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Letter: Marriage persecution

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  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    I agree with "Hutterite"....and also believe that gay marriage is TWO people looking for equality to have the same rights under the law as traditional married couples. While polygamous marriages are shown to have many inherent problems related to their numbers and also the fact that this causes 2nd class citizenship of women and young girls.

  • mpo South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    The LGBT community is kind of in a tough spot on this one.

    If they don't now support every group who wants government recognition of any arbitrary extension to the definition of marriage, then they are hypocrites.

    (this is why I think extending the marriage definition at all is a bad idea because it open this can of worms)

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Jan. 5, 2014 1:43 a.m.

    This, your horse can't consent to a contract. So sorry.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Jan. 5, 2014 1:42 a.m.

    Hardly Chris B. When you have more than two people a whole new body of law to deal with it needs to be drawn up. Personally I have no problem with poly-whatever as long as it isn't abusive.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    I have left a contribution before on how the two lifestyles don't compare in the number of people involved and in the problems involved. Different courts handle these issues and I believe that while gay marriage will be legalized everywhere, polygamy will not with it's problems. A judge recently "decriminalized" polygamy as long as those involved keep the law. These laws include no bigamy (legally marrying someone else), underage brides, child abuse and welfare fraud. The polygamy communities have not been known to keep these laws well, so I don't believe they will thrive.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    @Chris B & wrz;

    Investigate the term and meaning of "similarly situated". Then get back with me.

    @Tyler D:
    "We prevent 14 year olds from doing all sorts of things that do not create 14th amendment issues drinking, voting, driving, signing contracts, joining the military, etc.

    That seems discriminatory under Shelby's ruling using the 14th Amendment."

    --- Not if we treat ALL 14 year olds in the same manner. (see above comment about "similarly situated").

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    WRZ: When you use a slippery slope argument, at least realize you are doing so and that generally society has moved on from such "stop it now before it gets out of hand" solutions. The classic example of the fallacy of your argument is the domino theory that was widely accepted during the cold war period. Communism had been on the rise since 1917 in Russia and the world map was becoming increasingly "red" and was shown as such in textbooks. Hence the logic was unassailable (at the time) that we had to stop communism in Vietnam before it came to our shores. An eight year war and 55,000 dead proved the fallacy and communism decayed of its own weight in twenty years later.

    Because same sex marriage is abhorrent to you does not mean that "we are going to hell in a hand basket" only that on this one issue the public sentiment has changed.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Confused; When you grandmother married at 14 she probably didn't even get a license. No one cared and cities and counties didn't need the revenue. Minors however have been a protected class since the beginning in common law. Some "idiot politician" wouldn't get past public opinion or the first court test of such a plan.

    Thid: Horsing around is your business. But if it happens, please get back with me because I want to be there when they file for a license.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:26 a.m.

    @Kalindra:
    "And remember, it won't just be Adam and his several wives, but Eve and her several husbands, and Lilith and her several spouses of both genders. And if Ben is married to Mary and Esther, can Mary marry John while Esther marries Joe and Ben marries Miriam? And if so, what is Miriam's relationship to Joe and John?"

    I think you've put your finger on why marriage should be limited to just one man/one woman. Allowing any other combination only opens the door to what you describe.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:20 a.m.

    @CHS 85:
    "As long as the old guys don't marry 14-year-old girls..."

    That would be discrimination under the 14th Amendment. Didn't you read Judge Shelby's judgement?

    @Tyler D:
    "... I see this as highly unlikely given the fact that all societies either now or in history have recognized some real/practical separation between adults & children..."

    We're not talking other 'societies.' We're talking the 14th Amendment to this countries constitution which does not allow discrimination per Judge Shelby.

    "With respect to gay people, there have been societies throughout history that have allowed their unions..."

    There have been societies throughout history that have allowed children to marry... and to drink... and to use marijuana...

    "Where are the 14 year olds clamoring to get married, vote or patronize bars?"

    The issue has nothing to do with 'clamoring.' The issue has to do with equal protection under the law. Check out the 14th Amendment when you get a chance.

    @Stalwart Sentinel:
    "...one's sexual orientation is immutable and something you are born with..."

    Sexual orientation can be manged, with effort. Gays have been known to marry the opposite sex, have children, and enjoy the good life.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:03 a.m.

    @Ranch:
    "Just a note, polygamists already HAVE marriage equality. They can marry ONE person of their choice."

    Polygamy is marrying several people at the same time.

    "That's all that LGBT people have been asking for: the right to marry ONE person of their choice."

    LGBT's can marry the person of their choice... so long as that person is of the opposite sex. Just like anybody else.

    @atl134:
    "I'm fine with it being decriminalized."

