Another Revision of Marriage: Utah Decriminalizes Polygamy

"When same-sex marriage was legalized, many observers said that the door would be open to still more redefinitions of marriage.  Ironically, the next step has been taken in a state known for opposing same-sex marriage:  Utah has decriminalized polygamy." - Gene Veith

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Bert Perry's picture

It's not decriminalized altogether, but rather is an infraction rather than a felony.  Practically speaking, I'd guess that a lot of guys out there are effectively polygamists, but keep their "harems" without getting married to more than one of their wives.  Nobody is actually talking about legalizing issuing multiple marriage licenses to one person to keep a harem--yet.  

And in that light, if we're not going to punish out of wedlock sex and/or having mistresses (or "misters" for those of the female persuasion, etc..), then it's going to be hard to come up with a moral argument against polygamy--in polygamy at least, you theoretically have a more robust commitment by the man to provide for the woman, even if the practice is inherently abusive in many other ways (and it is).

Probably the best way to rein in polygamy--whether religiously sanctioned or not--is to simply insist that fathers pay for the upkeep of their children, and that mothers provide the names of the father (to be verified by DNA) to get welfare payments.   An interesting fact about religious polygamy is that many people who practice it use welfare to support those extra wives.  I'd also support, for those who fall way behind in child support by having tons of kids by tons of wives, an offer for debtor's prison or a vasectomy.  I don't see any reason that the rest of us should be on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars of welfare payments, but the dads don't get hurt at all.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.