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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Decriminalizing Polygamy

    You know what Dude? Murder isn't going away, drug abuse isn't going away, rape isn't going away ... I could go on for days, etc. etc. etc.

    Just because polygamy "isn't going away" doesn't make it o.k. The only thing not o.k., IMO, is that Utah and Arizona haven't been enforcing the law.




    http://www.kutv.com/content/news/top...d-3678285a5bd1

    ......
    “The polygamy statute needs to be revised. Thoroughly revised,” said Don Timpson who lives in a polygamous community. “The state has to realize that polygamy is not going away.”

    Attorney general Mark Shurtleff is said to be open to discussion of turning polygamy from a felony crime into a misdemeanor. This could mean that a man convicted of polygamy may spend a year or less in jail instead of several years in prison.
    .......

    Since Mark Shurtleff doesn't even bother to try polygamy or bigamy cases, what's the point in making it a misdemeanor?

  2. #2
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    It sounds as if Mr. Shurtleff is sleeping in two camps. That's a true politician for you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykodiak View Post
    It sounds as if Mr. Shurtleff is sleeping in two camps. That's a true politician for you.
    LOL, yes he seems to have that unique ability of speaking out of both sides of his mouth simultaneously!

  4. #4
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    I am a bit confused as I thought that Polygamist perform their own ceremony and are not usually legally married.

    I really don't have a problem with some guy marrying a dozen women.
    My problem is the underage girls forced into marriage and that under the current laws more often then not these Women have babies and then state aide supports them.

    Why is it criminal to have a bunch of wives anyways?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    You know what Dude? Murder isn't going away, drug abuse isn't going away, rape isn't going away ... I could go on for days, etc. etc. etc.

    Just because polygamy "isn't going away" doesn't make it o.k. The only thing not o.k., IMO, is that Utah and Arizona haven't been enforcing the law.




    http://www.kutv.com/content/news/top...d-3678285a5bd1

    ......
    “The polygamy statute needs to be revised. Thoroughly revised,” said Don Timpson who lives in a polygamous community. “The state has to realize that polygamy is not going away.”

    Attorney general Mark Shurtleff is said to be open to discussion of turning polygamy from a felony crime into a misdemeanor. This could mean that a man convicted of polygamy may spend a year or less in jail instead of several years in prison.
    .......

    Since Mark Shurtleff doesn't even bother to try polygamy or bigamy cases, what's the point in making it a misdemeanor?
    Another point is... since when does Shurtleff make Federal policy? or change Supreme Court rulings on polygamy? Oh yeah, he can make it a tap on the wrist type of sentence, and if there are any federal guidelines about polygamy, why he'll just ignore them. PFFFT He's trying to be their friend instead of following the law. Granted, they may not have the resources to go after each individual polygamist. But until the laws change Federally, polygamy is against the law. Period. He can promise them anything he likes but it won't change a thing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am a bit confused as I thought that Polygamist perform their own ceremony and are not usually legally married.

    I really don't have a problem with some guy marrying a dozen women.
    My problem is the underage girls forced into marriage and that under the current laws more often then not these Women have babies and then state aide supports them.

    Why is it criminal to have a bunch of wives anyways?
    I'm confused that you're confused.

    1. Are you implying that a man who has a dozen women that he's sleeping with and having children is not practicing polygamy just because he doesn't have a state issued marriage license with each woman?
    2. Polygamy is illegal in the United States and all 50 states. Under law, immigrants or refugees who practice polygamy are inadmissible for admission to the United States, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

  7. #7
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    Maybe because Shurtleff comes from a background of polygamy in his family, he is more lenient about it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am a bit confused as I thought that Polygamist perform their own ceremony and are not usually legally married.

    I really don't have a problem with some guy marrying a dozen women.
    My problem is the underage girls forced into marriage and that under the current laws more often then not these Women have babies and then state aide supports them.

    Why is it criminal to have a bunch of wives anyways?
    I kinda sorta agree with you. Consenting adults ought to be able to sleep with as many people as they want, and if one man and 5 women decide to live together, it should be no one's business, BUT the problems happen once they decide to have children using only one "husband" and several breeders.