    Decriminalizing is legalizing.

    "Legalizing it would be a mess since it'd be changing a 2-person contract (and no you can't just have a bunch of 2-person contracts..."

    A person can have contracts with more than one person at a time.

    "... the overlapping nature of it would leave a mess out of taxes and other issues."

    No problem... just add more lines for spouses on IRS 1040 page one... Brigham Young musta had such a situation with all his wives.

    @Tyler D:
    "We prevent 14 year olds from doing all sorts of things that do not create 14th amendment issues drinking, voting, driving, signing contracts, joining the military, etc"

    That seems discriminatory under Shelby's ruling using the 14th Amendment.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon:
    "FYI -- Warren Jeffs is sitting in prison right now for sex with a minor, and contributing to the rape of a minor. Not for polygamy."

    Once same sex marriage becomes legal, polygamy is next, then incest, then child marriages. If same sex marriages become legal so should all other combinations of marriages be legal including the marriage that Warren Jeffs entered into with the younger girls. Remember, he was married to them. He's likely clapping his hands in sheer joy knowing that soon he may be free. He has the LGBT's to thank.

    Let's say Texas (where Jeffs was prosecuted and jailed) has to give in to same sex marriage, Jeffs can run his case up to the US Supreme Court and get the same judgement on polygamy and underage marriage. If not, he can surely claim discrimination... and win.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Polygamous groups are not similarly situated to couples.

    If one member of a couple dies, there is only one person left to inherit the worldly possessions of the deceased. There is only one person to make medical decisions should the other one become incapacitated. There are many, many other examples. All of our marriage laws and policies are based on couples. The gender of the two people who comprise that couple makes no difference - neither does the ability of that couple to reproduce.

    Having more than two people - more than a couple - makes a huge difference. This difference may not be insurmountable, but it does mean polygamous groups are not similarly situated and there are a lot of legal questions and ramifications that would need to be resolved before polygamy could be legalized.

    And remember, it won't just be Adam and his several wives, but Eve and her several husbands, and Lilith and her several spouses of both genders. And if Ben is married to Mary and Esther, can Mary marry John while Esther marries Joe and Ben marries Miriam? And if so, what is Miriam's relationship to Joe and John?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    To compare the love of two human beings as the same as loving your pet says a lot about who you are, and that racism would be easily accepted by someone who could compare other humans to animals. The Idea that children are the same as adults and would ever be treated as such is how absurd you have to get to defend your bigotry.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    It's kind of a strange concept to grasp, but minors do not have the same Constitutional rights as an adult. You see, we have this thing called ages of majority which is designed to determine when a child is mature enough to exercise his or her rights responsibly. It's a wonderful means of protection for our minors.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Ranch,

    If your argument is that polygamists already have the same right as others in marrying ONE person then the same "logic" can be used to say that gays have always had the same rights as all people in being allowed to marry someone of the opposite gender,

    If they don't want to, well, polygamists don't want to marry just one.

    Disingenuous and frankly very weak argument you make there.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    The part of the story that Tyler Jensen left out was the probable truth that the religious powers of the day influenced the government to pass a law requiring marriage discrimination according to private religious belief. The same sort of improper government action came about because of the power of religious influence upon the government of Utah. Both cases violate the notion of freedom of religion alluded to in the First Amendment.

    If a person pledges to uphold the purpose, meaning and promises of the founding fathers and the documents that they created, a person must temper their outward religious activities to fit within the American creed. Believe as you will, but act according to the rules of America.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    I personally have no problem with polygamy being legally recognized but it seems a different level of legal scrutiny would be applied because one's sexual orientation is immutable and something you are born with (even the LDS Church admits this) while polygamy typically is based on one's religious persuasions (ie a choice) - I am unfamiliar with any precedent on an "I was born a polygamist" argument. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the courts.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    What if my horse and I really do love each other?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    @2 bits
    The slippery slope logic you use is basically the same as that used by those who opposed interracial marriage. If you can't separate out the differences between a white man marrying
    1. a black woman
    2. another man
    3. multiple women
    4. a child
    5. a dog

    ... well, that's your problem.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    @Confused and @2 bits

    It’s an interesting question with a “slippery slope” logic to it, but again I see this as highly unlikely given the fact that all societies either now or in history have recognized some real/practical separation between adults & children, and for a whole host of obvious reasons.

    Granted the exact age of a minor is somewhat arbitrary but our entire legal system is based on arbitrary lines being drawn (e.g., 65mph OK – above that you’re breaking the law). And as you said, the question is not only who will challenge it but would it be a case of such social importance as to rise to the level of Federal or Supreme Court action? I doubt it…

    With respect to gay people, there have been societies throughout history that have allowed their unions, their actions don’t harm society, the prejudices against them are largely religious and/or bigoted in nature, and there has been a significant constituency fighting for equal rights for a long time.

