Comments about ‘Federal judge overturns part of Utah's law against polygamy’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 13 2013 9:25 p.m. MST

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Richfield, UT

Although I am not a fan of this lifestyle in general it seems that these are grown adults who made a decision to enter into this group relationship after they were considered adults, not young teens. I've seen more disgust in reaction to this & similar "marriages" than to those who cheat on their spouses where the partner is often completely unaware of the cheating spouse's actions. These people at least know the history of each individual & have some say in who is involved with their spouse. They also have the support of the other partners when it comes to the raising of their children, help when one is sick or otherwise unable to function at their normal level. Hopefully overturning this part of our law will make it easier for those who are in abusive situations to come out & seek help without the fear of being investigated themselves & the fear of loosing their children based on this one action in their lives. Honestly there are far worse situations children in our state are exposed to in all types of family dynamics than plural marriage that is entered into with grown adults who have chosen this lifestyle.

Farmington, UT

So if I read the article correctly, it's OK to cohabitate with several women but illegal to live with those same women as "wives."

Adultery is very fashionable, isn't it? (And legal, apparently, too.)

Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

This is good news. Why is polygamy illegal? They aren't asking to have more than 1 legal marriage. Why is it illegal for them to do what they do, but it's legal for a married couple to bring in 3 other women for then man to sleep with...as long as he doesn't call them "wives"? This is a victory for freedom of religion and common sense. I think it didn't go far enough. It should have made it legal for all of the wives to be legally married to him.

Spanish Fork, UT

The slippery slope has been slipped and we're into the slop. If co-habitation is cool, and gay marriage is the rage, tough to argue against polygamy. None of it makes sense to me so I can now be the shouted down, politically incorrect person. It all comes down to the idea that if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything.

Bountiful, UT

The judge made the correct decision. However kicking male teens out of a house and community to make room for polygamy ought to be severely punished by law.

Glendora, CA

If polygamy becomes legal, could the LDS church reinstitute plural marriage again, since it would then be legal?

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

I knew this day was coming. If a man can marry another man and a woman can marry another woman, who can say what else people can't marry? The term "marriage" mean nothing now! After all, we wouldn't want to discriminate would we?

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

So, should this 2013 ruling result in a major long due apology on behalf of the Federal government, indeed, the nation at large, of initially foisting the requirement for this provision on Utah around 120 years ago as a stipulation for Utah being admitted as a state to the 'Union'? And, for the severe persecution of it's members, and those who practiced this among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?

Of course, for members of the current LDS Church, the ruling should not be problematic. Though it was the greatl and intense and punishing pressure brought on by this nation in the 19th century that resulted in the 'Manifesto' issued by President Wilford Woodruff, banning polygamy, The Book of Mormon made clear that permission to practive polygamy, at least until indicated otherwise by God, through the president of this Church, remains in effect—

"For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife...For if I will, saith the Lord .... raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

—Book of Mormon / Jacob 2:27,30

Mesilla/USA, NM

The Mormons of Utah were extremely active in the passage of Prop 8 in California, which fought to prohibit same sex marriage, and the proponents of Prop 8 and other people arguing for such restrictive laws across the US argued in part that gay marriage would destroy the traditional meaning of marriage, some going so far as to say that same sex marriage would make it possible for people to engage in group marriage. Traditionally, in Mormon history, one man could have many wives. And here we are again with a polygamous marriage in this story. It was NOT same sex marriage that caused this group marriage nor which made this marriage of one man and four wives possible or desirable. I only wanted to point this out so that next time when a person argues against same sex marriage, let them remember this one and others like it all across Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, where polygamy is alive and well.


Plural relationships must be looked at in the same way we look at same sex marriages. If we are going to accept one, we must accept the other. And while I do not support same sex marriage, I can support plural marriages much easier.

Freeland, WA

Well then, how about making same-sex marriage legal in Utah?? It's legal now in 16 other states and other countries are letting their citizens marry who they love. This has no effect whatsoever on traditional marriage and same-sex couples are raising adopted children in loving, nurturing homes. It's time. Legalize love.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I live in Saudi Arabia and I think that the practice of polygamy has hurt them. And they have more restrictions on its practice than one would expect in the US. The husbands seem to take a hands off approach and that translates into a general permissiveness in all sorts of things outside of their family life.

