Keep the Government Out of People's Personal lives I think that men who practice it unjustly, especially in middle-eastern communities, like Afghanistan give a distorted view of the practice. People have have told me that they practice it because the system is so corrupt that the men can do what they want. First of all this is not true, Muslim men are allowed to practice polygamy according to Sharia law, but this requires they treat all women fairly. Further, even if this is was the cause, it is still does not justify a prohibition of the practice or a reason not to legalize it. Corruption and old-fashioned patriarchal societies, which have historically treated women unfairly, may cause polygamy, but this does not mean that polygamy causes corruption or oppression of women. Historically, the model for polygamy can be taken as somewhat sexist, in this sense that there were and still are societies where men take women as property. However, the sexism in these cultures would have existed, and in fact, persisted, even when polygamy was outlawed. Blaming polygamy as the cause of oppression is wrong; there may be a correlation, but this does not imply causation. What really needs to be done in the case of polygamy is for it to be modernized, just as how divorce law was modernized to prevent women from being unfairly treated in monogamous marriages. Also, the government should not dictate how people run their personal family life. Our society idolizes a family with a monogamous couple, and our emphasis on alternative family lifestyles such as polygamy, skews our notion of what is really important. What is important is loving parents, not how many. The media has unjustly biased our opinion of these families because terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and criminals like Warren Jeffs practice it, and their stories are what people point to when supporting the government's prohibition. Again, the problem is that both of these men were fundamentalists and the culture with which they were associated was already archaic in its treatment of women. A modern version of a polygamous family is none of the government's business unless harm is being done to another person. There are monogamous families that are abusive and polygamous families that are not. Categorically outlawing one is a severe invasion of privacy and serves to bias our opinion of people whose lifestyle choices differ from own. Although I am democrat and support most of Barack Obama's politics, I think it is incredibly unfair that people supported him in 2008 just because his personal life meets up to our puritanical ideal. After all, his politics and policies are not much different than Bill Clinton, and yet the latter was impeached on grounds of his indiscretion. Can you imagine if Bill Clinton was a polygamist? Further, it is unfair that because of the association with Mormons and polygamy, Mitt Romney, as a Mormon, was frowned upon by some voters. We should vote based on policy and issue, not a politician's personal life, which really should be none of our business anyway. The government needs to spend more time fighting terrorism, dealing with gun control and protecting peoples LIVES than wasting our taxpayer dollars on invading the private lives of people suspected of "polygamy" because of their lifestyle choices. People should be allowed to live with who they want and make contracts with each other without the government intrusion. If a polygamous family files for tax-breaks and the government does not want to grant, fine, but they should be sued for tax-fraud, not convicted and incarcerated for polygamy, which costs the government much more money anyway. Creating a modern, legalized version of polygamy as an alternative lifestyle where all parties consent would go a long ways to upholding First Amendment Rights to Freedom of Religion in the case of the Mormon. Further, not only would it show separation of church and state, but also separation of "popular lifestyle" and state. Taxes and tax breaks might be a slight issue, but if people have to support a large family (of spouses and possibly children), tax beaks would be good, and probably would not be much more complicated than a series of divorces, re-marriages, and child-custody battles, all of which do much more harm to children than some polygamous marriage. Finally, I would like to note that I use Polygamy to mean a marriage consisting of multiple spouses, and I do not think it should matter if the spouses are men, women, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, etc. It is THEIR private life and the government should not intrude. This is not to suggest that I equate gay marriage to polygamy, but I do think that the government has unjustly invaded the privacy of gay couples in the past as much as it as unjustly invaded and invades the privacy of polygamous families. Whether or not legal recognition is eventually granted, which would more less come down to an issue of taxes, we should at least decriminalize the practice.