Symposium 2015: Now that same sex marriage has been legalized, is it time to legalize polygamy?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Whether you’d like it or not, let me first add that our country, the world on a whole, is suffering from moral laxity. What was seen as abnormal by societal and Biblical standards years ago, are now frowned upon. Then, it’s no surprise same sex marriage has been legalized. Could it be that we’re running in the lowest sink of debauchery? ABSOLUTELY! As if legalizing same sex marriage was not abhorrent enough, there’s talk to legalize polygamy.

Not only is it not time for polygamy to be legalized, it should never be legalized. Why? Let’s look at the impending plausible catastrophe within the family. If polygamy was ever introduced into society, there would be nothing but envy, strife and jealousy. The second wife or those following will always feel the need to prove themselves or measure up to the standard of the first wife. In fact, each wife or husband will do everything in their might to outdo the other.

Worst case scenario: If children are involved, all hell will break loose.

The children will join in on the fun and the entire family will turn into a pack of goons. There’s also the “who’s entitled to this” aspect of a polygamous family. Each member will want their produce. We can’t even keep a monogamous family together, why would we want to add to that nonsense? Unless each individual within a polygamous family didn’t marry for love, that family might succeed, but a polygamous family is one headed toward disaster. A polygamous marriage should NEVER be legalized.

 Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-In spite of the questions and concerns as to the Supreme Court’s declaration that same sex marriage is a constitutional right and is legally permissible, the question of legalization of polygamy appears to have become an outgrowth of that decision.  It has been brought to the public’s attention that polygamy must now be considered as another form of marriage, and there are a few in the polygamous debate that are already suing for the right to marry.  Even same-sex marriage advocates are questioning whether or not it is time to legalize polygamy.  With the pressure that occurred through various groups and organizations that advanced legalization of gay marriage, the same effect has been promoted through moving polygamous marriage to a new level of acceptance, in spite of bans on polygamy that still exist today.  Many fear that in spite of the taboos and existing laws against polygamy, the legalization of polygamous marriage will set another precedent for marriage to sink to lower depths in the unraveling of traditional marriage. There are reasons why the efforts to advance polygamy may not be readily accepted or legalization embraced, as polygamy carries long-standing taboos and laws  that are different from those attached to gay and traditional monogamous relationships.

Polygamy has been associated with specific harmful aspects that begin with the repression of women and the negative effects of repression, which cause depression and low self-esteem, as well as subservience to husbands and inability to control the addition of more wives to the relationship.  Additional problems include the inclusion of underage girls who are too young for marriage but are forced into polygamous marriages.  Also, young men attached to polygamous communities find themselves displaced and grounded in specific geographical areas with little standing in the community.

Other issues concerning polygamy relate to child rearing, as it becomes a complicated process in polygamous relationships.  The women in such relationships most always have full responsibility in caring for and raising a number of different children.  Women in polygamous relationships also lack control over their ability to work outside the home and are vulnerable to abuse, isolation within the group, household conflicts, and other difficulties.

Legalizing polygamy would be a difficult undertaking, particularly in communities that are structured on polygamous relationships and have their own set of family laws and procedures within their relationships and communities.   Legalization itself would create a myriad of legal problems within such arrangements such as first marriage determination, divorce actions, asset distribution, child custody disputes, insurance benefits, medical decisions, retirement accounts, estate planning, and a myriad of other issues.   Since most polygamous relationships are in effect based on inequality, and inequality is the structure of such relationships, marriage partners lack recourse to normal family law and more traditional lifestyle choices.  With most polygamous marriages being polygynous (women sharing one husband), women in such marriages or arrangements are much less likely to have equality with any pursuit, plus they are subject to the long-term, harmful effects that are a result of such marriage arrangements.

Whether the Supreme Court or lower courts move to legalize polygamy is a question that many are not ready to answer or accept, as polygamy involves unresolved issues from past laws and taboos that both remain stumbling blocks for any kind of legalization, plus a number of Americans are not in support of such marriages.   Decriminalization of polygamy appears to be the first step in defueling the fires of legalization and with all the extraneous issues involved with polygamy, who is to say whether or not legalization will occur?

Cartwright—Since we’ve legalized gay marriage, it’s only fitting that we legalize polygamy which is another form of marriage.  At this point, only a hypocrite or a bigot would oppose legalizing polygamy.

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