View Poll Results: Would You Support Polygamy

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  • Yes

    41 43.62%
  • No

    27 28.72%
  • Undecided but open to either side.

    3 3.19%
  • I couldn't care less either way.

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Thread: Polygamy: Why not?

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    Moderator's Warning:
    Polygamy: Why not?Poll added.
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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    If everyone is consenting, I don't care. But it should be noted that I don't think the government should be involved in the marriage business anyway. That should be between the couple (or whatever) and whatever church they go to.

    Doesn't effect me - I don't care.

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I don't have any particular MORAL objection to polygamy. However, I can think of a couple PRACTICAL reasons why it shouldn't be legalized in the eyes of the law.

    1. Our legal code would need a massive overhaul to comply with this. What happens if someone decides to marry every single person in the world who wants to live in America? What happens if a hundred spouses show up in a hospital emergency room demanding to see their spouse? What happens to the estate if the spouses don't know about each other and their spouse dies? What if I have ten wives, each of whom has ten husbands, each of whom has ten wives? What would it mean to "jointly file" tax returns? All in all, it's simply not worth the expense to our legal system to try to correct all of these things.

    2. Since men are naturally sluttier than women, polygamy would almost always entail one man with several wives, rather than the other way around. This means that there are lots of men who would not be able to marry at all, which would most likely increase the crime rate and cause social unrest.


    I'm seeing a lot of assumptions in this thread that if legalized, plural marriage would probably involve one man with multiple wives, or possibly, in rare cases, one woman with several husbands.
    What I'm envisioning, though, is a giant social network; one man, married to four women, each of whom have multiple husbands, each of whom have multiple wives, and so on.
    Why not just marry everyone you know, every friend you have, if there's some monetary benefit to it?
    What would stop this from happening?

    What would limit plural marriage, if it were legalized, to an institution between one person and several other people of the opposite sex?
    In the end, I think everyone would have several legal spouses, and the whole united states would be embroiled in basically one giant "marriage", ie legal partnership.
    Last edited by 1069; 12-21-08 at 12:04 AM.

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    I personally have never possessed nor read a strong argument against polygamy, and I become confused when some pro-gm folks would not also support polygamy, as such individuals can never articulate their reasons.
    I support both, but I can easily understand why a person might support one but not the other. The problem is that their argumentation, based in the idea that marriage is a right or that the State has no business concerning itself with it, do not support this position. As is the case with most people and most issues of morality, their reasoning is subconscious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    This thread does not need to involve gay marriage at all. I actually believe we could have a better discussion if gay marriage were included as little as passable.
    Not to drag an unwanted subject into the discussion, but if polygamous marriage is to take any form except for pure polygyny or pure polyandry-- or people committed to multiple, separate concurrent marriages-- then it would require that two or more people of the same sex be allowed to marry each other.

    Indeed, this is my secondary motive for supporting homosexual marriage, right after ensuring that children raised by homosexual couples receive the benefit of having married parents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Do you think legalized polygamy in society would affect you in any way? If so, in what way and to what degree?
    It would allow me to take more than one wife legally, which is something I would like to do. If combined with same-sex marriage, it would allow me to marry one of my blood brothers and his wife or wives as well-- providing additional financial and emotional security, providing additional role models of both sexes for my children, and minimizing the disruption of my children's lives should I die before they are grown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Do you think polygamy could help lower the divorce, juvenile crime or runaway rates; or improve academic performance?
    Only marginally, unless it were accompanied by a resurgence in family values. The cultural expectations of marriage would have to be modified, and the expectations of duty between parents and children would have to be heightened. Polygamy itself would not accomplish these goals, but I think they would provide a stronger foundation for such changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    If you can argue the polygamy brings increased economic security, how would polygamy affect the abortion rate?
    I believe it would decrease the rate of abortion amongst married women. I do not think that it would have much, if any effect, on the rate of abortion among teenaged or single women.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachuPicchu View Post
    A general sense of fairness that most people have that everyone should be entitled to be with someone else. If men were permitted to be with multiple women, there would be an equal number of men without a spouce. It is a fight against "the survival of the fittest".
    I think it is better for the species and for the psychological well-being of men that a significant number of men of every generation are bled off in violent conflict with other men. It feeds an instinctual need in the masculine psyche and if such conflict is regulated by society, it would reduce the more uncontrolled and destructive expressions of masculine territorial and hierarchical aggression.

    Quote Originally Posted by MachuPicchu View Post
    A more moral objection. Men who take multiple spouses inherently have less time and resources to care for each additional spouse and child. Whether this actually leads to a poorer quality of life for them is another matter.
    A common argument among female advocates of polygamy is that sharing the time and resources of a good man is better than having the undivided attention of a mediocre man. The argument makes sense to me, and this seems to me a decision that individual women should be allowed to make for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FallingPianos View Post
    However, I do not believe that civil marriage in the US is well equipped to do this. ... For technical reasons alone, trying to adopt marriage as is, to polygamy would make a legal mess.
    This, I will readily agree with. It would require considerable restructuring, and despite my support for polygamy, the prospect gives me pause.