    Where are the 14 year olds clamoring to get married, vote or patronize bars?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    As long as the old guys don't marry 14-year-old girls, and/or commit welfare fraud, then what difference does it make?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Tyler D,
    That was the point of my post. All these restrictions based on age could now be open to a law suit based on the "equal protection" interpretation. At what age do people deserve equal protection or equal rights? The judge didn't decide that in his ruling... but some judge will have to some day.

    The same goes for age based discrimination on drinking, smoking, etc. According to the judge's interpretation of equal protection... it's government endorsed discrimination to not allow one person to do what is allowed for another.

    So these "of age" laws can be challenged in a court of law... and found "unconstitutional". The precedent has been set and the judge has to follow it. The only question is if anybody will challenge them.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    I'm in favor of it. Discrimination is discrimination. Isn't it? Or am I just being facetious?

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Tyler,
    That is the point of 2 bits post...

    We limit their drinking, voting, driving, or whatever... That is denying them their 14 amendment rights (as told by Judge Shelby), who to say they are not of age? Who set this arbitrary "Be of age" limit? Some idiot politician?

    My grandmother was married at the age of 14, raised 11 kids on farm down in the south. She knew full well the what the implications of being married was and took on the responsibilities.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    I don't have a problem with polygamists marrying multiple women, or if a woman wanted, marrying multiple men.

    The late Alex Joseph, founder of the Utah town Big Water, was a polygamist who supported his wives, if they wanted to go to college, or leave the family. He would give any of his wives $1000 and a car if they wanted to go, and many did. At any given time he would have 6-8 wives, and one of his wives was the Kane County attorney, educated at the U of U law school.

    There was nothing coercive about this arrangement, it's kind of hard to be opposed to that kind of freedom.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    @2 bits – “I don't know that the government can continue preventing 14 year olds from wedding now. That would not be equal protection under the law (age discrimination).”

    No…

    We prevent 14 year olds from doing all sorts of things that do not create 14th amendment issues – drinking, voting, driving, signing contracts, joining the military, etc.

    Unless society undertakes a fundamental change in its “of age” norms, this ruling will have no impact on stretching those bounds.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    "I wonder how many in the LGBT community and those who support them will, in turn, support the polygamists in their fight for marriage equality."

    Depends what you mean by support. I'm fine with it being decriminalized. Legalizing it would be a mess since it'd be changing a 2-person contract (and no you can't just have a bunch of 2-person contracts, the overlapping nature of it would leave a mess out of taxes and other issues).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    I don't know that the government can continue preventing 14 year olds from wedding now. That would not be equal protection under the law (age discrimination). By that standard if you prevent a 14 year old from marrying you could get sued!

    I think there are a lot of unintended consequences from this ruling. We will just have to deal with them as they come up. But it's clear that you can't pretend anybody who wants to from marrying now. That would all be government discrimination of one type or another and by this ruling... "illegal".

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Tyler;

    Just a note, polygamists already HAVE marriage equality. They can marry ONE person of their choice. That's all that LGBT people have been asking for: the right to marry ONE person of their choice.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Didn't a judge just throw a bone to the polygamist community a couple weeks ago? That having been said, I don't think anybody is looking at this as being open ended. I haven't heard anybody advocating for same sex marriage also advocating for incest or forced marriage or child abuse. Same sex couples, motivated by biology, appear to be looking for the benefits of a stable, long term monogamous relationship between consenting adults. Polygamists, however, are ideologically driven, by religion in this case, which has proven time and again subject to all kinds of abuse.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    Tyler, let's legalize all of it with one provision. All participants must be of age and enter such relationships of their own "free mind and will". Then we can finally concentrate on real issues that effect society like educating and feeding our children, creating good paying jobs and pug the economic drain the corporate world has given us.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I see no way for the government to continue outlawing polygamous marriages or any type of marriage with the reasoning used to win the LGBT case. Maybe the Carpenters (brother and sister who wanted to marry)... were just ahead of their time. They had to leave the US to be married, but they could have sued and won in the US if they had tried.

    The reasoning used by the judge in this case makes it clear that absolutely no restrictions can be tolerated (or you would be denying someone "equal protection"). So obviously this opens the door to every relationship possible.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 31, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    I wonder how many in the LGBT community and those who support them will, in turn, support the polygamists in their fight for marriage equality.

    Tyler Jensen

    =======

    I do.

    FYI -- Warren Jeffs is sitting in prison right now for sex with a minor, and contributing to the rape of a minor.
    Not for polygamy.