Sunday, March 22, 2009

Should Mormon Polygamy Be Legalized?

I just watched this BBC report about the campaign in Utah to legalize Mormon polygamy. The video, which is an interview with what appears to be a very healthy polygamous Morman family.

I've always had some problems with the Mormon version of polygamy -- which should more accurately be called polygyny since in true polygamy a woman would be allowed to have multiple husbands but the Mormons don't allow it. But the children in this video certainly don't seem to be living under the threat of underage arranged marriage and everyone seems quite satisfied with their lifestyle.

I do support polyamory (which, let's face it, is a term we made up because the Mormons had given "polygamy" a funny aftertaste), so why am I so uncomfortable about Mormon polygamy? Mormon refusal to embrace polyandry (one woman, many men) is definitely party of it. The fact that it is religiously prescribed is also a part of it (though the daughters in the video certainly seem to have freedom of choice). And we've all heard to most egregious cases of arranged marriage and victimization of underaged girls. But wouldn't those excesses be easier to stop if polygamous marriage was legal?

So, while I have some reservations about the Mormon religion, I say group marriage should be legal -- for Mormons and for anybody else, polygynous, polyandrous or tribe, straight, gay, bisexual, trans or gender queer.

Although one cynical thought did enter my head -- wouldn't it be ironic if the entire campaign were sabotaged by gay people from California?


  1. Well, then it brings up the point - would it ONLY be legal to Mormons BECAUSE it's religious in nature? If polygamy and polyandry are going to be legal, they should be legal period. Not just legal to only one group because they whined about it the most.

  2. sorry to comment so long after you post but, i was raised to be a Mormon (i would describe myself as areligious now.) it's not the mainstream Mormons that engage in/promote polygamy. there are several groups who claim Joe Smith’s “prophesy” as the basis for their practice of polygamy. NONE of them are “Mormons” in the eyes of “The Mormons” and your characterization of “Mormon Polygamy” in a modern sense is ignorant (either willful or otherwise.) i’m not defending Mormons or Mormonism. As a practicing Mormon for the first 23ish years of my life and since then studying (albeit casually) other religions, i don’t think the Mormons are any more or less fucked up than other religions, (excluding of course the Jim Jones and David Koresh types.) the Mormons money and organization used to fight Marriage Equality in California is pretty fucked up i’ll agree but, you’re never going to see that type of funding and organization backing any type of proposal to promote polygyny (since we’re being pedantic) because the money and organization no longer promotes plural marriage. for the record i have male sexual organs and i prefer sexual congress w/people w/female organs. i don’t believe monogamy is superior or inferior to polyamory.