    Quote Originally Posted by FallingPianos View Post
    if a child biologically belongs to two of the parents, but not the 3rd (or forth...), do the other parents have legal rights?
    At the risk of sounding repetitive, this is all the more reason that parentage should be separated from biology. With clear and definitive declarations of parentage, these issues are much more easily understood-- and, when necessary, decided.

    If multiple adults are registered as the legal parents of a child, and there is a custody dispute, the family court should review all possible placements for the child and decide on which is most conducive to the child's well-being. While the dissolution of a polygamous marriage could very well lead to there being more than two options, it does not change the fundamental questions the court must answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by FallingPianos View Post
    if there are two women involved, can the non-birth mother sue to take custody away from the birth mother?
    This issue arises in monogamous homosexual marriages as well. If Heather has two Mommies and they divorce, does she go with her biological mommy, the mommy who stays at home with her, or the mommy who makes more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by FallingPianos View Post
    if polygamy as practiced by the fundamentalist LDS church were to become legal and protected, a lot more people would be hurt, and it would be much harder to help them.
    Indeed. While I have no objections to arranged marriage, forced marriage is always bad medicine-- and the artificially high ratio of husbands to wives undermines any of the benefits of polygamous marriage that one would expect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    What I'm envisioning, though, is a giant social network; one man, married to four women, each of whom have multiple husbands, each of whom have multiple wives, and so on. ... What would stop this from happening?
    I would argue that in order to join a marriage or to add another member, it would require the consent of all people currently married-- and then, every person currently in the marriage would be married to every other person. This would mean that marrying strangers would retain an element of considerable risk, and should hopefully limit it to people who intend to live together as a family.

    That's why homosexual marriage is legally necessary for my objectives.
    Last edited by Korimyr the Rat; 12-21-08 at 02:24 AM.

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    Considering we live in a pretty even numbers wise society its pretty obvous polgamy is a bad idea.
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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    As long as all marriages are between consenting adults.

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    I got no problem with it, if they want to marry in clusters by all means. As long as they are legal adults.
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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    I've read a number of first-hand accounts now about the FLDS community, to get some insight into who they are and why, how their daily lives are (or were; most of the accounts stem from before the group relocated to texas), and what factors motivate them.

    It should be noted that within that closed community, virtually no man can withstand the pressure to take multiple wives. It is considered not only a status symbol- an indication of one's social stature and one's standing in the community- but also a biblical mandate.
    God, the FLDS believes, wants his chosen people to be fruitful and multiply.
    One woman is not enough. God is not satisfied with that.
    If a man is instructed by the prophet (Warren Jeffs, up until his incarceration and the subsequent move of the group to Texas, and before that- for a long time- Jeffs' father) to marry a particular woman or women- beyond the first wife, men frequently recieve new wives in pairs- and refuses to do so, he is considered to be not in compliance with God's will. He is sinning.
    It is grounds for him to be exiled from the community, and to lose his property and possessions, including his other wife/ wives and children.
    The community rallies against him, as he is considered to be deliberately subverting God's wishes. If there is any hint that his current wife might be responsible (for instance, if she's possessive of him and doesn't want him to bring a new wife into the home) not only is she subverting God's plans but her husband is still ultimately responsible, for not being a strong head-of-household and demanding obedience and compliance from his wayward wife. In such situations, she will usually be taken and given to another man, while her hapless husband will be exiled from the community.
    Women are almost never exiled, no matter what they do. They are not really considered responsible for their actions and behavior. If they misbehave, it's the fault of their male head-of-household, be that father or husband, for not being strong enough to control them and guide them in the Lord's will; in the case of female noncompliance, the FLDS's answer is generally to take the woman away from her household and give her to another man. Sometimes she is allowed to take her children with her; other times, they are placed elsewhere.

    It's a weird and weirdly fascinating little microcosm that this group occupies; I bring it up to show that in a polygamist society where multiple wives equal social status, nearly all men are powerless to resist marrying multiple women.
    Last edited by 1069; 12-21-08 at 11:41 AM.

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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDavies View Post
    Sorry, I must be missing something here. How does that prove there'd be more people with multiple partners if polygamous marriage was legalised? People who want multiple partners are probably doing it already.
    Well I guess my point was that it is only a social construct which prevents men from wanting to be with multiple women and women from sharing a man. In this case, some people have gotten past that construct and do what feels natural for them. However, most people still feel constrained by societies norms.

    If you begin breaking down that social construct, there will be be some who hadn't even realized that this was a possibility. I agree though, it probably won't be for a large number of people.
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    Re: Polygamy: Why not?

    While I have no problem with it in general, I can see a lot of legal hurdles that would need to be overcome, especially in regard to property rights. How do you determine which partners are entitled to which property, especially when partners tend to drift in and out of such relationships at different times? It would, at least at first, be a legal nightmare.
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