes about the favorable qualities that polygamy can bring about in the eyes of society. Anyone who claims to be a devout Christian who reads the Bible will be able to know then that one of God's own prophets Abraham had more than wife. The name of that other wifes name was Hagar. Polygamy helps women in the fact that if a woman is in an abusive relationship with her husband, she is spirtitually free to decide for her own safetys sake to leave her husband and be with a man that will truly treat her the way she deserves to be treated. Plus, on another note, The First Amendment guarantees the right to freely assemble and gather to freely practice one's own choice of religious faith according to the dictates of their own conscience. That is even stated in the Constitution of the United States of America. So, I have two questions. First, why does it seem that people blindly disregard that fact when it comes to religion and the practice of polygamy? And, secondly why is it that if it is a concept of religion which government is to be neutral when it comes to religion, then why was polygamy met with such persecution in the first place to be unprotected by the First Amendment?
The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech and the press, and interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. In the United States, we are allowed to practice any religion we choose. Polygamy is allowed by Muslims and Fundamentalist Mormons. If polygamy is a part of a persons religion, they are not harming anyone, and enter into the polygamous marriage as consenting adults, then there isn't anything wrong with it. Legalizing polygamy would also put a stop to people claiming to be single parents and cheating the welfare and tax systems, which is a common practice among polygamists, as stated here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_North_America.
Marriage is a very very personal and intimate thing. Therefore everything related to it deserve freedom. Polygamy is only a type of marriage condition and it should be considered as such. But a law about getting the consent of first wife should made.
I think it would be very hard to enforce anti polygamy laws appropriately, because you would be taking away the main provider for the family if you put the husband/father in jail and you would be taking away from the children if you were to put the mothers in jail. It would be very hard to find a way to enforce these laws without breaking up a family to some extent.
Marriage itself is a religious concept, so the way people marry or the amount in a marriage should not be the states concern. I think men and women should be allowed multiple spouses if they can handle it.
It is my opinion that it is impossible to enforce anti-polygamy laws because there are those who have religious beliefs that they think entitle them to this lifestyle and that this supersedes civil or criminal law. Many of these people live apart from the general population and are hard to find, making enforcement difficult. The belief by some in polygamy has been going on since the beginning of time, and it would be very difficult to eliminate it completely from our society.
Polygamy is an issue that pertains to religious freedom or freedom of association as mentioned in the first amendment. The right to practice polygamy should be a constitutional right guaranteed by the first amendment. I believe liberty is essential for societal progress and the flourishing of human happiness. Interfering with people's rights by conservatives who insist on trying to maintain the status quo through lobbying the government and thwarting the civil liberties of others violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Using religion to persuade government to criminalize behaviors that are deemed "sinful" violates the separation of church and state and violates the constitutional rights of others. Religion is an insidious force that continually interferes with the negative liberty of others and this must be stopped to mitigate theocratic minglings with our secular government.
Marriage in itself is a religious rite, so any attempt to restrict the definition is an infringement on freedom of religion. Just because the majority of people believe it is wrong does not justify restricting the beliefs of others. Even in the Bible it was never forbidden, in fact many of the men of God had multiple wives, including King David "a man after God's own heart."
1. No one as the right to mind others businesses and then act.
2. It is consensual.
3. It isn't forcing anyone else to marry this way.
4. It's not violating anyone Else's rights.
5. And especially 5, No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to define marriage in any way.
It is very bad how "society" "can" get away with these bad laws with there corrupted minding other people's businesses minds.
Marriage is supposed to be a private, happy, loving rights and it shocks me how lot's of people want this illegal for no real reason.
Because the First Amendment prohibits laws that interfere with the establishment and operations of a religion, I do believe that, so long as all marriages are otherwise legal and consensual, that polygamy should be protected under the First Amendment.
The United States was founded on the belief that the nuclear family was correct. We've created our business structure based on this and our society has managed to thrive while encouraging the nuclear family. Polygamy would completely ruin the structure that our forefathers created and would, in reality, cause a breakdown of our taxation system and the fledgling insurance system that the country is trying to create. Instead of paying for a man, his wife, and his two kids, the government would have to insure a man, his three wives, and his six children, which takes the insured from four, to ten.
