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Joseph Cramer, M.D.: We all should obey a new DOMA

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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    "I will court and woo the person I live with and ask them to marry me if I violated the first act."

    That's not a good reason to marry someone...

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Despite the fact that Dr. Cramer's writing is typically awkward, I agree with the general sentiment of this article.

    As each couple defends their own marriages, including dedicated same sex couples, the world will be a better place.

    My wife and I have been happily married thirty years...and no god or religious ceremony has been needed.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    The bullet points are a bit overbearing, but the premise of the article is valid. If we truly want to defend traditional marriage we should spend less time attacking gay marriages and spend more time preserving straight marriages (which are still the vast majority of relationships in this country). Heterosexual divorce, single parenthood, etc. are a far greater threat to society than gay marriage. Gay relationships are a tiny minority when compared to the total number of heterosexual divorces.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 2, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    Now THIS is the sort of DOMA that people should be striving for.

    I don't agree with every point on the list, but I'll stand firmly behind the principle of the thing.

    If you want to encourage "traditional" marriage, then work to strengthen YOUR OWN marriage. Leave other people alone!

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    People should not be having sex with someone they don't love, If you love someone why would you not marry them?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    Geez Dnews, get over it. Gay people should have the same rights as straight people. This has nothing to do with the predominate religion of this state. It has to do with doing the right thing.
    If two people, regardless of sexual orientation want to get married it has absolutely no bearing on anybody's life but their own.
    Time to grow up and move on. Perhaps you could spend more column space on articles about how we can help the poor.

  • andrew h Twin Falls, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    While I support the idea that sex should be saved for marriage I think that giving someone the advice that hey should "court and woo the person I live with and ask them to marry me if I violated the first act" is very bad advice and would lead to a lot of bad, short term marriages.

    Also the whole part about "I will love my female wife or my male husband" really awkward, nobody talks that way.

    But otherwise, a lot of good advice.

  • NorthboundZax Makanda, IL
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    Mostly reasonable, but the attempt to exclude homosexual marriage is clumsy and does not help the effort this list should be supporting.
    "I will love my female wife or my male husband by waking up every day and thinking what I can do to make her or his life better"
    would be far better all around as:
    "I will love my spouse by waking up every day and thinking what I can do to make her or his life better."

  • StudentofReason SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:57 p.m.

    This article completely ignores the means through which many people outside strict social and sexual guidelines find happiness. It includes a single viewpoint for singular gender roles. Those who believe God has a single plan for every person may be comfortable with it, but outside several of the truisms it repeats, so many good people will find it useless for their own lives.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:01 a.m.

    by all means let's do what we can to defend marriage. to defend my marriage I will treat my spouse with love and kindness and consideration. I won't waste my time trying to fight homosexual marriage. whether or not homosexual marriage exists has no bearing on mine or any other heterosexual marriage its a red herring.

    those that fight it would be better off being better husbands and wives. this is the way to defend traditional marriage.

    truth be told the fact that homosexual relationships get respect now as opposed to yesterday year actually benefits many heterosexual marriages.

    no longer do gay people Marry unsuspecting heterosexuals. such marriages don't have much of a chance because the attraction just isn't there.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 3, 2013 4:15 a.m.

    The following statement by Brad Wilcox is applicable:

    "Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin"

    Why do Christians and other religious folks so adamently defend tradtional marriage between a man and woman? Why do those for gay marriage apply equality and civil rights logic to a spiritual issue? Why can't they come together and find a mutual consensus?

    Marriage to those who believe it to be ordained of God between a man and a woman is the basis for family and life. It is a foundation for the purpose of existence. It is quite simply far more than an equality issue.

    Look at the trends today such as the breakdown of the family with single mothers, contention between men and women from hyper sexuality + emotional fallout from failed relationships, STDs from promiscuity, children having sex, and many other examples.

    There has never been a greater need for sexual exclusivity within those bounds God has set in traditional marriage.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Sept. 3, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    I disagree. I support the LBGT community and their right to marry who they love. If two people love each other, they SHOULD have the right to be happy and marry each other and have the same legal rights. And it's happening and this movement is growing. So whether people like it or not, it's going to happen. Fifty years ago, marrying someone of a different race was taboo. Now it's commonplace. Same sex marriage is headed that way.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    I remember watching a debate between Rev. Jerry Falwell, the deceased pastor and founder of the "Moral majority" and a guy who represented a gay organization. The topic was the "sanctity of marriage". Falwell had espoused for several intense moments about how a marriage between and man and a woman was sanctified by God. After his fevered dialogue the gay guy asked Falwell one question " Which marriage are you trying to sanctify? Your first marriage, your second marriage or your third? That was the effective end of that debate!!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    Have one rule. Make good memories. Who wants to think about regrets.

