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Plural Marriage: The New Marriage-Rights Frontier

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Hmmmmmm. With the usual caveat about Wikipedia, it is, nonetheless, fairly accurate for mainstream topics. The article on the legal status of polygamy is interesting. Although polygamy is not allowed in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, those countries will recognize the plural marriages if performed civilly in a country that recognizes them Did not know that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_polygamy

"Almost a dozen countries that do not permit polygamous civil marriages recognize polygamous marriages under customary law, though in the eyes of the government, they are not considered to be genuine marriages. The single exception in North American region is the province of Saskatchewan Canada. There, the family law courts provide legal protection for polygamy or polyandry.[7] In essence, that Canadian province authorizes simultaneous additional marital rights and obligations for already married persons, prior to married persons becoming divorced from existing spouses.[8] All northern states in Nigeria recognize polygamous marriages, as these states are governed by Sharia law. Districts in Eritrea that operate under Sharia also recognize polygamous marriages, while the federal government does not.[9] Polygamy tends to be the least-frequently practiced in secular Arab states, such as Lebanon, which still allows for such unions (though it should be noted that, unlike other Arab states, almost one third of the Lebanese population is non-Muslim[citation needed] and has no tradition of polygamy[citation needed]).

The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand recognize polygamous unions performed in other countries that permit them. In other similar circumstances, India and Sri Lanka,[10] on the other hand, allow only their Islamic citizens to legally join in polygamous marriages. Many Indians have converted to Islam in order to bypass such legal restrictions.[11] Predominantly Christian nations usually do not allow polygamous unions, with a handful of exceptions being the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Zambia. Myanmar (frequently referred to as Burma) is also the only predominately Buddhist nation to allow for civil polygamous marriages, though such is rarely tolerated by the Burmese population.[12]"

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I'm curious if there is anyone on this forum who practices, or has practiced, polygamy and who might be able to address what efforts, if any, will be made in the future to make the practice legal in the U.S.

Does it count if the man is married to a woman with multiple personality syndrome?

OK, joking aside...

I don't know anyone who has been involved with polygamy. My wife is OK with it for us, IF and ONLY IF, two other conditions (besides legality) are fulfilled:

  1. Church leadership calls us to practice it, and
  2. SHE gets to choose whom else we marry

Myself, I am not interested in acquiring any other wives.

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People were advocating polygamy in the same breathe they were speaking against ssm.

Polygamy, is said, to fit within the traditional definition of marriage.

Where are you getting this?

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The church is all about implementing God's plans, not in perpetuating what its members think the plan should be. I think it highly unlikely that the Lord will reinstate polygamy, whether or not it is legal in the US (and I'm thinking it would not be legal in most of the other nations where over half of church members live).

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People were advocating polygamy in the same breathe they were speaking against ssm.

Polygamy, is said, to fit within the traditional definition of marriage.

Where are you getting this?

It comes from Perry v. Schwarznage, the January 27, 2010 testimony of David Blankenhorn on behalf of upholding/defending Prop 8.

David Blankenhorn provided three main rules that define marriage.

1. Opposite genders

2. A Man and a woman

3. Sexual relationship

Here is his testimony regarding polygamy

Q. Yes. Is it your view that that man who has married one wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and now has five wives, and they are all his wives at the same time, that that marriage is consistent with your rule of two? And that is a yes or no question.

A. [David Blankenhorn] I concur with Bronislaw Malinowski, and others, who say that that is consistent with the two rule of marriage.

Polygamy:

1. opposite genders,

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 2.

2. a man and a woman per ceremony

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 3.

3. sex involved?

If No, stop!

If Yes, that polygamous marriage fits within the traditional definition of marriage.

If polygamy becomes legal, it will be in part because tradition marriage advocates support polygamy as being part of traditional marriage.

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It comes from Perry v. Schwarznage, the January 27, 2010 testimony of David Blankenhorn on behalf of upholding/defending Prop 8.

David Blankenhorn provided three main rules that define marriage.

1. Opposite genders

2. A Man and a woman

3. Sexual relationship

Here is his testimony regarding polygamy

Q. Yes. Is it your view that that man who has married one wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and now has five wives, and they are all his wives at the same time, that that marriage is consistent with your rule of two? And that is a yes or no question.

A. [David Blankenhorn] I concur with Bronislaw Malinowski, and others, who say that that is consistent with the two rule of marriage.

Polygamy:

1. opposite genders,

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 2.

2. a man and a woman per ceremony

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 3.

3. sex involved?

If No, stop!

If Yes, that polygamous marriage fits within the traditional definition of marriage.

If polygamy becomes legal, it will be in part because tradition marriage advocates support polygamy as being part of traditional marriage.

