Published: Thursday, Dec. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
" Before you know it, it'll be total anarchy and doing the right thing
will be a punishable offense." Eric, that time has arrived already.
Reference the Duck Dynasty debacle.
No, the ruling was undoubtedly correct. It's been clear for some time that
Utah's cohabitation law is a historical relic that can't stand up to
modern legal scrutiny. As a lawyer and someone with an interest in 19th
century legal battles over polygamy, I found the judge's opinion
well-informed and well-argued. Seeking an end to the cohabitation
laws is not trying to live without consequences. It's about not getting
prosecuted for what appears to be a consensual -- if very strange, IMHO --
living arrangement. That's a far cry from polygamy, or the author's
strange fears of anarchy because people are allowed to do things he doesn't
All this judge did was to bring Utah closer to the legal "norm" relative
to other state laws. The only change was to remove the
"cohabitation" element of Utah's polygamy/bigamy law. And that
element doesn't even exist in other state laws (at least some -- I
haven't checked all of them). For example, compare Utah law to
Tennessee law:Utah Criminal Code76-7-101. Bigamy --
Defense. (1) A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband
or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports
to marry another person or cohabits with another person.(2) Bigamy is a
felony of the third degree.And here's Tennessee's:TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED39-15-301. Bigamy.(a) A person
commits bigamy who:1) Is married and purports to marry a person other than
the person's spouse in this state under circumstances that would, but for
the person's existing marriage, constitute a marriage........(c) Bigamy is a Class A misdemeanor.Notice that there is no
"cohabitation" provision in Tennessee's code -- and notice that
bigamy is a felony in Utah, but only a misdemeanor in TN.Welcome to
the 21st Century.
Re: ". . . Utah's cohabitation law is a historical relic that
can't stand up to modern legal scrutiny."Sadly, that
"modern legal scrutiny" involves nothing more than taking a quick
assessment of the prevailing wind in leftist and Hollywood-elite circles, then
using psychobabble and liberal newspeak to justify their deranged, uninformed
opinion du jour.It wasn't always that way. At one time, legal
scholars enjoyed well-deserved respect and admiration. No more.Under
today's deranged liberal regime, having an opinion that differs from that
of the ruling elite is the worst form of treason. Such thought-treason will get
you into deep, deep trouble in their brave new libertine world.Just
ask Phil Robertson.
Folks, this really was very easy to predict.Marriage has
historically been the joining of a man and woman (Wow, what a concept!!).
It's been the bedrock of civilizations throughout history. Now that some
are trying to redefine marriage to include man and man, and woman and
woman...well, the flood gates have been open. Polygamy is just the beginning;
we haven't seen anything yet. I'll wager that the NAMBLA types
already have their lawyers working up a case for them to be able to marry
children. Sound far fetched?This is the result of trying in vain to
normalize a behavior that has never been, is not now, nor will ever be normal.
When nations embrace these perversions, their demise is not far. Sad how
depraved we've become in our "evolved" state.
@Sven --"Polygamy is just the beginning; we haven't seen
anything yet. I'll wager that the NAMBLA types already have their lawyers
working up a case for them to be able to marry children. Sound far
fetched?"Oh PLEASE stop with the fear mongering.Utah
is NOT making polygamy legal. It is ONLY bringing state law into line with laws
that have existed in other states for decades already."This is
the result of trying in vain to normalize a behavior that has never been, is not
now, nor will ever be normal. "Homosexuality is just as
"normal" as left-handedness is. Would you like to ban that too?
Yes, it took a TV show to bring the law to court, but that doesn't mean the
law should not have been challenged - especially since it is so seldom
prosecuted anyway. The way the law was written, it did not just
affect polygamists but other people as well. Divorce not quite final because
your ex is being a pain and refusing to sign the papers but your lease is up so
you move in with your new boyfriend or girlfriend? Felony bigamy. And while you may not like the challenge or the ruling, that doesn't
change the fact that it was about the Constitutionality of the law and the fair
treatment of the plaintiffs.
To me it doesn't matter IF plural marriage is legal... I'm not going
to participate in it. Just as it doesn't matter to me if gay marriage is
legal... I'm not going to participate in it either way.The only
reason I can see for a behavior being illegal is IF... there is a detrimental
impact on society by allowing the behavior. I guess you could make that case
in either of these. But in the end... regardless of legal/illegal it
doesn't matter to me. It's not like I'm going to go out and do
either just because they made it legal.
