Polygamy Activism in the Reality Show World

Last Friday’s decision by a US District Judge to strike down a section of Utah’s law banning polygamy has rustled many feathers, including my own. Like many socially conscious citizens, I have been concerned that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage would lead to legal recognition of polygamy. After all, when one starts dismantling such a historical institution like marriage, all sorts of strange things will happen.

polygamy_evilAccording to LifeSiteNews,  Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the state could continue to ban polygamy “in the literal sense – the fraudulent or otherwise impermissible possession of two purportedly valid marriage licenses”, but it could not arrest people who voluntarily choose to live together in a common-law, plural marriage. Read the full ruling here.

So it’s OK to be polygamous in a common law arrangement but not legally married to more than one person? If that is really all that is standing in the way of legal recognition of polygamy, then I expect the latter to be recognized within the next decade or so.  Now that we’ve tinkered with marriage and allowed same-sex unions, legal recognition of polygamy, child marriage, and marriage of consanguinity are not far off. I’m not kidding here.

Furthermore, the plaintiff’s attorney said the following:

“Homosexuals and polygamists do have a common interest: the right to be left alone as consenting adults. There is no spectrum of private consensual relations—there is just a right of privacy that protects all people so long as they do not harm others.”

*Mar 08 - 00:10*

Kody Brown with his Sister Wives (pic taken from TLC)

Wow, this is rich. The plaintiff, who belongs to the polygamous Apostolic United Brethern group claiming Mormon roots, is using the homosexual cause to justify his own actions? May I remind you that Mormons condemn homosexuality and were instrumental in the defeat of Proposition 8 in California. Also, the Right to Privacy argument was the very argument used in the landmark Roe v. Wade case which legalized abortion, yet another great evil for Mormons. What strange bedfellows for polygamy: abortion, homosexuality, and fundamentalist Mormons!

Finally, it appears a reality show is what propelled the legal action in this case. The plaintiff is Kody Brown, who parades his four wives and seventeen children on his show Sister Wives on TLC. The state of Utah investigated him because his families’ illegal activities were being broadcast on TV. Had it not been for this reality show, Kody Brown would never have been investigated. Shows like Big Love and Sister Wives have given the polygamy movement a mainstream platform. But a reality show? Seriously? I don’t understand. Aren’t reality shows a platform for the strange, the bizarre, and the outlandish? Isn’t that why shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians, and Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo have captivated audiences, for their circus-like appeal? Certainly we all like to be entertained, but to have laws changed because of a reality show is foolish. A public relations campaign for polygamy is being fought and it appears, based on what I’ve seen here, that reality shows are the latest tools in a polygamy public relations arsenal.