Thursday, June 2, 2011

Let's Talk About Polygamy

Okay. Let's talk about polygamy. Webster defines polygamy as "the practice of having more than one wife (or husband) at one time".

Polygamy is illegal in every state in the U.S. So how can someone be a polygamist and be arrested and prosecuted for that? If it's illegal, you can't have more than one wife at a time, so any other women you "marry" are not your legal wives to begin with. If they aren't your legal wives, how can you be prosecuted for being married to more than one wife? Is it just me, or is this one of those stupid things that makes no sense?

I admit I have become quite addicted to the show Sister Wives, although in truth, because plural marriage is illegal, shouldn't the show be called Sister Wife Plus Three? After all, only the first woman Cody married is his legal wife. So now they are all leaving Utah because they are supposedly in trouble with the law for their "plural marriage". I say that there are no grounds for prosecution because Cody isn't really "married" to any of the three last "wives". Doesn't that make more sense? And to carry on about this, even if they move to Nevada, won't they still be in trouble if the "plural marriage" is what's getting them in trouble in Utah? I don't get it.

So here are the facts: Cody is married to one wife, and he is living in a committed relationship with and has children with three additional wives (well, actually only two, because he has no children yet with Robin). He is legally married to one, living with three others, and a whole bunch of children also live in the household. What law(s) has he broken? He is really only legally married to one wife, so how is he guilty of polygamy?

In my opinion, polygamy does not exist because in every one of the 50 states, you can really only legally be married to one person at a time. So why are they all packing up (in fear) and leaving one state to go to another because they are in "danger" of being prosecuted for plural marriage? I am baffled by this. Anyone care to comment?


Jack said...

I think what best describes this "arrangement" is called Polymary instead of polygamy.

Polyamory is the belief that a person has the capacity to have romantic feelings and relationships with more then one individual, with the full knowledge and consent of all involved, including other partners of either or all individuals involved.

According to this, polymary can be practiced not only between a man and multiple women, but between a women and multiple men as well. Or between multiple couples.

As you point out, the legal definition of polygamy, you are correct in that the Sister Wives is not a true polygimist.

However I believe he is a polymarist if you accept the definition as given above.

One of the tenats of polymary is that a certain can love different people in different ways. So a person could love their spouse in one way, and love their #2 partner a different way, and love their #3 partner a different way.

For instance they could love their spouse in a loving spousal relationship, but #2 could be strictly a sexual relationship, but #3 could be strictly a platonic but emotional relationship.

It all depends on the morality of the people involved.

jmrinaldo said...

I agree with you that he is not a polygamist, but rather a polymarist; fortunately, that is NOT illegal, and so I wonder why the family feels they have to flee, and why the police feel they have a case to pursue!