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Thread: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by koan View Post
    The arguments against polygamy are filled with assumptions and obvious fears.
    And evidence! Both historical, from past cultures and civilizations, and present day empirical studies on the harms to women and children in polygamous families in Muslim societies such as Malaysia and in FLDS Mormon groups in Canada and the United States. Studies commissioned by the Federal Government and provincial governments, such as Alberta that are cited here, are temporarily offline because they are being used as supporting evidence in the B.C. Court trial involving the FLDS. Nevertheless, there is ample evidence to justify the arguments against sanctioning polygamy, based on the harms to women and children, and the simple fact that polygamous structures are incompatible with democratic society and principles of equality, as mentioned by Joseph Heinrich in his summation to the Court.

    At certain points it sounds as if the concern isn't for the women, some of whom I'm pretty sure have already been picturing themselves with more than one mate, it is a concern for the men who won't be able to compete with the men of huge gifts.
    And this sounds like self-serving tripe that laws against polygamy might spoil some polyamorous fantasies of middle-aged women having a collection of men (or women) to play with! Where is the concern for women who grow up in these places and are coerced by family and religious authorities to accept polygamous marriages, and spend the rest of their days doing domestic work and bearing children?

    Societies that have male/female imbalance that can be caused by polygamy plus infanticide of girls end up with large populations of young, disgruntled men who present a danger to the social order where they live. That's why the Saudis were happy to send so many young men off to wage jihad in Afghanistan, and elsewhere (and hoped they never come back!), and why Mormon fundamentalists deliberately expel so many teenage boys from their compounds. In such societies, there is no fair competition, so the young men who will not have the same opportunities as the aristocrats, have every reason to be frustrated and hostile.

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    It's not like regular Canadians would start living like Mormons or Saudi Arabians just because they can remarry without needing a divorce. And to say that the Saudis are waging jihads because they are polygamous is... what did you say?... oh, self serving tripe.

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    My basic position on the issue is that the government should stay out of my bedroom. The government should also stay out of the marriage business completely.

    You can't take instances from societies that do not reflect the myriad of other laws that Canadians abide by and compare them as if they are the same. From what I've read, there are no threats to society that can result which aren't covered by another law.

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by koan View Post
    My basic position on the issue is that the government should stay out of my bedroom. The government should also stay out of the marriage business completely.
    I've been saying that here at least since November 2006:
    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    I don't think Texas even has initiatives, so I'll vote on yours.[COLOR=blue]

    [...]

    Some other random props for Arizona:

    -changing the constitution, recognizing marriage as between man and woman (even though gay marriage is statutorily banned here)Abstain, since I don't think marriage should be a legal term at all

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    Murder, rape and theft are not moral constructs; neither is their probihition. They are crimes against victims, violations of natural rights all humans have and ought to enjoy. If you in Canada wish to protect people from themselves and prohibit consenting adults from forming their relationships with other consenting adults as they see fit, then oppress away.
    Polygamy also has victims -- young girls forced into arranged marriages. Terms like "consenting adults" are laughable when used in the context of religions that force the acceptance of plural marriage, or cut them off from their families and the only life they have known -- as in the case of Carolyn Jessop. And there is still that matter of consequences of lifestyle choices, which you will not address! There are roughly equal numbers of men and women in a society; so without constant war to thin out the male population, a polygamous community like Bountiful, just fabricates contrived reasons to expel surplus teenage boys, that become a burden for social services in surrounding communities.

    In the US, I would rather live in the de facto Land of the Free rather than the nanny state that carries the slogan. When lawyers and politicians become the arbitors of morality, you have no morality.
    Correction, You have no morality if you're a bloody moral relativist who says anything goes! If there are harmful consequences for a society that allows these arrangements, and the consequences are worse than taking legal action to prevent them, then it's time to say people just don't get to do whatever the hell they want, no matter how much that offends aging free love hippies!

    I would estimate that oppression has a more detrimental impact on society than three people rooming together.
    Three people can room together and do whatever the hell they want, but they should not be expecting legal recognition as a family unit, and receive all of the benefits provided. And since they've inserted themselves into this issue, what happens in issues like custody disputes and workplace benefits? Nobody cares who you're having sex with -- the issue is about how to define families

    On the CBC program -- The Current, a recent segment dealing with the Bountiful issue began with the typical objections from the polyamory crowd -- a woman and two (presumably bisexual) men, who want to call themselves a family. Well, if we consider the fact that pair-bonding is often unstable, it stands to reason that the more members you add to your "family", the more jealousies and fractures there will be. None of those hippie communes in the late 60's and early 70's lasted; I don't think these group families have any better odds of holding together.


    Expert witnesses state what they are paid to state, and spin what they are paid to spin.
    In the case of Joseph Heinrich and others, they've been researching this issue long before the Province started developing a case for prosecution. Their writings were already out there. They didn't go looking for the Attorney General's Office to pay them, the prosecution sought them out after reading their work.

    But ignoring that, your previous cite pointed out that no developed nation yet allows polygamy (polygamy being the issue in question, not the very different polygyny). It's folly to claim that a developed society based on the rule of law, historically monogamous, and having a well educated and equality-conscious public will suddenly parallel a 3rd world country based on dictatorial fiat, culturally polygynous and traditionally oppressive to women, and having an illiterate public raised in a polygynous culture, simply by legally allowing two people to agree to allow a third person into their committed relationship. It's a preposterous argument.
    Definitions first: polygyny is not different than polygamy, it is a specific practice of polygamy where a man has multiple wives....and this is the overwhelming, most common form of polygamy, since polyandry (woman with more than one husband) and polyamory group marriages are rare, and insignificant in comparison.

