Comments about ‘Letter: Marriage persecution’

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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 9:55 a.m. MST

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Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

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.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Sandy, UT

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.

American Fork, UT

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.

Here, UT


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.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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".

Salt Lake City, UT

"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).

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@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).”


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.

Bountiful, UT

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.

Sandy, UT

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.

Herriman, UT

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

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

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

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@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?

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

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

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


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.

Kearns, UT

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.

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