  • heidi ho Fort Collins, CO
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Read the Bible. Follow it, be happy.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    I like this article

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    @NorthboundZax --

    "Mostly reasonable, but the attempt to exclude homosexual marriage is clumsy and does not help the effort this list should be supporting.
    "I will love my female wife or my male husband by waking up every day and thinking what I can do to make her or his life better" "

    This statement is not actually anti-gay-marriage at all.

    I know women with female wives, and I know men with male husbands.

    :-)

  • Iancook Nevada, MO
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    The crux of the Article is, mind your own business. Do what you can to be the best spouse/parent you can and let others be who they are.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    @heidi ho – “Read the Bible. Follow it, be happy.”

    Or…

    Read the Bible - be dismayed by the brutality, superstitions, inconsistencies, moral relativism and all the other prescriptions for creating a society that would look remarkably close to Afghanistan under the Taliban. Pull out what you can to be a better person (Jesus’ moral teachings are good) and then move on to anything else that promotes the golden rule, virtue and good character – follow all that, be happy.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    My previous comments could easily be viewed as one-sided by only conveying the laws (justice) of God I know to be personally true. These laws exist for the protection of societies, families, and invididuals to maximize happiness here and hereafter.

    But, if I were to take true religion out of the equation in a perspective, than I understand the civil rights comparison. Of course, I don't separate my faith from my identity, but I am also not without compassion and truly cannot judge anyone. Also, affirmation of conviction is an important freedom.

    This issue cannot really be argued without bias from either side because it is personal. For both have vested interests. There is also no legal argument to stop the momentum of legislation changes across America. But, there is certainly a danger that religious institutions could be forced by future laws to honor gay marriages, which violates freedom.

    We've seen the case of the wedding cake company that is essentially out of business now because they refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. What's to stop churches from being next? Freedom should cover all people, but rarely goes that way from history examples.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    I agree with the premise of the article. Gays aren't the ones attacking marriage, we have done a pretty good job of that ourselves. We should put more effort into reinforcing and strengthening our own marriages, and teaching that to our children, and less time attacking gays and trying to keep their relationships from being legally recognized. I think if we did that traditional marriages and families would be a lot better off.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    @kolob1:
    "Falwell had espoused for several intense moments about how a marriage between and man and a woman was sanctified by God. After his fevered dialogue the gay guy asked Falwell one question " Which marriage are you trying to sanctify? Your first marriage, your second marriage or your third? That was the effective end of that debate!!"

    I looked up about Falwell. He was married in 1957 and they were married for 47 years. In looking this up I found several quotes about their goal being that they would raise good children, divorce would not be an option, etc.

    "At the very beginning of our marriage, Macel and I determined that our greatest achievement would be our children. Nearly forty years later, that is still our commitment, except the grandchildren have now been added to the priority list."

    Now, I don't like Jerry Falwell a whole lot. He had dealing with a murderous dictator in Guatemala in the 1980's and he felt that we should blindly help Israel without questioning their oppression of the Palestinians. But on the marriage front he seems to have been a pretty good example.

    Did you perhaps mean Newt Gingrich?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    Re: ". . . the premise of the article is valid. If we truly want to defend traditional marriage we should spend less time attacking gay marriages . . . ."

    That, of course, was not the premise of the article.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    @ StudentofReason: "This article completely ignores the means through which many people outside strict social and sexual guidelines find happiness. "

    Happiness is found only one way - By coming to Christ and obeying His commandments. Those outside of the "strict social and sexual guidelines" will not find happiness.

    I tried many other paths to find happiness for 30 years. Nons of the worked. Christ is truly the only Way.....

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    To those of you who think of Marriage as a right, please tell me where it is written in the Constitution that marriage is a right for anybody?

    Now, if you support gay marriage on the grounds that the gays only want to marry the person that they love, do you also support polygamous marriages in any form? Polygamists only want to marry the people that they love, do you not want to extend the same privelage to groups of people that want the same thing?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “To those of you who think of Marriage as a right, please tell me where it is written in the Constitution that marriage is a right for anybody?”

    Good point… so how was DOMA constitutional in the 1st place if the Constitution is silent on marriage (not an enumerated power)?

    And assuming you like the 9th & 10th amendments, I assume you agree that States have every right to pass laws or amend their own constitutions extending marriage rights to gays, yes?

    Perhaps what constitutes marriage comes from God – if so, can you explain how, if marriage between a man and a woman is the only union of commitment we should allow, why was this not chiseled on the stone tablets by God?

    Given the focus of the Religious Right, seems like a strong religious argument can be made that defining this union should have been at least the 3rd or 4th commandment, or even ahead of the “love your neighbor” one (since it would seem to be in practice for many), wouldn’t you think?