    The act of bearing children under these circumstances causes:

    1. Little or no interaction between the father and the children. I mean when you have 50 kids, he doesn't even know their names or birthdays.

    2. Forced labor of older kids taking care of younger ones out of necessity.

    3. All kids made to contribute to the communal society by often unpaid labor.

    4. Taxpayer expense in the form of welfare and food stamps to provide for all the children that the father cannot afford to support.

    5. Birth defects possibly resulting in the elimination of the afflicted ones.

    6. An overabundance of boys that need to be eliminated so that the elders can have more wives.

    Once children are born into a polygamous situation, the problems surface, and they are ugly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    I'm confused that you're confused.

    1. Are you implying that a man who has a dozen women that he's sleeping with and having children is not practicing polygamy just because he doesn't have a state issued marriage license with each woman?
    2. Polygamy is illegal in the United States and all 50 states. Under law, immigrants or refugees who practice polygamy are inadmissible for admission to the United States, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    I am saying that they are not legally married so they can call it what they wish but IMO its no different then some guy having children with a bunch of different women. Our country does not prosecute men who go around having babies with various women so why prosecute these people for this?
    There is no legal ceremony so how are they "married".
    My question is how is it legally considered polygamy if they are not legally married?
    I understand its illegal for a man to marry several women... but strictly talking about a man with many wives... I don't see why its illegal Nor do I see how someone can be prosecuted if he is not legally married to them.

    Pepper I agree with you on many levels but I am strictly speaking about a man who wants many wives.
    And I do not know if all polygamist can be accused of the things you listed I think that is possibly more likely on a secluded compound which again is an entirely different subject then just some guy with a few wives and a few children from each.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am saying that they are not legally married so they can call it what they wish but IMO its no different then some guy having children with a bunch of different women. Our country does not prosecute men who go around having babies with various women so why prosecute these people for this?
    There is no legal ceremony so how are they "married".
    My question is how is it legally considered polygamy if they are not legally married?
    I understand its illegal for a man to marry several women... but strictly talking about a man with many wives... I don't see why its illegal Nor do I see how someone can be prosecuted if he is not legally married to them.

    Pepper I agree with you on many levels but I am strictly speaking about a man who wants many wives.
    And I do not know if all polygamist can be accused of the things you listed I think that is possibly more likely on a secluded compound which again is an entirely different subject then just some guy with a few wives and a few children from each.
    What you are saying is exactly how these people got around the polygamy laws in Utah and Arizona for decades. Apparently the law in Texas is a bit different, since they recognize a common law marriage as legal, no official marriage certificate needs to be filed for the state to consider them "legally" married.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am a bit confused as I thought that Polygamist perform their own ceremony and are not usually legally married.

    I really don't have a problem with some guy marrying a dozen women.
    My problem is the underage girls forced into marriage and that under the current laws more often then not these Women have babies and then state aide supports them.

    Why is it criminal to have a bunch of wives anyways?
    Basically I agree as long as the people involved have a choice and there is no underage 'marriage.' And as long as there is no fraud involved, as in no welfare or other benefit fraud.

    The real question is what constitutes marriage? Some states recognize common-law marriage, some do not. In those states that do not recognize common-law, the multiple spiritual marriages would not even be a problem as long as they don't apply for marriage certificates.

    And in those cases where the marriages are not recognized, basically the spiritual marriages would be looked at as adultery. Adultery is not illegal. I know of couples where one party commits adultery on a regular basis with multiple women. He does it, she lives with it and at least on the surface accepts it. Heck, even Barbara Walters admitted to a long term adulterous relationship.

    Basically I view polygamy as adultery, and if we start prosecuting polygamy as a crime, we need to start prosecuting adultery.

    To me bigamy is where a person meets and weds another person and doesn't tell them they are still married to still another. To me that constitutes marriage fraud and that I do believe should be illegal. But for a couple to allow adultery into the marriage I believe should be the couples decision. Unless we are going to make adultery illegal in the general population.