I'm a little uncomfortable with #3. I'm not advocating it as an ideal, but if a couple prefers to be celibate in marriage, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

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I'm a little uncomfortable with #3. I'm not advocating it as an ideal, but if a couple prefers to be celibate in marriage, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

In the case of sex or (potential) children, I don't think the state needs to second guess or intrude. The notion that a male and female are getting together is good enough and provides the proper example of the ideal to society.

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It comes from Perry v. Schwarznage, the January 27, 2010 testimony of David Blankenhorn on behalf of upholding/defending Prop 8.

David Blankenhorn provided three main rules that define marriage.

1. Opposite genders

2. A Man and a woman

3. Sexual relationship

I'm a little uncomfortable with #3. I'm not advocating it as an ideal, but if a couple prefers to be celibate in marriage, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

In the case of sex or (potential) children, I don't think the state needs to second guess or intrude. The notion that a male and female are getting together is good enough and provides the proper example of the ideal to society.

Bcspace, do this mean you support polygamy (notwithstanding personal and/or religious opposition) as being "the proper example of the ideal to society"?

Do you believe that polygamy fits within the "one man one woman" definition of marriage?

If the "married" coupling of a man and a woman are "proper example of the ideal to society", then, I say, polygamy (one man multiple females spouses) fits within that ideal as well. (My main contention is not advocating polygamy, but demonstrating that ssm is not the slippery slope to polygamy, given that polygamy is supported as within the rules/definition of marriage and same sex marriage is not)

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If a couple of men decide to get married in a state where it is not recognized then what is the worst that will happen to them? If a man marries 2 or more women in any state in the Union currently, what is the worst that can happen to him? I wonder why there is a difference.

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I'm a little uncomfortable with #3. I'm not advocating it as an ideal, but if a couple prefers to be celibate in marriage, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

Well, consider that under rules which are very very ancient, a marriage is not really a marriage until it is consummated. In fact, marriages that were not consummated could be annulled by the Pope, as if they had never happened.

At least one occurence is the rule. After that, well be as celibate as you like, cuz yer hitched.

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Bcspace, do this mean you support polygamy (notwithstanding personal and/or religious opposition) as being "the proper example of the ideal to society"?

Morally, when God authorizes plural marriage, it must be at least as good an example as monogamous heterosexual marriage. In a broader societal sense, I would accept it's recognition by the state though not it's return in the Church. That is for the Lord to decide of course.

Do you believe that polygamy fits within the "one man one woman" definition of marriage?

Semantically it could, yes.

If the "married" coupling of a man and a woman are "proper example of the ideal to society", then, I say, polygamy (one man multiple females spouses) fits within that ideal as well.

Generally agreed. My main caveat is consenting adults.

(My main contention is not advocating polygamy, but demonstrating that ssm is not the slippery slope to polygamy, given that polygamy is supported as within the rules/definition of marriage and same sex marriage is not)

I agree ssm is not a slippery slope to plural marriage since consensual plural marriage is not intrinsically bad like ssm is. It IS a slippery slope to those who find consensual plural marriage abhorrent. Frankly, I see conditions, both in and out of the Church, becoming more favorable to plural marriage. Too many men are shirking their duties.

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I don't believe the church would reinstate polygamy, even if it became legal.

There are countries right now where the church is where it's legal, and they still don't allow it there.

Polygamy would not be approved by the church because it was never intended for the general population. Legalization of polygamy would merely degrade the family when practiced by the world in general.

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It comes from Perry v. Schwarznage, the January 27, 2010 testimony of David Blankenhorn on behalf of upholding/defending Prop 8.

David Blankenhorn provided three main rules that define marriage.

1. Opposite genders

2. A Man and a woman

3. Sexual relationship

Here is his testimony regarding polygamy

Q. Yes. Is it your view that that man who has married one wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and now has five wives, and they are all his wives at the same time, that that marriage is consistent with your rule of two? And that is a yes or no question.

A. [David Blankenhorn] I concur with Bronislaw Malinowski, and others, who say that that is consistent with the two rule of marriage.

Polygamy:

1. opposite genders,

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 2.

2. a man and a woman per ceremony

If No, stop!

If Yes, proceed to rule 3.

3. sex involved?

If No, stop!

If Yes, that polygamous marriage fits within the traditional definition of marriage.

If polygamy becomes legal, it will be in part because tradition marriage advocates support polygamy as being part of traditional marriage.

Wouldn't this line of reasoning also support polyandrous marriages - that is, one wife with multiple husbands?

Would you guys be okay with polyandry being legal, even if it's not obviously part of the LDS religious background?

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I'm sure one could find a ' pastor ' somewhere that will marry a man to a 'tree' , or a horse , or a mouse. Ask me if I care. Having watched the youtube videos on the Walmart people , I am no longer surprised by any behavior humans can think up.