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    @RedShirt --

    You said: "please tell me where it is written in the Constitution that marriage is a right for anybody?"

    Multiple SCOTUS decisions, spanning many decades, have declared marriage to be a civil right.

    From Loving v. Virginia, 1967: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). "

    You said: "Polygamists only want to marry the people that they love"

    Here we go again.

    TWO facts are necessary in order to justify the legalization of gay marriage:

    1. Marriage is a civil right;

    AND

    2. Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm.

    Now, marriage clearly IS a civil right as established by the US Constitution and multiple SCOTUS decisions.

    AND nobody has ever been able to show that gay marriage causes a significantly increased risk of harm to anyone.

    In stark contrast, polygamy is very well known to cause a significantly increased risk of harm to women and children in particular.

    Therefore, polygamy fails to qualify under the harm principle.

    Polygamy causes harm. Therefore our government has an interest in continuing to ban it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" lets make it clear for everybody. The 10th Ammendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That means that it is up to the states to decide what your rights are beyond what is listed in the US Constitution. So, if Utah decides that plural marriage is ok, then it is ok. If New York decides that marriage is only between gay couples, then that is their decision.

    Constitutionally speaking, the Federal Government is outside its bounds when defining marriage, mandating insurance, providing retirement funds, acting as an insurance business, and so forth. If the constitution doesn't specifically state it, it should not be happening.

    To "Contrariuser" so then you agree that nowhere in the constitution does it state that marriage is a right.

    Again, look at the arguments being used to justify gay marraige. They all claim to want the right to marry the person they love. Are you going to deny that to somebody that happens to love multiple women?

  • Aephelps14 San Luis Obispo, CA
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    I like the premise of this article, which takes the focus off of criticizing others and directs it more on improving self. I think it is problematic to follow the point which states that if you violated the "no sex before marriage" principle, you should marry the person with whom you had sex and/or had a child. In real life that is often an impractical and damaging decision to make. Every situation is different and solutions that are considered should also be unique.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    RE: EternalPerspective,(Marriage).. between a man and a woman is the basis for family and life. True,

    The Apostles did not maintain any .O.T.pattern of polygamy and they and the early church condemmed it.

    Appoint Elders in every town as I directed you if anyone is above reproach, the husband of ONE wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery) or insubordination. (Titus 1:5,6 NIV)..

    Tertullian (c.207 ").-Marriage Lawful, But Not Polygamy. We do not indeed forbid the union of man and woman, blest by God as the seminary of the human race, and devised for the replenishment of the earth and the furnishing of the world, and therefore permitted, yet Singly. For Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib.

    RE: Contrariuser, Eph 6:2,3. Honor your Father and Mother”[not Mothers or significant others],which is the first commandment with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God..

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    Contrariuser I disagree I know polygamists that are happy and they do not harm wives or children, unfortunately they ones you do hear about are people like Warren Jeffs. Its not right to stereo type people, there are many monogamous marriages that abuse and harm women and children too.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    @Red --

    "so then you agree that nowhere in the constitution does it state that marriage is a right."

    Marriage is one of the "unenumerated rights" mentioned in the Constitution and guaranteed by the equal protection clause. SCOTUS has upheld this interpretation on multiple occasions.

    "Again, look at the arguments being used to justify gay marraige. "

    I wish YOU would look at them for once.

    In order to justify any type of marriage, that type has to pass TWO tests. It MUST pass the test of the harm principle -- and polygamy fails that test.

    @sharrona --

    ”[not Mothers or significant others]"

    Since nobody had reproductive technologies during Biblical times, it's natural that the Bible sticks to m/f parenting. The Bible never mentions airplanes, either.

    @trekker --

    "I know polygamists that are happy and they do not harm wives or children"

    And I know drunk drivers who have been able to drive home safely -- but that doesn't mean that drunk driving should be legal.

    The harm principle is about the increased RISK of harm, not about the CERTAINTY of harm. And many research studies, in addition to legal cases, have thoroughly documented the risk of harm inherent in polygamous marriages.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 3, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “lets make it clear for everybody”

    Thanks for doing so… and glad to know we’re on the same page (up to the States).

    But I have to agree with Contrariuser on the harm principle. Given the potential for great harm and abuse within Polygamy, not to mention all the other combinations the Right likes to trot out as “logical” extensions of gay marriage - siblings, adult-child, adult-animal, etc… - good luck trying to convince the good citizens of any state to legalize those unions.

    Harm (to anyone) associated with gay marriage… not so much. In fact (as others have better said) given that gay people will no longer have to live lies to alleviate their own totally unnecessary guilt, in addition to trying to please us heteros, the likely effect will be a reduction in societal harm overall.

