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Servant Mommy re-evaluates polygamy in the light of Sister Wives.

Mommy, Are You Our Servant?

I never understood polygamy.  What, exactly, is the appeal? Why would a man want to have to answer to so many women, when in most marriages, he can’t even listen to one? Maybe for the hanky-panky but really, that is a pretty high premium to pay for a few extra rolls in the hay.  And, why on God’s green earth would any woman want to share a husband with other women?  I mean, grody.

But then, about a month ago, my friend Carrie and I found ourselves spending a long afternoon together with my oldest and her two girls.  We had taken our older girls to their ski lesson and were enjoying an after class snack at a yogurt spot.  What was so nice about this outing, other than passing the time with a very fun girlfriend, was that we instinctively knew how to take care of our kids together. …

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Judge rules Sister Wives case can go ahead

Kody & Co will be celebrating, as Judge Waddoups has handed down his ruling that the Sister Wives family do have sufficient standing for their case against the Utah County Attorney to go ahead. While the other parties, including the Attorney General, have now been dismissed from the case, there can now be a trial to establish whether the Utah County Attorney’s continuing threat to prosecute the Brown’s simply for living polygamously amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights.

Read more from the Brown’s attorney Jonathan Turley here.

See the court’s ruling here.

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Polygamy and the Presidency – Rick Santorum

OK, so maybe Mitt Romney is the more obvious subject for an article on polygamy and the US presidency, with his polygamous ancestry, espousal of a once-polygamous religion, and neat line in jokes that avoid these facts (“marriage should be between a man and a woman… and a woman and a woman…” – but Rick Santorum is the guy who keeps bringing it up, no doubt as a reminder of Romney’s inconvenient religious preference. However, Santorum does this invariably to compare polygamy with gay marriage, to say that the first is the inevitable consequence of the second.
Go here to see some analysis of this, or rather a suggestion that maybe audiences shouldn’t just recoil in horror at the suggestion.

You could also go to the judgement in the Constitutional Reference Case to find an argument that seeks to establish that gay marriage is OK, and that polygamy is reprehensible, although it might be difficult to differentiate between this and the Humpty Dumpty logic that Santorum is trying to unpick in his audiences.

Meanwhile, I close by drawing notice to the point that, just because polygamy is justified on all the arguments for gay marriage that Santorum exposes, doesn’t mean that it will get the same treatment. If anything, the Canadian polygamy judgement is evidence for saying that legal systems implementing human rights laws do not deliver human rights, but instead they deliver whatever the judge wants, backed by whatever rationalisation he finds convenient at the moment. Otherwise, why did just about every lawyer in Canada, including a series of special prosecutors, take the view for decades that polygamy would be protected, before the Chief Justice of BC came up with the idea that it was a bad thing, except for kids?

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Not-so-private Idaho

Updated 15 January 2012
The School Board at Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, has placed School Superintendent John Cook on administrative leave for “personal reasons”. What those reasons are may be something to do with Boise resident Don Reiman’s decision to go public with a letter stating his 30-year old daughter Jana is in a polygamous relationship with Cook, though no marriage licence has been sought. Find the rest of the story here, along with video at KTVB.

“This is not easy to step up and essentially be exposing my daughter as a polygamist but sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing,” said Reiman.

The ‘right thing’ in this case includes exposing the detail of a private letter from his daughter detailing the relationship and the developing attitude of Cook’s first wife to what the Bible had to say about polygamy.

Continue reading

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Val Darger in…

….The Guardian. Normally unable to recommend the Guardian, today is an exception, as Val Darger gives the British left the benefit of her experience with polygamy.

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Oops – Utah has been prosecuting polygamists after all

The most important issue in the ‘Brown’s v Utah’ Sister Wives case is that involved in the State trying to kill off the case before it first draws breath. Kody Brown and co don’t have standing, say the state, as they are not suffering any significant harm. The Brown’s say they are worried about being prosecuted, but the Attorney General says he will only prosecute polygamy where there is ‘another crime’ to prosecute, and the Utah County attorney won’t say what he will do, but both attorneys say that it doesn’t matter seeing as no-one has been prosecuted in Utah just for being a polygamist in over 50 years.
Except, it turns out that this is wrong. But it’s not the lawyers that have pointed this out, but a journalist at the Associated Press – see the story here, showing 2 people in separate instances being prosecuted just for polygamy. This has led to Joe Darger, fresh from his ‘Love Times Three” book tour, to enter the fray, pointing out the many negative effects suffered by families as a result of the polygamy ban being in place, even though it is rarely enforced, and the basic unfairness of stigmatising a community by criminalising their normal conduct whenever one of their number commits a crime.

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