Comments about ‘Judge in 'Sister Wives' case asks for definition of polygamy’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 17 2013 8:15 p.m. MST

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Franklin, IN

I'm big on monogomy...but this judge has a good point! I asked a guy the other day how many kids he had and he said 11. He gave me ages of 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 10, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15... I told him how unique it was for one family to have triplets and quads...he (without blinking) said...different moms...

If one is illegal the other one should be too! Both types feed off of the government via unemployment, Medicaid and food stamps...

It's all wrong in my book....


The Utah State Constitution very clearly states that marriage is between one man and one woman and no other relationship no matter what you call it is a marriage or is equivalent to a marriage. There is no difference between this relationship and an affair because Utah law prohibits the recognition of any difference.

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

Just call it an affair. People don't care when it's an affair. Consenting adults. Big deal!

@ indycrimson- "Both types feed off of the government via unemployment, Medicaid and food stamps..." Both types, meaning Republicans and Democrats?

Springville, UT

What is your point? This case is not about what is or isn't marriage. Its about what should be and shouldn't be a felon. The stupid thing is that if these 4 women and 1 man simply lived together under one roof, no one would care, but because they state that they are married, all of a sudden its a felony. Am I the only one here that sees how ridiculous that is?

The whole argument seems to be that polygamists sometimes marry underage girls and kick boys out of the family, so all polygamists are felons...guilt by association. I'm not asking anyone to agree with polygamy, but polygamy is not a crime and should not be considered one.

Franklin, IN

Eddy...no political divide here.

I have knowledge that many polygamist families pose the wives as single moms and draw welfare support. You get 4 or 5 of these coming into a house that makes their own clothes, gets food stamps and $400.00 per month per child and life is made much easier. If 5 moms have 5 kids and get 400.00 each in support you just racked up 100k in that home.

The guy I mentioned with 11 kids...he works and pays ZERO child supports and none of the females work.


Gallatin, MO

If I remember right polygamy only became a felony due to the federal government bullying one religion. It wasn't about what was morally wrong or right at that time due to the fact there was not medicaid or food stamps back then. They, the government, just wanted to tear, law abiding families, apart. So now anything immoral is considered OK and that which is moral is considered an infringement of my right to be immoral.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

It seems like there are enough child abuse laws in place to catch any reasons for keeping polygamy as a crime. In the meantime, aren't there more important issues then what's going on between four completely consensual adults?

Sandy, UT

If they are all just living together I can't see that a law is broken. If they are calling each other husband and wife and claiming that they are married, that is a different story. It is illegal in every state to be married to more than one person at a time.

Layton, UT

Behold the further unraveling of marriage in our society...

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

It's hypocritical fro LDS people to condem or seek to discredit this kind of marriage/relationship, or have they forgotten what it's like to faithfully and religiously believe in your heart differently then the majority believe.

If everyone is of age then it's a freedom of religion issue. Please don't try and use the "we don't allow "sacrificial killings" baloney there is no comparison or slippery slope.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

The difference between an affair and a bigamist or polygamist "marriage" is the latter implies some tye of permanent (or at least semi-permanent) relationship or contract between the parties while the former does not.

Most polygamists here, if I am not mistaken, claim a "spiritual" union with wives number 2,3,4,etc. Those who enter into affairs claim no such relationship or implied contract.

We have a federal judge and a state attorney who cannot see that? pretty sad.


happy valley heretic, It's not the hypocrisy, it's the law. I don't remember the date, but congress in the 1880's, passed the Edmunds Act and it was upheld by the supreme court as the law of the land, it made 'polygamy' illegal. a little while later, the Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed that allowed the federal government to confiscate the property of 'polygamists', and the organizations that taught or supported it. This was also upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Of course in order for Utah to become a state, this had to be treated in the constitution of the state.

Powell, OH

You aren't married unless the State issues a license. Living together, no matter what you call the partners is not marriage.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Shimlau Said " happy valley heretic, It's not the hypocrisy, it's the law.

Regardless of the law's, it was still practiced by the church until the Statehood tradeoff.
So the law apparently didn't matter to the faithful either, until it was politically advantageous to do so.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Dektol said: "You aren't married unless the State issues a license. Living together, no matter what you call the partners is not marriage."

What about common law marriage that exist in many states?

Brigham City, UT

Lost: I guess that is ultimately the point. You have two groups of people cohabitating. One group maintains zero responsibility for their actions, claims no legal backing for their relationships and lives without any form of harrassment from the law. The other group accepts the responsibility for their actions, claims a binding contract for their relationship, and they are punished by the law, but are doing nothing different as far as actual actions than the first group. I think the judge has a valid point in questioning why society sees the two so differently when one is punished for accepting responsibility and the other is not punished and accepts no responsibility. (And yes, I know it is "against the law", and there are people that abuse children and etc, etc, etc.... That isn't the question being raised by this situation)

BYUtah Fan
Herriman, UT

Some drivers drive drunk. But we don't ban cars.
Burglars operate at night. But, it is not illegal to travel after dark.
Some trusted people steal money. But, we still have trusted people.
There are people who will abuse any system or freedom. That doesn't mean that we eliminate that system for all people. It is hard to see how these 5 people are harming anyone - themselves and their children included. If there is some form of welfare abuse going on, then tailor the welfare laws to stop it. We already have plenty of child abuse laws. While I can't imagine having more than one wife, if these people want that sort of relationship then leave then alone.

terra nova
Park City, UT

In 1856 the Republican Party platform referred to polygamy as one of "the twin relics of barbarism." I just heard the doorbell. Tell your mother the barbarians are at the gate.

The other relic was slavery.

If they legalize polygamy again, is slavery next? Or will they just call them "consenting adults" who willingly work for an owner who pays just enough to live on while 'da boss man' grow ever richer? Slavery, like polygamy never really went away. It just altered its form a little.

Like everything else, there are good employers and bad ones. There are those that take advantage, and those who don't. There were even a few good polygamous marriages at one time. (Read B.H. Roberts "Defender of the Faith" if you disagree.) But the bad ones. Well, you know who you are...

Those involved "have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds." (Jacob 2:35)

Billy Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Polygamy among consenting adults never should have been made illegal in the first place. As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that God no longer wants His Church to practice polygamy. But this doesn't mean that other people should not have protection to do so if they believe it is part of their religion. I agree with the assistant attorney general, however that the law has to draw a line somewhere, but even his legal limit for determining drunkenness doesn't uphold his argument that polygamy should be illegal in all instances. Naturally, they should set a legal age limit for someone to be able to enter in to a polygamous relationship, such as 18 or even 21 if that is a better place for them to strike a compromise. Before this age, not even parental consent will allow someone to enter into a polygamous relationship. There needs to be a legal limit set, to be sure, but keeping polygamy illegal in all instances is not the correct solution as it violates constitutional rights.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

Hey, I sent in the 2nd comment on this story yesterday. Never heard back. Don't see anything posted. What's wrong with your system?

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