    And don’t forget about the curtains… they’ll be fabulous!

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    I would counter polygamy was a lot less harmful when it was in the open before the feds decided to violate the LDS churches right live plural marriage and created laws against under the threat of seizing church property and men. Forcing people underground to live in the shadows so to speak is going to do more harm and allow for abuse than if they were open and society could monitor them more easily. Since the FLDS live in secret look at what has happened there. Others like the Allred group have been open with the State and Law enforcement issues do not tolerate abuse within their church. They helped the state come up with the polygamy primer. Personally I think if the feds would have left the LDS church alone, The abuse in some sects would never have happened there would not have been secrecy.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    To "Contrariuser" thanks for agreeing with me that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that marriage is a right. Thanks to the 10th ammendment, anything not specifically mentioned in the Constutition is left to the states or people to decide. That means, in Utah Gay Marriage is not a right because it's constitution defines marriage as a man and a woman.

    Also, how do we know that polygamy is harmful? All of the studies that you have been able to find are of societies that are harmful to women. Tell me how many happily married women you will find at a women's shelter for battered women.

    There is no proof that polygamy is harmful to women or children. There is evidence that muslims practicing polygamy harm women, and fundamentalists that don't believe in women choosing their spouse harm women, but in all of the studies done on polygamy they never look at situations where the women involved were in love with a man and decided to form a polygamous marriage.

    Find me the study where they looked at polygamists that marry for love, not religion, then we can discuss this further.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    @trekker --

    You said: "polygamy was a lot less harmful when it was in the open..."

    Polygamy is a known harm in many cultures and countries, not just in the US.

    In Canada, the Supreme Court of BC recently reaffirmed the Constitutionality of Canada's polygamy ban. In his decision, Justice Bauman made the following remarks:

    -- "The prevention of [the] collective harms associated with polygamy to women and children, especially, is clearly an objective that is pressing and substantial,"

    -- "Women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm. They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse" .

    -- "Children from those marriages, he said, were more likely to be abused and neglected, less likely to perform well at school and often suffered from emotional and behavioral problems."

    -- "Polygamy's harm to society includes the critical fact that a great many of its individual harms are not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists."

    I have extensive reviews of literature worldwide on this topic. If you'd like, I can provide many more sources for you to study.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    @RedShirt --

    "nowhere in the Constitution does it say that marriage is a right. "

    Stop playing word games. SCOTUS has said on multiple occasions that marriage is a fundamental civil right -- and, oddly enough, I trust the Supreme Court to know more about the Constitution than you do.

    "All of the studies that you have been able to find are of societies that are harmful to women."

    First, that isn't true. Unless you consider places like the US or France to be "societies that are harmful to women", perhaps.

    Second, the best studies in "societies that are harmful to women" have been CONTROLLED studies -- meaning that monogamous families have been studied side-by-side along with polygamous families within the very same societies. And since they are in the SAME cultures, the differences between the monogamous and polygamous families can't be blamed on that culture.

    Just a couple of examples -- there are many more:

    "A Comparison of Family Functioning, Life and Marital Satisfaction, and Mental Health of Women in Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages" -- International Journal of Social Psychiatry

    "Scholastic Achievement and Family Marital Structure: Bedouin- Arab Adolescents from Monogamous and Polygamous Families in Israel.” The Journal of Social Psychology

    "

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    To "Contrarius" since you want to prove me wrong, here is what you have to do.

    Quote to me the section and clause in the US constitution that says that marriage is a right. I want to see the word marriage or another synonym for marriage used.

    Now, if you want to prove that it is polygamy that is harmful, and not the religion, find me the study that does not use Muslims, FLDS (or other fundamentalists that have arranged marriages), or other groups that traditionally are oppressive to women.

    The study "A Comparison of Family Functioning, Life and Marital Satisfaction, and Mental Health of Women in Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages" uses muslim women. Those women are not happy because they don't want the polygamy in the first place.

    The same can be said of the second study you list. You are looking for marital happiness where the relationship is abusive in the first place.

    You have yet to find a study where they can find any harm in families like the one on "Sister Wives" or other situation where it was the women that wanted the polygamous marriage and are in it for love.

    Keep trying.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    @Red --

    "Quote to me the section and clause in the US constitution that says that marriage is a right. "

    Why? I've already stated that marriage is an UNENUMERATED right.

    Look up a very educational article called "A Right to Marry? Same-sex Marriage and Constitutional Law".

    A few relevant SCOTUS cases mentioned there:

    -- Loving v. Virginia: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man'..."
    -- Zablocki v. Redhail -- "the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals"
    -- Skinner v. Oklahoma -- a person, being cut off from "marriage and procreation," would be "forever deprived of a basic liberty."
    -- Turner v. Safley -- invalidated a prohibition on marriages by prison inmates under privacy rights
    -- Meyer v. Nebraska -- the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment "without doubt…denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children..."

