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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Kids Are Alright

The Las Vegas Sun had a column from high school student Jordan Orris, reporting on the 54th annual Sun Youth Forum. It was held on November 23 with about 1,000 students from high schools throughout Southern Nevada participating.

She says…

With regard to the role of marriage in contemporary America, two questions were posed: (1) Should polygamy be made legal? (2) Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children?

It is good that it wasn’t questioned if same-sex marriage should be legal. The students appear to assume it should be and will be legal nationwide.

We examined the benefits of marriage under the status quo, including emotional, spiritual, physical, cultural and financial incentives.

Interestingly, there were quite a few yeas for polygamy, whose arguments included that polygamy is an institution of Muslim society and should be legalized for religious rights purposes, and the catch-22 of prosecution for cheating in a relationship being no different from prosecution for marrying many.

Actually, cheating has been almost entirely decriminalized. Most, if not all, of the few cases in which cheating makes it to court and is relevant to a case is in civil court. Marrying more than one person when all involved consent is a far different thing than cheating, even if the marriage isn’t legally recognized. And such marriages should be legally recognized, not only for religious freedom but as a basic human right. It does not make sense that in some places in this country, someone can get into legal trouble for ceremonially marrying more than one person and caring for that person as a spouse, but has no risk of legal trouble for cheating with a series of affairs or one night stands. Polygamy should not be a crime. Why discourage anyone from loving and caring for another consenting adult?

Those in disagreement argued the legal entanglements caused by situations of divorce, child custody and child support.

I don’t see how it would be much different than with supposedly monogamous marriages. You know, requiring accommodations for the disabled meant far many more changes than it would take to accommodate this freedom to marry, and yet that was voted into law twenty years ago.

The dissenters also argued that polygamy was not relevant in America.

Of course it is relevant. There are American citizens who want this freedom to marry.

Others simply stated that the government should not intrude on the lives of people or their marriages.

Support full marriage equality and let the people decide for themselves. The younger generations are supportive, so it is only a matter of time before hate no longer has enough power to deny marriage equality.
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