Is There a Case for Legalizing Polygamy?
1. For a long time I have found the practice of polygamy intriguing, and have wondered why opposition to this form of marriage is so strong in the United States and most of the world see my A Treatise on the Family, 1981,1993, Harvard University Press. I have been reflecting on this subject again as a result of the arrest several months ago of a fundamentalist Mormon leader in Utah who was charged with practicing polygamy, among other things. The Mormon Church since the 1890's had suspended the practice of polygamy under pressure from the United States Government. The act of having more than one spouse is now a felony in Utah, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, although authorities usually do not go after polygamists. While the ferocious opposition to polygamy seemed strange even in the 1970's, it is much stranger now in light of developments during the past couple of decades. These developments include a successful movement to legalize contracts between gays that allow them to live as married couples, even though there is ongoing emotional debate about whether such couples can legally be considered married . Gay couples can also adopt children. They can legally have their own children too through using male sperm to impregnate one partner of a lesbian couple, or through hiring women to become pregnant from the sperm of one member of a male homosexual relation. Men and women can be serial polygamists in the sense of marrying several times over their lifetimes after divorcing their prior spouses. Married women and men can have boy friends and girl friends without any legal difficulties, and have children with persons other than their spouses. I have no problem at all with serial polygamy, with allowing gays to have contracts that are equivalent to being married, or to allowing gay couples to be called married. I have much more questions about children being raised by gay couples since that form of parenting is a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document