    These are just a few of the more recent cases. Once again, I have a lot of faith that the Supreme Court knows more about the Constitution than you do. ;-)

    More about polygamy tomorrow!

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    sharrona

    True, the early church in the New Testament contained no references to plural marriage. But, the Old Testament mentions multiple wives and concubines for prophets and other key figures associated with God's work (i.e. David, Abraham, Solomon, etc.).

    God has given commandments that might appear contradictory such as Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his only son Issac. When such occurs, God commands as matter of proving obedience. The pattern is not unprecedented and God will try His covenant people.

    Plural marriage for early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is unique among Christianity. When I say Christianity here, I mean those who think worshipers of Christ only existed during and after His mortal ministry, according to belief that the Bible is God's only true and final word.

    More important than mentioning the LDS doctrine of plural marriage and historical accounts of it in the Bible is whether one is willing to investigate truth by firsthand immersion. For God says to prove all works and if someone has not done so, than how can they know certainty either way without the Spirit of God bearing witness? Absolute truth only comes that way.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    @RedShirt --

    You said: "find me the study that does not use Muslims,...or other groups that traditionally are oppressive to women."

    That's a ridiculous pre-condition. That's like saying "If you want to prove that drunk driving is harmful, find me the study that does not use people who own cars."

    Find me ANY study that meets your pre-condition -- positive or negative -- and then we'll talk. I bet you can't do it.

    The truth is that polygamy very very rarely -- if ever -- occurs in non-oppressive societies, because POLYGAMY IS A SYMPTOM OF OPPRESSION.

    And remember, the harm principle is about the RISK of harm -- not the certainty of it. If there are 999 harmful polygamous marriages and 1 non-harmful one, that isn't a sufficient justification for legalizing polygamy.

    "The study...uses muslim women. Those women are not happy because they don't want the polygamy in the first place."

    You STILL refuse to understand the concept of controlled studies. Sigh.

    That study compared Muslim polygamists to Muslim monogamists. Therefore, the differences between the groups WERE NOT due to being Muslim. They were ALL Muslim.

    What part of that do you not understand?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    @RedShirt – “Quote to me the section and clause in the US constitution that says that marriage is a right. I want to see the word marriage or another synonym for marriage used.”

    So if it’s not in the Constitution, we have no right to do it?

    And here I’ve been taking for granted the freedom to engage in a laundry list of activities that I mistakenly thought I had every right to do… things like:

    Having children, eating food I like, living where I please, wearing the clothes I like, parting my hair where I want… this list could get really really long.

    But wait… I seem to remember something in the Declaration of Independence about unalienable rights and that AMONG them (meaning there are lots more but these are axiomatic) are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    OK, I feel much better now as that last part seems to cover most of my daily life choices rather nicely.

    Whew! You had me scared there for a minute…

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    To "Contrarius" since you couldn't find the studies, here are a couple of studies that show that polygamy is beneficial.

    Read "A Feminist Studies Mormon Polygamy And, Remarkably, Finds That It Liberated the Wives" There a PhD student found that in a group where the women willingly entered into a plural marriage, they were just has happy as the monogomous women, and had healthier children.

    Also see "Feminist Professor Says Polygamy is the Next Marriage 'Civil Right'" in Christian News

    Another good article is "'Half a good man is better than none at all'" in the UK Guardian.

    Apparently when women enter into a polygamous relationship where the woman wants her husband to have multiple wives, things work out well for the wives and children.

    So, for a 3rd time I see that you agree that marriage is not a constitutional right. It is up to the states or the people to decide if marriage is a right, not the federal government. (Tyler D, see the 10th ammendment. The states determine if it is a right. Utah has determined that you only have the right to marry 1 person of the opposite gender).

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    RE: Contrarius, that you not understand?

    The O.T. Holiness Code contained different types of commands. Some were related to dietary regulations or to ceremonial cleanliness, and these have been done away with in the N. T. (Col. 2:16-17; Rom. 14:1-3). But, Others were moral codes, and as such are timeless. Thus, incest, child sacrifice, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, and the like, are still abominations before God.

    RE: EternalPerspective, Abraham to sacrifice his ‘only son’ Issac?
    Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.(Heb 11:19)

    Issac was a Type of Christ, ( John 3:16 NIV))” For God so loved the world that he gave his ‘one and only Son’,…”

    Over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T. less 11 verses.

    The original A of F, #8 We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon….see current #8

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    ROFL!!

    One 35-year-old article in "People" isn't evidence of anything, Red. Similarly, an article on "Christian News Network" is NOT scientific scholarship.

    STUDIES, Red. Y'know -- real EVIDENCE.

