Thursday, December 1, 2016

Another Round of Polygamy Bashing

A trial of some people from Bountiful, B.C., Canada brings with it attaching negative associations to the word "polygamy" even though the actual problem is not voluntary relationships between consenting adults.

For example, there's this report by Daphne Bramham at that is headlined "Evidence all in at trial of B.C. polygamous parents charged with trafficking their daughters." Why are the parents identified as "polygamous?" In how many articles do you ever see people on trial identified as "monogamous?" The problem here is alleged child abuse, not polygamy between consenting adults.
The trial of three parents from the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C. charged with trafficking their 13- and 15-year-old daughters to U.S. for sexual purposes wraps up next week with final arguments.
"Polygamous community." Are there "monogamous communities?" We weren't aware towns married. Are sister cities allowed to marry?

That there are polygynous adult marriages is not nearly as important to what is going on as the fact that these people belong to a certain small religious group with an authoritarian leader who orchestrated the events in question, and the real issue is the abuse of children. Would it be any less of a problem if the minor girls were each being "married" off to a different older man rather than multiple girls to one man?

The headline to Bramham's article at was a little better, but "Obedience to prophet paramount in polygamous community, trial told" still calls it a "polygamous community." This is exactly why so many people who want ethically nonmonogamous marriages avoid using the term polygamy, even though that's the term for a marriage or marriages involving more than two people.

It is important not to lump ethically nonmonogamous people in with child abuse. We advocate for the rights of all consenting adults to their relationships, including polygamy, if that's what they want. We oppose child abuse and maintain that full marriage equality for all will actually help fight child abuse.

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