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Legal consent would be a big issue there.

Agreed.

If legislation were ever introduced to legalize plural marriage, here are some of the elements I'd like to see:

1. Minimum age for entering into a plural marriage is 21 years.

2. Informed written consent of all pre-existing marriage partners required.

3. Waiting period required between obtaining of license and performance of marriage ceremony.

4. Streamlined path to obtaining an anullment if it quickly becomes obvious that it's not going to work out.

Please add to (or argue against) this based on your thoughts and experiences.

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Agreed.

If legislation were ever introduced to legalize plural marriage, here are some of the elements I'd like to see:

1. Minimum age for entering into a plural marriage is 21 years.

2. Informed written consent of all pre-existing marriage partners required.

3. Waiting period required between obtaining of license and performance of marriage ceremony.

4. Streamlined path to obtaining an anullment if it quickly becomes obvious that it's not going to work out.

Please add to (or argue against) this based on your thoughts and experiences.

1. With the legal age to make contract. I'm not sure such would be constitutional.

2. Agreed

3. Possibly. But I don't believe there should be an extended "cooling off" period.

4. Depends of how we define quickly. There is a steady decline in divorce with each passing year of marriage. As I look back on my 40 years of marriage to the same woman it does seem like it was just yesterday we were a couple of kids off on a grand adventure. "We were never that young". ;)

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There is nothing new under the sun...such are the ways of man.

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1. With the legal age to make contract. I'm not sure such would be constitutional.

2. Agreed

3. Possibly. But I don't believe there should be an extended "cooling off" period.

4. Depends of how we define quickly. There is a steady decline in divorce with each passing year of marriage. As I look back on my 40 years of marriage to the same woman it does seem like it was just yesterday we were a couple of kids off on a grand adventure. "We were never that young". ;)

You have a good point about the legal age to make a contract thing. I think the drinking age is 21 is some states, which may or may not have any bearing on this, though it does indicate that states can place age-based limits on behavior beyond the legal age to make a contract.

My main interest is, to maximize freedom while minimizing possible harm. Right now plural marriage is sort of like alchohol production and distribution was during the prohibition (though of course not as widespread). Society might well be better served by legalizing and regulating.

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I am not a bif fan of Wal-Mart, but it seems to sinful in America to be successful. This video suggests that the successful are there to cause b people live in cars and one the street. But the same is said of Mormonism...we are too successful.

If we own a business and are successful God bless. But if we're successful only by mistreating others then may God do the opposite. I'm an old fashioned Capitalist. If you make a good quality product, or perform a good quality service, charge a reasonable amount of money for it, and I want it. I'll buy it from you. We'll both be happy. Making others pay the price isn't my idea of true success.

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You have a good point about the legal age to make a contract thing. I think the drinking age is 21 is some states, which may or may not have any bearing on this, though it does indicate that states can place age-based limits on behavior beyond the legal age to make a contract.

My main interest is, to maximize freedom while minimizing possible harm. Right now plural marriage is sort of like alchohol production and distribution was during the prohibition (though of course not as widespread). Society might well be better served by legalizing and regulating.

It's 21 here in California. I'm at an age where if the clerk asks me for ID I say thank you. :lol:

It may. That is why I'm unsure. OTOH Driving a vehicle on the public roads is a privilege granted, usually by age 16, by the State when tested for knowledge of, and ability to safely drive a vehicle.

Sociologically polygamy doesn't work out well in the long run. It tends to limit the number of females available to younger men. Moreover the most dangerous group to a society is young unattached males.

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It's 21 here in California. I'm at an age where if the clerk asks me for ID I say thank you. :lol:

It may. That is why I'm unsure. OTOH Driving a vehicle on the public roads is a privilege granted, usually by age 16, by the State when tested for knowledge of, and ability to safely drive a vehicle.

Sociologically polygamy doesn't work out well in the long run. It tends to limit the number of females available to younger men. Moreover the most dangerous group to a society is young unattached males.

Unattached males make good explorers and pioneers because they don't have anyone at home depending on them.

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Maybe explorers in a limited sense of no man has gone there before. But I think that kith and kin have a better tract record for forming a viable society. The most successful pioneers were the Mormons and we brought our families with us.

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Maybe explorers in a limited sense of no man has gone there before. But I think that kith and kin have a better tract record for forming a viable society. The most successful pioneers were the Mormons and we brought our families with us.

I was thinking specifically of cases like the mountain men, those who were first in the wilderness, who took risks knowing that nobody depended on them or needed them home every night, who could act as guides and teachers for those who came after.

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Even Louis and Clark depended on the Indians to survive the winters. But overall I'll agree.

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