    And remember -- 999 harmful + 1 nonharmful doesn't mean that polygamy should be legalized.

    Here's just a few counter-examples, all North American.

    Polygamists "...commit serious human rights violations against women in general and children in particular." -- Kent 2006

    "...400 boys as young as 13 years of age have been banished from their communities by fundamentalist leaders in Utah and Arizona, leaving many of them homeless, substance-addicted or working as prostitutes" -- Tresniowski 2005

    "women are victims of 'religious coercion' that deprives them of the ability to choose to marry, enter sexual relationships once married or leave their polygamous marriages" -- Ward 2004

    "...abuse within the community of Bountiful has taken place on a widespread scale, particularly against children." "Allegations of sexual, physical and psychological abuse were also made in a legal complaint initiated in 2002 by a class of women from Bountiful and other communities in Canada and the United States. " -- Matas 2002b

    And yes, marriage IS a constitutionally protected right. SCOTUS understands the Constitution better than you do.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    @sharrona --

    "The O.T. Holiness Code contained different types of commands. Some were related to dietary regulations or to ceremonial cleanliness, and these have been done away with in the N. T. (Col. 2:16-17; Rom. 14:1-3). But, Others were moral codes, and as such are timeless. "

    Stoning adulterers was a "moral code". Are you ready to pick up some rocks?

    Killing children who talked back to their parents was a "moral code". Are you ready to sharpen your knife?

    Marrying your dead brother's widow was a "moral code". Are you ready to marry your brother-in-law if your husband dies?

    "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40)

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    To "Contrariusiest" since you didn't bother to read what the article from People was about, let me inform you that it was an interview with a Feminst getting a PhD, who studied polygamy for her PhD thesis. I am sorry that you cannot reconcile the fact that a feminist found that polygamy can be a good thing when enacted in a culture that treats women with love and respect. If you don't like the summary from the magazine, read her thesis titled "Family Structure and Dynamics in Early Utah Mormon Families, 1847-1885"

    Again, you keep looking to studies that have been done on cultures that are violent towards women and children.

    I have supplied a PhD thesis as evidence that polygamy is good when entered into as concenting adults that all want to live polygamy.

    You have only supplied evidence that in violent cultures women are not happily married.

    Are you going to try again, or are you going to just quote the same biased studies?

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    I did read it, actually. It was a 35 year old article in a popular magazine reporting on selected impressions from an unpublished and non-peer-reviewed thesis on women living more than 100 years ago.

    " read her thesis..."

    I'd love to. Unfortunately -- unlike the sources I've been referring to -- it was never published. Which means it was never peer-reviewed.

    And remember -- most of those women couldn't even vote. They weren't equal to men in any way.

    Even the author says "No, it's too expensive, too complicated. Polygamy wouldn't work for (modern women)." and "I wouldn't want to share my husband."

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement!

    "you keep looking to studies that have been done on cultures that are violent towards women and children."

    Name me ANY cultures which practice polygamy AND have equality between the genders at the same time. I dare you.

    " are you going to just quote the same biased studies?"

    LOL!

    I've referenced around 10 different studies already -- and I can reference 10 more in my next post, if you like. And no, despite your continuing claims, they aren't "biased". Most of them ARE controlled and peer-reviewed, however. ;-)

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    I did read it. It was a 35 year old article in a popular magazine reporting on selected impressions from an unpublished and non-peer-reviewed thesis on women from more than 100 years ago.

    " read her thesis..."

    I'd love to. Unfortunately -- unlike the sources I've been referring to -- it was never published. Which means it was never peer-reviewed.

    And remember -- most of those women couldn't even vote. They weren't equal to men in any way.

    Even the author herself says "No, it's too expensive, too complicated. Polygamy wouldn't work for (modern women)." and "I wouldn't want to share my husband."

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement!

    "you keep looking to studies that have been done on cultures that are violent towards women and children."

    Name ANY cultures which commonly practice polygamy AND have gender equality at the same time. I dare you.

    " are you going to just quote the same biased studies?"

    I've referenced around 10 different studies already -- and I can reference 10 different ones in my next post, if you like. And no, despite your continuing claims, they aren't "biased". Most of them ARE controlled and peer-reviewed, however. ;-)

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 5, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    To "Contrariusiest" you apparently didn't know that a PhD thesis is peer reviewed. It was reviewed by her PhD committee at a minimum.

    If you want to see polygamy in action, go look around the Salt Lake valley and find the polygamist group that the family on "Sister Wives" was part of. They practice gender equality. In those relationships it is typically the first wife that decides when a second wife will be added. Then, it is typically the wives as a group that decide not only when, but who any additional wives will be.

