Friday, July 29, 2011
Why Polygamists Won’t Benefit from Gay Marriage’s Success (I Hope)
I have to think that there are some gay-marriage advocates who are not pleased with Kody Brown’s decision to appeal Utah’s anti-polygamy statute. As Jonathan Turley, who is representing Brown, writes in a recent New York Times op-ed,
In his dissent in Lawrence [v. Texas], Justice Antonin Scalia said the case would mean the legalization of “bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity.” Justice Scalia is right in one respect, though not intentionally. Homosexuals and polygamists do have a common interest: the right to be left alone as consenting adults.
I am one of those who has written about the deeply harmful effects of polygamy, particularly when it is rampant in a community, as it is in many places in Utah and New Mexico, among other states. I have written (in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Dallas Morning News) about the girls who are prevented from getting an education, the boys who are forced to leave their communities (lest they provide competition for the older men), the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, and all of the other criminal problems that come in polygamous communities. I also commend a recent piece by Brown University’s Rose McDermott in The Wall Street Journal about all of the problems that come with polygamy (she has done an international study of the problem). I’ve also talked about why it’s not feasible to simply prosecute the crimes as they occur, rather than prosecuting polygamy. (Hint: No one in these communities wants to report crimes because of the consequences they would face.)
But I’ll put that all aside for a minute and just add that I have watched Sister Wives a few times and each time I turn it off, cringing. It’s not because I find polygamy morally reprehensible, though I do. It’s because I feel sorry for these women. These episodes where Mr. Brown and his four wives are sitting on a couch seems like an attempt to show everything is fine and their family is perfectly normal. But then one of the wives starts complaining and then crying about how he is spending too much time with the other, that he finds the other more attractive, that he is spending more nights with the newer wife or whatever. It’s so degrading—even by the standards of reality TV. What are these women doing, sharing their beds with each other? I feel like playing some feminist anthem for them. And Kody Brown? A slick guy who just can’t wipe the smirk off his face. And why should he? He’s got everyone fooled.
Gay marriage has won the day with so much of the American public, I think, because gay couples look like the rest of America. I don’t think polygamists have the same advantage in their fight. And I have a hard time imagining they ever will.
They are the loving, kind, and treat each other better than many married couples.
And, what a HOOT! Fisbo, you rock!!
They don't believe in the Book of Mormon, and who's to say, their sins are any worse than ours? Only God is to judge that. Don't think they are worrying about any planets!hee hee