July 12th, 2011
Get ready to hear the anti-gays shriek, “I told you so!” A reality celebrity polygamist family from Utah is suing that state to have its polygamy law found unconstitutional. And I support them. (ABC)
The polygamist family portrayed on the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” said all along its main goal in going on national television was to gain public acceptance of its lifestyle.
Now family patriarch Kody Brown, his four wives and 16 children and stepchildren are moving from the court of public opinion to the court of law, arguing that criminalizing their lifestyle is unconstitutional.
This lawsuit may seem to support the contentions of Maggie Gallagher and the others who spend their energy obsessing over my life and campaigning to keep me inferior. And it may seek peculiar that I would support such and endeavor.
But here’s the thing. They are not suing to have their family structure given legal recognition; that I would oppose.
The legal bonds of matrimony uniquely empower one person to be the sole caretaker and decision-maker over another in times of trouble, the primary heir with unique right at death, and encompasses a whole host of entanglements that become complicated beyond possibility when more than two are included. While the State can step in to a family squabble and say we recognize the spouse, chaos would result from multiple spouse with equal claim or, worse yet, some hierarchy of squabbling spouses.
But their lawsuit is about something else, the effort by the state to control their sex life. Unlike other states which do not recognize multi-party marriage, Utah has banned multi-party cohabitation.
The state law reads: “A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.”
Kody Brown is legally married to one woman, Meri, but also calls the other three women his spouses.
And while I do not wish to open legal marriage to multiple parties, I am a big fan of leaving people live how they want, love whom they want, and in general be as stupid as they want to be (and, believe me, I think any non-bisexual woman that enters into a relationship in which she is one of four women with one man is stupid). So if you want to live with the knowledge that you have no right to recourse should your man and his other three women tire of you, knock yourself out.
And this is not just a theoretical complaint against the state. The police in Lehi, Utah, launched an investigation into the Brown family’s lifestyle for a possible charge of bigamy.
So yeah, I side with the crazy people on this one. If you think that your god wants you to share your man with three other women (one of whom has all the legal rights) then I’ll support your right to sleep where you want and with whom. But fair warning, polygamists, don’t be marrying 14 year-olds or abandoning your male children on a street corner or I’ll happily lead the charge to throw your nasty ass in jail.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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