    At least under the FLDS system, the fathers do parent any resulting children and they do make a committment to any 'spiritual wives.' Not so in the general adultery situations. However, I don't believe that any employer should be required to provide benefits to any 'spiritual' spouse.

    So far in Texas all they are talking about is the abuse. They are not talking polygamy. They are not making accusations about polygamy. It is only in Utah and Arizona that the discussions are happening about polygamy. It is like they (Ut. and Az.) are trying to provide a smokescreen to hide the accusations of abuse in Texas. Like maybe if they can turn the public attention from abuse to polygamy, they can change public opinion and make them believe that this is religious persecution.

    I do have to say though that under Texas law, the spiritual marriages are illegal. And that anyone who entered a plural marriage, knowingly broke the law. For that reason I would support Texas if they do choose to prosecute the plural marriages. But somehow I don't think they will.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    I am saying that they are not legally married so they can call it what they wish but IMO its no different then some guy having children with a bunch of different women. Our country does not prosecute men who go around having babies with various women so why prosecute these people for this?
    There is no legal ceremony so how are they "married".
    My question is how is it legally considered polygamy if they are not legally married?
    I understand its illegal for a man to marry several women... but strictly talking about a man with many wives... I don't see why its illegal Nor do I see how someone can be prosecuted if he is not legally married to them.
    Since Texas recognizes legally spiritual marriages and common-law marriages, they are in fact LEGALLY married.

    http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriag...es/p/texas.htm

    Common Law Marriage or Informal Marriage:
    Yes. Texas also refers to common law marriage as an informal marriage.

    For a marriage to be declared an informal marriage in Texas, a couple has two options.

    1. Sign a declaration of their marriage under oath. The form is available at County Clerk's office.

    The Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage asks for full names, woman's maiden surname, addresses, dates of birth, places of birth, social security numbers, and relationship information.

    The Declaration states: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that we, the undersigned, are married to each other by virtue of the following facts: On or about (Date) we agreed to be married, and after that date we lived together as husband and wife and in this state we represented to others that we were married. Since the date of marriage to the other party I have not been married to any other person. This declaration is true and the information in it which I have given is correct."

    2. Live together as husband and wife in Texas
    Represent to others that they are married.
    Agree with one another that they are married.

    Individuals under the age of 18 may not enter into an informal marriage.

  13. #13
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    Well - if they are legally married in Texas, then they can get a legal divorce. I kinda like that idea...... I don't suppose these women will be getting divorces though. Bummer.

    Salem

  14. #14
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    Actually, the FLDS is probably practicing "polygyny".
    Quoted from Wikipedia: Polygamy exists in three specific forms, including polygyny (one man having multiple wives), polyandry (one woman having multiple husbands), or group marriage (some combination of polygyny and polyandry). Historically, all three practices have been found, but polygyny is by far the most common in the world. Confusion arises when the broad term "polygamy" is used when a narrower definition is really meant.
    To my mind the difference between their actions and some guy that is merely having sex and children with a lot of different women is that the FLDS and other polygamists "portray" themselves as a family. The guy with no morals and a slippery zipper is just that...a guy with no morals and a slippery zipper. I don't approve of either, but if you're going to "portray" yourself as a family, then don't get upset when somebody asks you to identify your children. Step up to the plate and take responsibility.

  15. #15
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    Salem I would also think it would mean they would legally have to divulge who their husband was and that would impact their welfare.

    Putting all that aside for a second.. Golfmom I was not talking about Texas specifically as a matter of fact the original article was about Utah.

    I am not sure if the women in Texas qualified as even spiritually married unless they did all in fact live with their husband. (not living together would not make it legal under the law)

    Lets say for the sake of debate some guy pops in to his various GF's homes every now and then for a couple of days ... The result is a few children by a few women .... He does not call himself a polygamist just a player with a few babies mommy's he sleeps with every now and then....
    And I am sure Texas has their share of men like this as does every state...
    SO what makes what he does any different then a polygamist?

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