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Friday, April 15. 2016
Polygamy is constitutional in the US. It has to be.
Of course it is. It is not the Court's job to reinforce culture, customs, taboos, and traditions other than their own. We can label some things or people as immoral or depraved, but there is freedom too.
Pop culture changes as Judeo-Christian standards decline. Adultery used to have a death sentence unless you were royalty or an aristocrat. Today, it seems unremarkable as habits of the lower classes and those of the rich and powerful converge.
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 13:37 | Comments (26) | Trackbacks (0)
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As Justice Scalia pointed out, among others, you cannot legally distinguish "same-sex" marriage from polygamy. If it is unconstitutional to restrict marriage to "one MAN and one WOMAN," it is just as unconstitutional to restrict it to 'ONE man and ONE woman."
I'm with you BD, but the last time it was tried was pretty messy! I think Utah should be able to go to court and sue to leave the union since they were admitted only because they were fraudulently convinced that government could ban polygamy. But then, I think that any state should be able to peacefully leave the union for any reason.
Nahh, they shouldn't leave, they should just sue for reparations for all these years of violation of their citizens' civil rights.
there is no constitutional right to leave the union. Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869), note the post civil war date.
There are no 'constitutional rights' - that's a mistaken understanding of how rights work.
You don't have rights because of the constitution, you have rights as human being (no matter where you are in the world) and the constitution lays out the government's duties to protect those rights.
There is, however, no constitutional mechanism for peaceful secession. But if an area did walk away, do we really want to pull a China and insist - at the point of a gun - that they don't?
#18.104.22.168.1 Agammamon on 2016-04-15 22:23 (Reply)
"But if an area did walk away, do we really want to pull a China and insist - at the point of a gun - that they don't?"
Why not? You did it before (1861-1865) and I believe the results of that attempt at secession pretty much resolved the question.
(By the way, the mention of China was a bit much. Are you really equating the United States of America, a constitutional democracy, with the People's Republic of China, a one-party state run like a huge industrial corporation?)
#22.214.171.124.1.1 JJM on 2016-04-16 09:50 (Reply)
agamagmemnon has no idea what he's talking about.
the right to secede from the union was settled by force of arms, however, the USSC gave it the full legal treatment a few years afterwards in case involving confederate war bonds. the secession statutes were void ab initio.
#126.96.36.199.1.1.1 Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz on 2016-04-16 11:46 (Reply)
there's no constitutional right for a state leave the union.
act like a adult and deal with it.
#188.8.131.52.1.2 Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz on 2016-04-16 11:31 (Reply)
Where in the Constitution does it say a state is required to stay in the Union?
Times have changed. If a region of the country decides to secede. No one is going to stop them.
#184.108.40.206.1.2.1 feeblemind on 2016-04-16 12:33 (Reply)
Of course polygamy is legal. That was one of the unintended consequences of the Supremes finding a hidden right for same sex marriage in the constitution. If marriage is NOT just between a man and a woman then it is whatever those seeking alternative marriage decide that it is. Arguably it wouldn't exclude cousins or siblings either. Monkeys and dogs, donkeys and all manner of asses. It is now just a matter of the various courts ruling on these consistent with the word and intent of the Supremes.
I recall being told not so very long ago that it was ridiculous to project that gay marriage would have any effect on legalising polygamy. I imagine GWTW's further projections will also each be considered ridiculous right up until the moment that they are suddenly called obviously right.
All societies, largest to smallest, define many aspects of morality. Why would we forbid murder or theft if they aren't immoral? Those are good ways to get rid of problems or make a living, after all. If we wish to take one step further back and say that those are immoral - and hence illegal - because they harm someone else, I ask "Why would that be the rule?" Why can't we have the rule be "The king does as he pleases," or "Tribal leaders will decide who you marry?"
Without an external standard, it all comes down to power, and Who? Whom? Now that external standards are being rejected, it is indeed coming down to Who? Whom? Not yet, of course, nor even mostly. We were founded on the general ideas of Western Civilisation, that amalgamation of cultures from Jerusalem to Jonkoping, and our habits of mind will keep us on those tracks for many years hence. But we have given up the intellectual defenses, and the cities will fall one by one.
Polygamy will likely be next, yes. Free contractual agreement between adults, who is harmed, some historical precedent in cultures which have fed into ours, and all that.
What will come next after?
Back in the Seventies, a proposed "Equal Rights Amendment" to our State Constitution that would supposedly establish equal rights for men and women was defeated at the polls. (It was a state version of the proposed national Equal Rights Amendment to the federal constitution, which has never been ratified.)
The primary argument against the state Equal Rights Amendment was that it would mandate that women could use the men's bathroom and vice versa.
It was derided as a ridiculous argument by the proponents of the amendment, but the amendment went down in flames at the ballot box.
And yet, look where we are today.
OK, snowflakes, time to stop the handwringing.
A federal appeals court Monday struck down a judge's ruling that decriminalized polygamy in Utah, saying the lawsuit brought by members of the "Sister Wives" reality TV family was moot because they faced no credible threat of prosecution.
The decision reinstates third-degree-felony penalties for the cohabitation prong of Utah's bigamy law, which had been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge.
Bigamy? How many guys have goumadas? And etc.?
OK, those are not really legal arrangements.
You can sleep with as many women as you want. In fact, that is encouraged by the present legal and social system. But if you claim you are committed to more than one of them, and say you will legally commit to support them and their children, that is a felony and you go to prison.
Seems to me polygamy laws fail under the "no rational basis" test.
When looking up scriptures about having only one wife, I only found two occasions where Paul admonished that church leaders like deacons or bishops should only have one wife.
In a Baptist church I attended decades ago they added "...one wife; no more, no fewer; and that doesn't mean 'at a time'"
Obviously that was taken to heart by spouse's aunt (RC) who was known - when presented with a fiance or fiancee - to point out that there were "no refunds and no returns". Got this from one of her daughters-in-law, who was admiring of her mother-in-law and probably prepared to pass on the injunction.
I haven't the slightest interest in interfering in anyone's decision to practice polygamy, polyandry, or anything else of the sort.
Polygamy is very much 'traditional marriage' in the old Testament sense. The Hebrew patriarchs were mostly polygamous.
I'm not sure about all the shock and horror now.
we Jews are not polygamous. some of you christians (the saturday saints are christian, yes?) appear to differ.
European Jews gave up the practice of polygamy about 800 years ago. Not many practiced it anyway.
Neither the Old nor the New Testament goes into any useful detail on the issue.
And so - as with slavery - the morality of polygamy in Biblical terms remains at best ambiguous and open to "denominational interpretation".
Which I suppose is why Mormons could contend it was fine while Methodists could condemn it.
This summary from an article published in 1887 has proven prophetic
Therefore, without prejudice against any one proposed reform, it is impossible not to end, if not with the deduction, at least with the suggestion - that (for some reason which we will not now attempt to fathom) the three institutions - of private property, of marriage, and of personal liberty from State control - are so inseparably bound together that neither one may fall without the other two.
--The Ethics of Democracy by F.J. Stimson. Scribner's Magazine (1887)