I'm big on monogomy...but this judge has a good point! I asked a guy the
other day how many kids he had and he said 11. He gave me ages of 3, 6, 7, 7,
7, 10, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15... I told him how unique it was for one family to
have triplets and quads...he (without blinking) said...different moms...If one is illegal the other one should be too! Both types feed off of
the government via unemployment, Medicaid and food stamps...It's all wrong in my book....
The Utah State Constitution very clearly states that marriage is between one man
and one woman and no other relationship no matter what you call it is a marriage
or is equivalent to a marriage. There is no difference between this relationship
and an affair because Utah law prohibits the recognition of any difference.
Just call it an affair. People don't care when it's an affair.
Consenting adults. Big deal!@ indycrimson- "Both types feed off
of the government via unemployment, Medicaid and food stamps..." Both types,
meaning Republicans and Democrats?
Maudine,What is your point? This case is not about what is or isn't
marriage. Its about what should be and shouldn't be a felon. The stupid
thing is that if these 4 women and 1 man simply lived together under one roof,
no one would care, but because they state that they are married, all of a sudden
its a felony. Am I the only one here that sees how ridiculous that is?The whole argument seems to be that polygamists sometimes marry underage girls
and kick boys out of the family, so all polygamists are felons...guilt by
association. I'm not asking anyone to agree with polygamy, but polygamy is
not a crime and should not be considered one.
Eddy...no political divide here.I have knowledge that many
polygamist families pose the wives as single moms and draw welfare support. You
get 4 or 5 of these coming into a house that makes their own clothes, gets food
stamps and $400.00 per month per child and life is made much easier. If 5 moms
have 5 kids and get 400.00 each in support you just racked up 100k in that
home.The guy I mentioned with 11 kids...he works and pays ZERO child
supports and none of the females work.Thx
If I remember right polygamy only became a felony due to the federal government
bullying one religion. It wasn't about what was morally wrong or right at
that time due to the fact there was not medicaid or food stamps back then. They,
the government, just wanted to tear, law abiding families, apart. So now
anything immoral is considered OK and that which is moral is considered an
infringement of my right to be immoral.
It seems like there are enough child abuse laws in place to catch any reasons
for keeping polygamy as a crime. In the meantime, aren't there more
important issues then what's going on between four completely consensual
If they are all just living together I can't see that a law is broken. If
they are calling each other husband and wife and claiming that they are married,
that is a different story. It is illegal in every state to be married to more
than one person at a time.
Behold the further unraveling of marriage in our society...
It's hypocritical fro LDS people to condem or seek to discredit this kind
of marriage/relationship, or have they forgotten what it's like to
faithfully and religiously believe in your heart differently then the majority
believe.If everyone is of age then it's a freedom of religion
issue. Please don't try and use the "we don't allow
"sacrificial killings" baloney there is no comparison or slippery slope.
The difference between an affair and a bigamist or polygamist "marriage"
is the latter implies some tye of permanent (or at least semi-permanent)
relationship or contract between the parties while the former does not.Most polygamists here, if I am not mistaken, claim a "spiritual" union
with wives number 2,3,4,etc. Those who enter into affairs claim no such
relationship or implied contract.We have a federal judge and a state
attorney who cannot see that? pretty sad.
happy valley heretic, It's not the hypocrisy, it's the law. I
don't remember the date, but congress in the 1880's, passed the
Edmunds Act and it was upheld by the supreme court as the law of the land, it
made 'polygamy' illegal. a little while later, the Edmunds-Tucker Act
was passed that allowed the federal government to confiscate the property of
'polygamists', and the organizations that taught or supported it.
This was also upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Of course in
order for Utah to become a state, this had to be treated in the constitution of
You aren't married unless the State issues a license. Living together, no
matter what you call the partners is not marriage.
Shimlau Said " happy valley heretic, It's not the hypocrisy, it's
the law. Regardless of the law's, it was still practiced by the
church until the Statehood tradeoff.So the law apparently didn't
matter to the faithful either, until it was politically advantageous to do so.
Dektol said: "You aren't married unless the State issues a license.
Living together, no matter what you call the partners is not marriage."What about common law marriage that exist in many states?
Lost: I guess that is ultimately the point. You have two groups of people
cohabitating. One group maintains zero responsibility for their actions, claims
no legal backing for their relationships and lives without any form of
harrassment from the law. The other group accepts the responsibility for their
actions, claims a binding contract for their relationship, and they are punished
by the law, but are doing nothing different as far as actual actions than the
first group. I think the judge has a valid point in questioning why society
sees the two so differently when one is punished for accepting responsibility
and the other is not punished and accepts no responsibility. (And yes, I know it
is "against the law", and there are people that abuse children and etc,
etc, etc.... That isn't the question being raised by this situation)
Some drivers drive drunk. But we don't ban cars.Burglars operate at
night. But, it is not illegal to travel after dark.Some trusted people
steal money. But, we still have trusted people.There are people who will
abuse any system or freedom. That doesn't mean that we eliminate that
system for all people. It is hard to see how these 5 people are harming anyone -
themselves and their children included. If there is some form of welfare abuse
going on, then tailor the welfare laws to stop it. We already have plenty of
child abuse laws. While I can't imagine having more than one wife, if these
people want that sort of relationship then leave then alone.
