Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another Look at Polygamy

Rebekah Hebbert asks what harm comes from polygamy, referencing the Canadian poly trial.

She cites the allegations against some in Bountiful and some other FLDS communities.

And what will happen now that the judiciary has to decide which should prevail: freedom of religion, or some of the most basic values and norms of Canadian society?

The polygamous freedom to marry isn’t just about religious freedom. It is for the freedom of anyone, regardless of belief or nonbelief, who wants to marry more than one person. Marriage is a fundamental right.

But is this kind of harm, or any harm, inherent in polygamy?


Surely monogamy has its own problems?

Yes. But if people want monogamy, they should be allowed.

Dr. Margaret Somerville, Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University, in an interview with MercatorNet suggests that while not all alleged harms are inherent in polygamy, some indeed are.

“My primary objection would be for the children... I believe that family units are primarily for the benefit of the children.

Parenting and marriage not are not inherently connected. People are free to raise children alone or outside of marriage, and not all married people raise children. If someone is an unfit parent to the point of neglect or other abuse, take the child away.

“Children are best off with their mother and father, preferably their own biological parents unless an exception is justified as being in the best interests of a particular child...”

This claim was already shot down in courts in Canada and California and elsewere when the courts ruled in favor of the same-sex freedom to marry.

”Polygamy is an alternative adult arrangement, which is also difficult for some of the children who become adults within that arrangement.”

Some kids find it difficult in single parent homes or monogamous homes, especially with a stepparent. But we don’t outlaw a parent getting married.

Sommerville goes on with the standard bigotry she previously used against same-sex marriage.

An adult should have the right to marry any consenting adults.
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