    And it's not absurd to consider this social arrangement a threat to the larger culture when birth rates are taken into consideration. Bountiful was literally created by a small FLDS clan that has flourished and is producing more and more dangerously inbred children today. And not every man has to, or even is allowed to be a polygamist in these societies. But, a few rotten apples spoil the whole barrel! One of the stories I looked at yesterday from the Muslim World, estimated that only about 12% of marriages are polygamous. But, considering that these are the wealthiest, most powerful men in those societies, the Muslim nations that allow polygamy are not democratic, and have no real prospects of ever becoming democratic! Saudi Arabia, for example, is essentially a family business. It takes it's name from the descendents of Ibn Saud, and now The House of Saud numbers over 10,000.

    Ya gotta appreciate the irony that the very argument to prohibit gay marriage is being flipped to argue against polygamous marriage.
    And I've already explained why before: only a minority of the population is gay -- only a minority of that gay population is seeking marriage -- and there are far fewer children involved than these polygamous clans that are totally centered on having lots and lots of children. And, if there are harms to children, or society at large from gay marriage, the studies done so far in Europe aren't supporting that case.

    I don't get it. What international treaty would Canada have to sign to legalize polygamous marriage?
    And we've been over this before also! Canada signed on to an international treaty that promised to work towards ending the practice of polygamy, and recognized the individual and societal harms it causes.

    You're bringing the income gap argument into this too??
    Don't pretend you'd support it if we could close that gap!
    Do you have any examples of egalitarian polygamous societies to offer? If polygamy didn't cause: high population growth, the sexualization of young teenage girls, lost boys, greater class divisions in the population etc. then I'd be all for it too!

    There are no sociological needs to justify gay marriage, either, but looky what we're doing about that!
    If there is an interest in two, and only two, gay people seeking marriage, then they are expressing that need. If there are no apparent harms to society caused by gay marriage, then there are no good reasons to justify refusal........do I have to go through the harms caused by polygamy again?

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    What do you think, RC? How about if marriage ceased to be a legal construct altogether and was only a cultural one, such as the Jewish tradition of bar mitzvah when a boy is recognized as a man?

    Where's the harm?

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    What do you think, RC? How about if marriage ceased to be a legal construct altogether and was only a cultural one, such as the Jewish tradition of bar mitzvah when a boy is recognized as a man?

    Where's the harm?
    I don't see how this is practical when there are rights and legal benefits involved with marriage. If someone decides they want a group marriage, should all of their spouses qualify for workplace benefits? I can't imagine how messy and convoluted divorce settlement issues would be if such marriages dissolved. There are too many legal issues involved with marriage for the government to be uninvolved.

    But, again with this polygyny issue, there are so many social problems connected with these marriages that they don't belong in a democratic society that values equal rights. Even the Cato Institute gets the picture: Democracy, Dictatorship,
    and Polygamy

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by recovering conservative View Post
    I don't see how this is practical when there are rights and legal benefits involved with marriage. If someone decides they want a group marriage, should all of their spouses qualify for workplace benefits? I can't imagine how messy and convoluted divorce settlement issues would be if such marriages dissolved. There are too many legal issues involved with marriage for the government to be uninvolved.

    But, again with this polygyny issue, there are so many social problems connected with these marriages that they don't belong in a democratic society that values equal rights. Even the Cato Institute gets the picture: Democracy, Dictatorship,
    and Polygamy
    You must've misread. If marriage ceases to be a legal construct, there would be no divorce (how could there be, without marriage?). Workplace benefits would be up to the workplace. Your sentence about legal issues is circular logic. Sure, the transition would be messy, but once current marriage issues are settled and marriage no longer exists, what legal issues would remain that don't already occur with unmarried people?

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by recovering conservative View Post
    Even the Cato Institute gets the picture: Democracy, Dictatorship,
    and Polygamy
    That article is about the difficulty of turning a dictatorial polygamous society into a democratic one, not the danger of polygamy somehow changing a democratic egalitarian society into an oppressive dictatorship.

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    Re: Don't Legalize Polygamy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    That article is about the difficulty of turning a dictatorial polygamous society into a democratic one, not the danger of polygamy somehow changing a democratic egalitarian society into an oppressive dictatorship.
    Did you notice their closing paragraph:

    We must consider seriously the possibility that a society that allows polygamy may not be able to become an open democracy. This may be one of the most important links between biology and politics.


    Just before that, they made this weasily observation: "Interestingly, such sects often appear to be run dictatorially" without asking the question of why these communities are not egalitarian and democratic. And they will not ask the question of whether or not such communities are compatible with democratic, egalitarian societies.

    I take issue with the author's observations about egalitarianism in the modern U.S.A., since legal equality becomes nothing more than a theoretical construct if it cannot be practiced because of great economic disparities; but be that as it may, they've identified some of the reasons why they are dictatorial -- such as the need to expel surplus males -- and yet they haven't fully developed the examination by asking whether polygyny will grow in size and impact on the larger society if monogamy is not imposed by the state. And I think that's the key reason why this article (although brief) jumps from roving bands of hunter/gatherers to the appearance of polygyny and hierarchies when agriculture arose -- and then jumps right to the present. They seemed to have missed that entire stage in Western history when, first the Greek city states, and then the Roman Empire, imposed monogamy (which was later adopted by Christianity) and denied legal recognition of plural marriages.

    I've read a number of cultural anthropologists over the years who have made the same observation as Joseph Heinrich (the prosecution expert in the B.C. Court case), that polygyny is the norm in most human societies once they develop hierarchies. Once hierarchies are established, they become entrenched when the leaders take the greater share of the available females. Monogamy only becomes the norm when it is imposed by the state, and became the first step towards egalitarian notions like equal justice and democracy, and I think that's why a Cato study is not going to wade too far in on this sort of issue.

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