    The studies that you have mentioned are all heavily biased because the marriages are not marriages where a courtship was involved, but are in heavily male dominated cultures where the women have few rights. I could write a totally biased paper like they have written, and have my buddies review it and give it their stamp of approval, but that does not make it any more valid.

    The fact of the matter is that the studies that you have found all use cultures that are abusive to women, and don't give the women a say in polygamy. They are all biased and worthless.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    "It was reviewed by her PhD committee..."

    Har.

    I've *had* PhD advisors. It's a completely different thing than an independent peer review. I've been through that process, too. ;-)

    Give it up, Red. Even the *author* of your supposed "study" admitted that polygamy wouldn't work in today's society, and that she herself wouldn't want to participate in it. Listen to her.

    "go look around the Salt Lake valley and find the polygamist group that the family on "Sister Wives" was part of."

    Ummm. No.

    Refer back to that 999 harmful + 1 unharmful idea. If you can find ONE happy equal polygamous relationship, that does NOTHING to negate the millions of others out there.

    "The studies that you have mentioned are all heavily biased...."

    Again -- I challenge you to find ANY culture in which polygamy is commonly practiced that also has equal rights for women.

    There's a reason why you won't find any.

    "They are all biased and worthless."

    Your claim doesn't make it true, Red.

    Multiple governments, courts, the UN, social scientists, all SORTS of people recognize the harms of polygamy. And they've got a lot more believability than you do.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 5, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    To "Contrariusier" basically, you don't want to give up your 999 biased studies.

    If you have some unbiased studies, present them. I have yet to see anything come from you that doesn't study women who are forced into polygamy.

    If what you have is not biased, there must be some study somewhere that looks at polygamy in a culture where women are not forced into polygamy. That means you need to find one of your studies that does not include Muslims, FLDS, or other similar cultures.

    Who cares if the author doesn't think that polygamy could work today. That is not the ponit. The point that I have made that you have yet to find anything that is unbiased to refute, is that polygamy is not harmful.

    I have presented you a paper that was peer reviewed (you only changed to independantly reviewed once I found a paper that proved you wrong).

    I am stil waiting for the paper that shows polygamy is bad when all the adults involved do so out of love.

    Until you can provide something like that, you and your papers are biased and wrong.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Sept. 5, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    @Redshirt1701 --

    "there must be some study somewhere that looks at polygamy...."

    Just listen to yourself.

    You're so desperate to justify polygamy that you're willing to completely ignore the vast majority of polygamy cases, and the huge mountain of polygamy research, while you scrabble around in the hypothetical undergrowth searching madly for that one "study somewhere" that might possibly, just maybe, find a nonharmful outcome in one or two isolated cases.

    Take your blinders off, Red.

    Laws aren't written based on that one tiny little exception. Laws are written based on significantly increased risks of harm. And polygamy conveys a greatly increased risk of harm. The End.

    "Who cares if the author doesn't think that polygamy could work today. That is not the ponit. "

    That's EXACTLY the point. We're talking about polygamy in the world TODAY. Even your one and only lone little "expert" admits that polygamy wouldn't work in today's society.

    You just go right ahead and ignore the facts, the courts, the governments, the UN, AND your own "expert" all you want to.

    Those of us out here in the Real World are still well aware of the truth. ;-)

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    To "Contrariusier" keep stomping your feet around and trying to twist my words.

    You claim that you have access to many studies that prove that polygamy is bad, yet you have yet to find one that isn't biased through its use of groups that are violent or oppressive towards women.

    Surely you can find one study within your stack that doesn't use Islam, FLDS, or other similar groups that are known for mistreating women. You should ask yourself why the anti-polygamy groups don't study the polygamists that enter plural marriage because they love eachother and desire polygamy.

    Some people don't think polygamy would work for them, there are thousands that say that it does. Opinions are like......everybody has one.

    On another note, did you see that the Netherlands now has civil unions for polygamists. They were the first nation to start with gay civil unions.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Sept. 5, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    @RedShirtMIT --

    "... trying to twist my words."

    I quoted your words exactly, Red. I can't help it if they revealed more than you wanted to.

    "you have yet to find one that isn't biased through its use of groups that are violent or oppressive towards women."

    None of the studies I've referenced are biased. It isn't my fault that you refuse to understand the concept of controlled studies. Those courts and governments do understand the concept, and that's the important thing.

    "Surely you can find one study within your stack that doesn't use Islam, FLDS, or other similar groups that are known for mistreating women. "

    I don't need to. You are the one who claims that there are polygamists in non-abusive cultures -- so YOU find em.

    "You should ask yourself why the anti-polygamy groups..."

    LOL!!

    Social scientists, peer-reviewed journals, courts, governments, and the United Nations are not "anti-polygamy groups". They are, however, people and organizations who look for the truth -- and recognize it when they see it.