@ Sven: Have you ever read the Bible or studied history? Polygamy is rampant in
"you can wine to a federal court ..."Was it merlot,
chardonnay or shariz do you think?
2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UTTo me it doesn't matter IF plural
marriage is legal... I'm not going to participate in it. Just as it
doesn't matter to me if gay marriage is legal... I'm not going to
participate in it either way.======= Wowzers 2 bits.mark it down, for once we can agree on something!BTW - Welcome to
polygamy will be legal in the United States within 10 years.First case
North Dakota courts allowed the Marriage of two men to go ahead and marry
(legally) a women.
Some don't seem to know the difference between Bigamy and Polygamy. Bigamy
is ILLEGAL everywhere and is more than one couple being LEGALLY married.
Polygamy is where there may be ONE legal marriage and other "spouses"
that are "spiritual" marriages or just co-habitation. If someone borrows
or rents a room to somebody (and they are not intimate) that is a lot different
than the other two. Both Bigamy and Polygamy causes many problems with finances
and support of the larger number of children and has caused much heartache
especially for women and children. The Browns may not be guilty of this and each
case has to be taken on it's individual merits. But as a rule, the larger
polygamy groups often have been guilty of underage "marriage", women
feeling they have to do it to get into heaven and overuse of welfare. These
things are sad and will continue to be prosecuted as against the law. Also, many
women and girls (and some lost boys) can seek help in escaping this lifestyle.
Adult Americans should have the freedom and the right to do as they please so
long as they don’t infringe on the freedom and rights of others to do the
same. Other than the religious notions, marriage is simply a legal contract
between two or more individuals. That contract is not necessarily cast in
stone. Children, non-adults, do not have these freedoms and rights.
In truth their status is more like the status of slaves to their parent
masters. Beyond rules of humanity, the government has no authority. However,
the government sets the rules and can determine the best parental set to insure
that the children can grow up to be fully fledged and capable of an American
Thanks to the letter writer...good comments and thank you Contrarius...(I am
left-handed and I know that people used to think of that as a terrible thing).
Now, people know that we are just the same as everyone else and fit into society
well. Gay people can fit into society too. We shouldn't judge people by
their genetics and so forth, but by their actions. Abusers have hurt people
(but that is by actions, not by attributes.)
Kimber,Really?? When did people think being left handed was terrible? I
think you're being a little over-dramatic about it.I think
people have always known left handed people are just like everyone else and fit
into society well. When were left handed people oppressed? Maybe it was
before my time.I think we all know gay people can fit into society
too (and people in polygamous families). Has anybody said they can't?I hope we can stop taking everything to the ludicrous extremes and deal
with what people really think/feel (instead of assuming people fit our
stereotypes for them or that if you are X you MUST believe Y).Nobody's saying gay people don't fit in society, or that left handed
people don't fit well into society.Some people may not support
redefining "Marriage". But that doesn't automatically mean they
hate gay people OR left handed people. They may be OK with gay people and left
handed people and just not want to change the traditional definition of
"Marriage"...But if we don't assume extremes and
stereotypes about each other... there's a chance we can make progress.
"Bigamy is ILLEGAL everywhere and is more than one couple being LEGALLY
married." Not in North Dakota as of last week.
And the false accusations against all polygamists and Bigamists, really, 30
years ago they were saying the same bigoted stories about how bad same sex
relations were. If you break down the argument of marriage being between one
man and one women, you have nothing to stand on regarding the legal marriage of
one man and many women or one women and many men. All the evil hype falls to
the floor in such an argument. I love when individuals quote the Canadian law
system that polygamy relations ships are subject to harm. Yet they ignore same
sex relationships that are harmful, and regular marriages that are harmful, why
because they have a close minded bigoted concept of how they view relationships.
It must fit their liberal concept of what should be allowed and only their
concept will be allowed.
Maybe a quick refresher course, watch the movie "Paint Your Wagon" with
Client Eastwood, Lee Marvin, and Jean Seberg.
While neither practicing or advocating polygamy, it is odd that we criminalize
legal commitments to more that one spouse while at the same time ignoring and
even glamorizing mistresses and children borne out of wedlock. Former Sen.and
presidential candidate John Edwards would only be in legal trouble if he had
married the second woman.
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