ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended October 10, 1999 Posted 26 Sep 1999

Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?
If Polygamy were legal . . . . (Polymaritally Perverse)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

If Polygamy were legal . . . . (Polymaritally Perverse)
The Nation 4Oct99 N5
By Katha Pollitt

In the influential political review magazine, The Nation, Pollitt takes on the 1991 ACLU policy that says that polygamy should be legal, and in the process examines the current state of polygamy in Utah and among Mormons. The ACLU's policy reads: "The ACLU believes that criminal and civil laws prohibiting or penalizing the practice of plural marriage violate constitutional protections of freedom of expression and association, freedom of religion, and privacy for personal relationships among consenting adults."

Pollitt argues that in practice polygamous marriages rarely involve real consent and notes that the new Utah law raised the age of consent for marriage to 16 and allows "home schooling" of girls in polygamous families without checking on the quality of the schooling, implying that the schooling is a tool used to coerce the girls into polygamous marriages. She also argues that polygamy might be considered a human rights violation - because of the inequity in the way it is practiced -- a husband has 15 wives, but each wife only has one fifteenth of a husband.

Pollitt then argues that the ACLU's real agenda is to avoid legal inconsistencies that may cause problems in other issues. If the ACLU were to take a stand against polygamy, they would be saying that restrictions on marriage were acceptable. This position would then include other restrictions that the ACLU opposes, such as restrictions on gay marriage. But Pollitt says that polygamy is fundamentally different than gay marriage because it would "redefine all marriage contracts, because every marriage would be legally open to the addition of more partners."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information