    "there are thousands that say that it does."

    Sure. Millions, even. Especially men in countries that oppress women.

  • jaredc Kearns, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    Enjoyed this article and I agree with the points Dr. Joe Cramer makes. Thank you!

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    To "Contrariusier" let me make this quite clear for anybody reading your comments.

    You have tried to quote me, but have not included enough of the quote to show that you still do not have an unbiased study that shows that polygamy is bad.

    What studies you have found typically look at Islamic or FLDS polygamy. You claim that they are not biased, while ignoring the fact that in Islamic Polygamy and FLDS polygamy, the women have no say in entering into a polygamist relationship. So you have women being forced into polygamy or marriage against their will, and then you wonder why they are not happy being married?

    Then, if that wasn't enough, within Islamic and FLDS culture, it is acceptable to abuse children.

    So, you have studies of abusive societies looking for happily married people and healthy families. There is no way to find happily married people in that situation.

    Now, I have given you 2 studies that found that whe women enter into polygamy willingly and often push their husband into polygamy, the women and children are quite happy and well off.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 6, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    @RedShirtMIT --

    "You claim that they are not biased... "

    There you go again, completely ignoring the "controlled" part of these controlled studies.

    One More Time:

    These studies looked at BOTH polygamous AND monogamous families **in the same cultures.**.

    -- The monogamous wives were JUST as likely to be forced into marriage as the polygamous ones.

    -- It was JUST as acceptable to abuse children in the monogamous families as the polygamous ones.

    -- Therefore, the differences found between these families **were not due to culture**. They all shared the SAME culture.

    Please try to understand the concept this time.

    "Now, I have given you 2 studies...."

    No you haven't.

    You've referenced:

    -- one 35-year-old magazine article about an unpublished historical thesis on women from the 1800s -- where even the author herself admitted that polygamy wouldn't work in today's society.

    -- one book by a woman who worked with FLDS and related groups -- which you've already admitted are oppressive to women.

    -- one newspaper article which quotes an anthropologist who published a tiny 4 page anthropological report -- again, NOT a study -- about a tiny little group of rural farmwives in Siberia.

    Not a single study, much less a single CONTROLLED study, in sight.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 6, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    To "Contrariusester" you are the one who claims that I am wrong, yet cannot give any unbiased evidence to support your claim. You admit that I have supplied you with a thesis written a while ago that prove that Polygamy is ok when all of the adults involved agree.

    Nitpicking over what I have said gets you nowhere. Please give me a reference to an article or study that shows that in a non-oppressive culture polygamy is bad.

    As I said before, once you do that, we can continue this conversation further.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    @RedShirtMIT --

    "you are the one who claims that I am wrong, yet cannot give any unbiased evidence to support your claim. "

    Red, the multiple studies I have already supplied *are* unbiased. Your continuing claims to the contrary are simply false. End of story.

    "You admit that I have supplied you with a thesis written a while ago that prove that Polygamy is ok when all of the adults involved agree."

    No, hon, I don't. Please stop making things up.

    Fortunately, social scientists already understand the facts about polygamy.
    Fortunately, courts already understand the facts about polygamy.
    Fortunately, many governments already understand the facts about polygamy.
    Fortunately, the United Nations already understands the facts about polygamy.

    I don't think any of those scientists, judges, or elected representatives will be unduly upset if one confused little Redshirt never manages to grasp the truth.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    To "Contrariusester" you have yet to explain how the studies that you found are not biased.

    Explain how looking at poligimsts in abusive cultures is not biased.

    If polygamy is so bad, explain why the Netherlands now has civil registries for polygamists?

    You keep avoiding the core problem. You have not found any study that looks at polygamy outside of abusive cultures. Again, if you want to continue this, find the study that shows that when a man and multiple women enter into a polygamist relationship out of love that it is bad.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    @RedShirtMIT --

    "you have yet to explain how the studies that you found are not biased."

    Oh baloney, Red.

    I've explained how controlled studies work several times already. You simply refuse to understand.

    But that's okay. Everyone else here has gotten the idea already.

    And, of course, the really important parties -- the scientists, the courts, the governments, and the UN -- have all understood for quite awhile already.

    Go back and reread my previous posts. TRY to understand. And if my posts don't clear up your confusion, try Google. Google is your friend.

    "You have not found any study that looks at polygamy outside of abusive cultures. "

    You have not showed us polygamy that OCCURS outside of abusive cultures on anything like a frequent basis.

    "find the study that shows that when a man and multiple women enter into a polygamist relationship out of love that it is bad."

    Again, Red -- you are the one who claims that there is such a thing as a non-abusive culture in which polygamy commonly occurs. You made the claim, you get to prove it.