In 1856 the Republican Party platform referred to polygamy as one of "the
twin relics of barbarism." I just heard the doorbell. Tell your mother the
barbarians are at the gate.The other relic was slavery. If they legalize polygamy again, is slavery next? Or will they just call them
"consenting adults" who willingly work for an owner who pays just enough
to live on while 'da boss man' grow ever richer? Slavery, like
polygamy never really went away. It just altered its form a little.Like everything else, there are good employers and bad ones. There are those
that take advantage, and those who don't. There were even a few good
polygamous marriages at one time. (Read B.H. Roberts "Defender of the
Faith" if you disagree.) But the bad ones. Well, you know who you
are...Those involved "have broken the hearts of your tender
wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples
before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And
because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you,
many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds." (Jacob 2:35)
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof"Polygamy among consenting
adults never should have been made illegal in the first place. As an active
member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that God no
longer wants His Church to practice polygamy. But this doesn't mean that
other people should not have protection to do so if they believe it is part of
their religion. I agree with the assistant attorney general, however that the
law has to draw a line somewhere, but even his legal limit for determining
drunkenness doesn't uphold his argument that polygamy should be illegal in
all instances. Naturally, they should set a legal age limit for someone to be
able to enter in to a polygamous relationship, such as 18 or even 21 if that is
a better place for them to strike a compromise. Before this age, not even
parental consent will allow someone to enter into a polygamous relationship.
There needs to be a legal limit set, to be sure, but keeping polygamy illegal in
all instances is not the correct solution as it violates constitutional rights.
Hey, I sent in the 2nd comment on this story yesterday. Never heard back.
Don't see anything posted. What's wrong with your system?
Oh come on, the Brown's were not forced to leave Utah. The narcissistic ego
maniacal pater familia of the Brown clan (Cody)wanted to move to Vegas. The
whole state investigation was overblown and overhyped for TV ratings. In
addition, the church likes to make a big point out of prosecuting polygamy to
continue to convince everyone that they are against it and have banned it despit
the fact they mostly turn a blind eye.
So if they just wouldn't say they were married then the legal issue would
go away, then it just becomes one married couple who happens to allow affairs.
That seems to be the problem. If the Browns aren't willing to take that
view then it would seem they want the state to allow a polygamous marriage
situation. The state, meanwhile, needs to find some way to prosecute them, for
more than the Browns saying that they're polygamous, which is where the
child abuse/endangerment/cohabitation comes into play. It's all just a
What part of the 1st amendment do some people not understand? I personally
don't want to practice polygamy and my religion specifically doesn't
allow it at this time. But that doesn't mean that the government can
violate the rights of others who think it is part of their religion to practice
Leave them be. They aren't hurting anyone.
Shimlau,Don’t try to correct Happy Valley Heretic. He vehemently
calls people liars who do not believe 49.2% or 43.7% constitute a majority, so
we know he has no credibility.NedGrimley,In some ways you are
correct, but in others, I’m afraid I disagree. When polygamists collect
welfare for the “single mothers” and their children that all live
together in the same compound rather than supporting themselves, I do not think
one can properly say that they accept responsibility for their actions.But the issue was not the relative morality, but what the difference is
between polygamists and the participants in an affair.
It is funny to read this article and remember that in the past I have said that
polygamy will be justified using similar arguments that gay marriage advocates
use. Well, here we go. I am just wondering why the liberals are not out there
screaming that this should be legalized like they did with gay marriage.
Lost: Certainly you know from my post that I realize there are instances in
which responsibility is not taken. That happens in all aspects of society, not
just polygamy. But that is also not the point.
Based on the .08 and .07 blood alcohol limits premise, here’s something to
consider You can drink at home but not drink and drive. Oh, this one is better
- presently, you can have one beer and still legally allowed to drive. But you
cannot have lots of beers and still allowed to drive. Why? Well the more beers
the less safe it is. Therefore we need to get some reliable irrefutable data
that connect abuse DIRECTLY to polygamous marriages, and that the
risks/likelihood of abuse are greater in polygamous families than monogamous
ones. I'm sure there's enough data out there. Then the government can
stand by the one beer/wife law - safer and more constructive to society than
lots of beers/wives (2 or more). Now that is not a kitchen sink argument.
