Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Freedom to Marry Regardless of Religion

Andrea Johnson cautiously supports the polygamous freedom to marry.

A court in Canada is set to make a decision on whether to declare the laws against polygamy unconstitutional in that country. I think it might be a good idea here too, though it would probably be a tax code and legal nightmare.

It doesn’t have to be.

She then goes into Carolyn Jessop’s book and recent news about some FLDS communities.

Despite her own negative experiences, she favors decriminalizing polygamy because she thinks it will offer women in these situations more legal protection and perhaps prevent some of the all-too-common abuses, such as underage marriages. I think she has a good point there.

So do I.

She then mentions Muslim polygyny, and how homes are broken up when not all of the wives and children are allowed to immigrate with the husband.

I'm not sure how practical it would be to legalize polygamy, but I think an argument could be made that refusal to recognize it or prosecuting people for practicing it is a violation of freedom of religion.

It’s also a violation of the freedom of association and equal treatment. People can want a polygamous marriage without a religious basis, and they should be allowed that. It doesn’t matter if they are basing it on a religion, or what religion, or not. It doesn’t matter if they are the same race or not, the same generation or not, if they are closely related or not, if they are the same gender or not, or there are two, three, four, or more of them. Let them have the freedom to marry. Let’s have full marriage equality.

Elmwood commented…

I have done a little reading about Polygamy and one question I have is how could one man with 20 wives and over 110 children support them?

There’s nothing stopping any man from impregnating 20 consenting women right now. There are many men who have impregnated four or more women in a short time span. We pay some of these men large sums to play in professional sports, for example, but even if a man is unable to pay all of his child support, he is not prevented from impregnating more women. Most people know a woman who has children by three or more men. With marriage equality, at least we’d have more children will be growing with married parents.
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