As we have seen in other countries, the choice to veer away from the nuclear family (as in Sweden), has resulted in a mass breakdown of societal function and government. Should we choose to accept polygamy as a norm, we should not expect to get different results.
In a land where religious freedom is a right that we brag about, people really can't be stopped from committing polygamy - in the name of religion. To tell someone that they are not free to practice their religion - even though they are not harming anyone or anything, and everyone involved is consenting - goes against what this country stands for. Polygamy is a way of life for people of a certain religion. It is their right, and these folks do not cause a danger to society. So, polygamy would never measure high on the priority list of laws that need to be strictly enforced.
There are many things that some people claim are part of their religious beliefs that are illegal. Some people sacrifice animals. Some people handle poisonous snakes. Some people believe in the honor killing of females that have disgraced the family honor. Just because a person has a religious belief, that does not mean any action is held to be legal if it can be argued it is part of their religion. The Constitution and the bill of rights is a delicate balance that can never swing too far in either direction.
Polygamy is harmful for many reasons: first, it is unnatural in most circumstances for women and children to share their husband/father with other women and children. This situation causes trauma and extremely difficult emotions and situations for most normal people. Second, if polygamy was practiced widely a large pool of unmarried men would form which would create many problems such as increases in crime and rape (this is proven in societal studies). Third, in societies where polygamy is practiced women inequality between men and women and men and other men is strongly supported. Equality between the sexes and in society in general requires a monogamous marriage structure (there are studies proving this as well). Fourth, children in polygamist families get much less parenting time from fathers. Studies show that children of polygamists are less likely to survive childhood and are more emotionally unstable. there are many reasons why polygamy is not good for society at large. It is important for our society to not support polygamy.
Legalize it, yes. But "polygamy" is not a first amendment issue. Saying it is would be like saying if I start a cult that requires child sacrifice that then child sacrifice turns into a first amendment issue. If the law said only religious polygamy was illegal, then we'd have a first amendment issue.
But I still think when it involves consenting adults it should be legal. People will live how they want anyways, why not let them put it in writing?
People on this site need to get a dictionary. The definition of "polygamy" is marrying more than one person, not forcing someone to be married. Forced marriage can go on in monogamy too. Legalizing polygamy does NOT automatically mean that we need to legalize forced marriage, or child marriage, or anything else that people tend to mentally stereotype as polygamist. The media picks up on "if it bleeds it leads" so of course those are the kinds of polygamists we see on TV. Those kinds of polygamists would not have any easier of a time if adult consentual polygamy was legal, because their other crimes would still be crimes. Legalizing polygamy would only help polygamists that are adults and consenting to the marriage.
The First Amendment promotes freedom of religion, yet the country would never let this amendment stand to protect marrying children. Just because a religion supports something does not mean that it is okay for this country. Polygamy can infringe on a woman's rights, especially those who are forced into marriage, and their rights should take precedence over the religion's rights.
I don't think that polygamy should be protected under the First Amendment, as I believe that the government should stay out of the marriage issue. Marriage should be treated as a contract and as such, polygamy should be allowed, but on a civil basis. It is each person's business how they want to live their life.
The First Amendment specifies a number of rights of citizens, but none of them include marriage (single or multiple). Whether or not the US government or individual states determine polygamy to be legal, it is not based upon any inalienable rights pondered by our forefathers. Although I think examining the meaning of marriage is valuable, it can not be based on the First Amendment.
In some religions, it is common to be married to more than one person. Although the First Amendment provides freedom of religion, I do believe that many people who married multiple partners for other reasons would feign an interest and belief in a particular religion, if confronted about their multiple marriages.
I do not agree with polygamy. I think it is wrong for men to have more than one wife, and children with several wives. I do think people should have certain freedoms, but I do not think polygamy is one of them. They are just using religion to justify having more than one wife. That would be like someone starting a religion saying that it is OK to steal from people. Are we going to protect these people, because that is what their religion believes? Why should polygamy be any different? It is against the law to have more than one wife, so I don't think they should be above the law because of their religious beliefs.