The one-husband-one-wife marriage relationship is the one most likely to provide
familial success, in my opinion. (And I believe history would support that
notion.)That being said...With all the ongoing strife
and ill feelings with regards to marriage, I'm wondering if maybe the
government get out of the "marriage" business. Rather than issue a
marriage license, they could issue a civil union license which conveys the
various civic perks. The "marriage" would then be performed in the
church, if the couple (or triple or whatever) is so inclined, and assming
it's sanctioned by the church, of course.(I have reservations
about the government sponsoring such relationships in the form of various
welfare programs. But that problem isn't exclusive to polygamous families,
and is a separate issue.)Peace!
lost in DC said: " When polygamists collect welfare for the “single
mothers” and their children that all live together in the same compound
rather than supporting themselves, I do not think one can properly say that they
accept responsibility for their actions."Does using the word
"Compound" instead of Home make you feel better? If they were
married then the government can keep track of mothers and fathers to prevent
fraud just like this, and to allow them to come out of hiding."But the issue was not the relative morality, but what the difference is
between polygamists and the participants in an affair."lost in
DC said: I suppose the late Prophet Brigham Young or many other pillars of
Utah's history could tell you the difference, but I don't think they
felt like it was just a way to cheat on your wife.
Just because two or more people state that they are married, does not make it
so. Prove it with legal documentation and then there is something to discuss.
And though I would not want a polygamous relationship, I really can not see why
it is illegal. At least they want to be legally responsible for their children.
By legalizing these marriage, it would place the burden of any children onto the
mother and father's legal shoulders. Is that not better than all the
unattached adults running around like dogs, dropping their litters where ever
they have them? Harsh, maybe, but really...!
The question presented is not about semantics, welfare, or child abuse, but
equal application of the law. Strictly speaking, to fulfill his oath of office,
Jensen should prosecute the Browns who are in admitted violation of the
state's bigamy law. There are also other pre-twentieth century morality
laws that forbid fornication, adultery, and sodomy on the books of Utah and
other states. Again, strictly speaking, Jensen, and other prosecutors should
be enforcing those other morality laws as well. The article implies what we all
know, when concerning consenting adults, violation morality laws are not
prosecuted. It is this apparent dichotomy that brings the question “What
is the difference between consenting adults engaged in an affair and consenting
adults in a polygamous marriage?” Jensen skirted the question with a
child-abuse response, which is weak. All relationships that involve children
potentially involve abuse. That is why there are laws against acts of abuse
rather than laws against (generally speaking), the relationships. Can we be a
just society and ignore one set of morality laws between consenting adults, but
enforce another that is also between consenting adults, simply because one is
labeled adultery and the other bigamy?
Kouger officially cracks me up.
Maudine, these types of cases are as much about looking forward to what should
be as they are looking backward at what has been up to now the way it is.
Perhaps the laws have been based on one particular model, driven by one single
belief. What this case discusses is, is that how it should be, is this case one
example of a valid change we should allow, and what law do we make, should we
allow this change, to protect all parties as we allow this change going forward?
I am not an attorney, but common sense and a lot of reading and decent
intelligence tell me this is a fairly accurate read of this situation.
It's interesting that some think that a man marrying two women is so sick
and wrong, yet those same people think that 2 men (or women) should be able to
marry each other. I actually personally don't care either way, I'm
just making an observation.I agree that they should just live
together without saying that they are "married". It's not
officially recognized as marriage, so why put yourself in the crosshairs of
Dektol said: "You aren't married unless the State issues a license.
Living together, no matter what you call the partners is not marriage."This is the Correct answer. What happens between consenting adults is none of
the governments business. The U.S. Supreme court upheld this years ago.
