Marriage Extended to Polygamy by Federal Judge

A federal judge gave Kody Brown and his four wives a legal victory on August 28, 2014 when the court finalized the order striking part of Utah's bigamy law as unconstitutional. 

The Washington Post reported:

"The long legal battle over polygamy in Utah now appears headed to the appeals courts. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has said he would appeal the federal court ruling that found the law against polygamy was unconstitutional. [The television reality series] "Sister Wives" chronicles the lives of Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown and their children. Utah County authorities began their investigation of the polygamous family after their show debuted."

Read that entire article as it places the polygamy issue in context. 


After the Supreme Court of the United States last summer expanded marriage to include state regulatory schemes that recognize same-sex marriage, recognition of polygamous marriage was an easy next step for the federal judge.  (Read more about the Windsor decision at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2462093.)   Indeed, when marriage is altered by eliminating one major entry point of gender difference, it is not difficult to use the same legal rationale to eliminate the monogamy requirement.  By process of deduction, this reasoning could be used toward the elimination of minimum age requirements or unrelated by blood or affinity requirements for marriage as well.  The latter has not been done yet, but the Sister Wives case provides fertile ground to move in that direction.

The proliferation of marriage-like partnerships will accomplish the dilution and weakening of marriage, as detailed in my article on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) which can be read and downloaded for free at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=269418.

Expanding marriage does not bring strength and restoration to marriage, but rather works to diminish its foundational position in society.  The common good is thereby weakened in exchange for broadening individual rights. 

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