One friend of mine has 50 children and he complains that the younger generation doesn't have his work ethic. I think, "Well, geez, maybe you should have more one on one time with each of your children." Or, "Hey why not get your family together one night a week and talk about values, and good behavior. You could do it somewhere . . . in an auditorium."

Their situation is an example of the multitude of problems that can arise when we change the formula of marriage from one man, one wife in a committed lifelong relationship so that they can properly raise the children which will arise out of their union.

Lafayette, IN

On the one hand, if sexual preference cannot be discriminated against, polygamy is just another choice.

On the other hand, if this handsome guy, with 4 wives, takes an interst in your daughter, she is fair game (if she is over 16 or whatever age applies).

Dan Taylor
Keyser, WV

just another example of the way the world is going. (Messed UP!) Satan is at work harder than ever! It's just a comforting thought to know that he looses in the end but a shame for those he captures in the process.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

The federal government forced Utah to prohibit polygamy in the state constitution in order to become a state. They further prohibited changing that part of the constitution without congressional approval. Now a federal judge opens a huge loop hole effectively nullifying the intent of the federal governments micromanaging of the state constitution.

Adultery and fornication are so destructive to society that they should be prohibited. Having children out of wedlock usually condemns the mother and her children to life long poverty, and government social programs. The cost is so high that every reasonable society prohibits adultery and fornication.

Hey It's Me
Salt Lake City, UT

So how does Health insurance work in the case of so many wives and children? So does a 54 year old man get to marry a 13 year old girl next, because they are in love? This will be the next case in the news paper.

Clovis, NM

I am not a fan on gay marriage or polygamous marriage. However, to make one legal and not the other seems unfair. Neither falls within the traditional definition of marriage. Gay folks say that they should be able to marry anybody they like of any sex they like. I don't see a lot of difference between this and the concept of being able to marry as many people as you like. If all parties agree, then whose business is it? Gender, quantity, who cares? When you try to redefine marriage, you open the door for anything and everything. Next thing you know, people will be marrying their pets or their televisions. And why not? If the definition is not "between a man and a woman", why have a definition at all?

I don't hear about government removing children from adults involved in extramarital affairs. So why would they be taking away children from polygamous families? Seems hypocritical. If the government wants to take away kids from a reasonably stable, albeit untraditional, home, then they ought to also confiscate any child with unwed parents. DNA test every baby to see if it has married parents. It's only fair.

mid-state, TN

I think this is a fair judgment. It's difficult to prove in criminal terms whether someone is "living in sin" together or merely "roommates", so it's kind of pointless to have laws against the "living in sin" idea.

This does NOT make polygamy legal -- IOW, polygamy is not legally recognized. And Utah was ignoring most cases of informal polygamy already. People like Warren Jeffs have mostly been jailed for rape and similar charges, not for living with multiple women.

@Kevin --

"Why is polygamy illegal? "

@Thid --

" If a man can marry another man and a woman can marry another woman, who can say what else people can't marry?"

The difference is harm. Polygamy, incest, etc. carry a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage. Gay marriage does not.

As long as polygamy is not officially sanctioned -- as long as there are no legal ties between husbands and wives -- then it is still relatively easy for the wives to break away if needed (notice I said "relatively"), compared to having officially sanctioned ties. That fact, combined with both privacy rights and the difficulties in prosecution that I mentioned above, explain the court's decision here.

G L W8

Diligent Dave, did you read the rest of Jacob 2:23f? Jacob makes clear that monogamy is the standard, unless there are conditions which require the Lord to "raise up" seed unto Him. That appears to have been the case in Abraham's time, when even his own father was practicing idolatry, and also in the fledgling days of the LDS Church, when faithful women were few in number. (Note the word "appears"; I can't assume the Lord's prerogative to speak for Himself, which he does in part in D&C section 132.) IMHO, the groups currently practicing polygamy are on tenuous ground because the normal standard IS monogamy, as the LDS Church now accepts and practices.

mid-state, TN

Oh, additionally --

I don't have time to look it up this morning -- and, unfortunately, I'll be gone for most of the day -- but I **believe** it is true that most US states have no serious laws against cohabitating anyway. Does anyone else know for sure?

If this is correct, then Utah is merely coming into better accord with the rest of the country.

If nobody knows, then I'll try to look it up tonight or tomorrow.

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