With all the concern that anti-polygamy laws are supposed to help prevent child
abuse, I have a couple of thoughts. One--if polygamy is legal, the people,
including every new spouse, will need to present themselves to obtain another
marriage certificate to be filled out and signed, and signed by the other
spouses as well. This will prevent underage people from marrying. Two--it is
recognised that having a teacher and an assistant in a class is better for young
students, allowing more attention per child. So how could it not be better if
mothers who are consenting adults as in the Brown family work together to rear
their children? While personally, it's not my cup of hot chocolate, I can
see why, for those who would feel drawn to that way of life, knowing it would be
not be something to be hidden any longer would certainly allow one the ability
to do what life demands daily without stress on parents or children. Isn't
that better for everyone? PS...yes, I'm a liberal, for anyone who gives a
I've really tried hard for so many years to understand a man that would
want more than one wife? For some reason, my mind goes back to our small cattle
ranch in Oklahoma. I can never forget that prize bull. We had so many new calves
that one spring. Not to pick on this family because they are real people and not
animals, but WE are NOT animals. I actually blame the woman more than the men. I
would like to load all the females and take you out to a pasture to watch how
the cows behave when the "prize bull" is turned loose. Come on girls, we
have two legs not four. And believe you me, we have enough men to go around that
we can have one all to our self. Just saying..I guess, I REALLY DON'T get
The freedom of religion covers polygamy too. All polygamy is, is having one wife
and several mistresess. Nothing wrong with that since they are consenting
adults. If there was anything wrong with having a mistress our jails would be
full to overflowing with people. Cody and his family don't live off of the
Polygamy is a crime when it is forcesd by a religious system and the man can
marry as many wives as he sees it fit ... sometimes up to over 40 ... and
fathers hundred of children ... and the question of abuse, support, proper
care, love and attention is raised as well as free will decision making.THis said if some people want to consensually marry a man like Kody and
everyone is taken care for, provided for and no abuse happens .... i think it
is their right as long as the number of women is limited ...... (and it should
because otherwise it is men just being lustful ... and having sex with all the
girls he wants ... which is really disgusting ... (and in my books i dont think
it should be more than two or three wives)...
continuedI can see how it could work for the women, the men and the
children ....; but to make polygamy legal is quite another matter ...I personnally would not marry anyone because as you said many men cheat on
their wives ... so why would i take a chance on my health or have my heart
broken ....Conclusion : though i would not prosecute this guy if
everyone is happy with the arrangement and it is by common consent and all
members are properly taken care of ... ..... i would still not make polygamy
Looking at all the aspects of polygamy though, it still poses problems when it
comes to sexual diseases, with HIV being the worse, if people break the rules of
complete fidelity in the marraige arrangement, of inner breeding in the
following generations, of the burden for the man to be able to provide for all
the children ... or the man abusing the situation ....so all things should be
discussed openly, problems tackled to ensure no one is hurt, abused or
neglected, .. rules should be put in place and fully complied with (to reduce
risks, harm, abuse, neglect and misery to a minimum) ... and limits drawn to
men's desire to have more wives .... just for his lust
The standard now has become hundreds of sexual partners and kids with multiple
partners, wedding optional.Pretty hard to convict someone of
polygamy I would suppose.
If a polygamous family is from a polygamous tradition that does indeed forces
girls to marry and kicks young men out of the home at too young of an age, the
state of Utah has a very valid point. Otherwise I see little difference between
polgamy and consenting adults choosing to have multiple partners. Utah has laws
against fornication and adultery.
If the only argument that the state can come up with is that because they are
poligs there may be child abuse means we don't have many deep thinkers in
the AG's office. Waddups brought that point out.
So the Prosecutor thinks that it is not okay to have multiple cohabitating
adults but sleeping with 10 different women and not committing to them is okay?
Weak logic and arguments indeed.
The real issue here boils down to the purpose of laws. Should they punish harm
or enforce subjective morality? If the latter, then there's no logical
reason for 19th century LDS to complain about others banning polygamy. Our
ancestors' claims of religious persecution mirror those of the
Browns'. How can LDS today hypocritically oppose legalizing polygamy?
Opposing polygamy because the Church doesn't currently practice it is no
different than those who based their opposition to polygamy 150 years ago on
their own religious beliefs. Scripture likewise condemns using subjective
morals to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others (1 Cor. 10:29,
D&C 134:4).If laws are to instead punish objective harm, we must
ask who the Browns, as consenting adults, are harming? The kids aren't.
They have multiple parental figures, at least one of whom stays at home for the
kids. There are no risks to tax payers any more that a man who has one wife and
three mistresses. They are happy to have the polygamous wives remain legally
single women. They aren't asking for special rights.There is
no logical reason to retain the ban on polygamy for consenting adults.
Nrajr: “There are also other pre-twentieth century morality laws that
forbid fornication, adultery, and sodomy on the books of Utah and other
states...Jensen, and other prosecutors should be enforcing those other morality
laws as well.”KJK: Sorry, but the Supreme Court's
Lawrence vs. Texas decision outlawed bans on homosexuality and cohabittating.
The above mentioned laws are invalid under Lawrence. The Browns might fall
under it too. It's another proof that the law should only be used to
punish objective harm rather than promote subjective religious/moral beliefs.
Adultery is just as destructive to our society as it ever was. We, as a society
have decided to accept it as a moral choice only involving the adults involved.
We are wrong.Civil law may now allow immorality, but God still knows
our society will fail unless we return to higher standards.
Ahhh...the paradox of prosecuting those who live in a polygamous marriage. How can you prosecute people under the law when under the law the man is
only married to one woman?
The Brown's should wise up and get of TV and out of the press. Being in
the media is nothing but trouble.