Saturday, December 14, 2013

(UPDATED) Judge "Decriminalizes" Plural "Marriage" in Utah

I could write a wordy analysis, but this quote says it all, and quite a few of us have been saying something similar, for a while:
From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
"Utah’s bigamy statute technically survived the ruling. However, (Judge) Waddoups took a narrow interpretation of the words 'marry' and 'purports to marry,' meaning that bigamy remains illegal only in the literal sense - when someone fraudulently acquires multiple marriage licences."
Jonathan Turley cites among other things, Lawrence v. Texas. More also at "The Fall of Reynolds." In addition, there is the "Utah Political Capitol" and "The Aquila Report."

The "Volokh Conspiracy" is suddenly "noticing" the overt racism of Reynolds v. Sims/Reynolds v. United States:
"I’m no fan of the collected works of Edward Said, but I thought the Court’s use of Said entirely defensible. As the Court details, 19th-century hostility to polygamy was based, in part, on polygamy’s association with non-white races. As the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in Reynolds v. Sims, 'Polygamy has always been odious among the northern and western nations of Europe, and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people.' Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 164 (1879)."

"Simple Justice" adds this observation:
"That Kody Brown, with the adult consent of the women in his life, has chosen a different path than others has no more to do with me than it does with you. He just doesn’t want to go to prison for it, and if everybody living with him is cool with the arrangement, then it’s nobody’s business but theirs."
If the decision is reversed, it's probably going to be based on something having to do with Kody Brown's "lack of standing." It's really the only way out for those that wish to keep plural marriage criminal and at the same time want to posture about and use that "illegality" for political purposes. Kody after all, had been promised he wouldn't be prosecuted prior to his "escape" to Nevada. All the government opponents want is the ability to bust down your door and search for "extant" circumstances, like tax evasion, and to round up your kids. They'll drop the initial charge of "purporting to be married" later.

All anyone remembers after whatever conviction or plea bargain occurs is that the man was arrested for "committing polygamy." That makes the ignorant masses happy.

Other opinions? Professor Stephen Bainbridge echoes Robert Bork (I'm generally a fan) and says we are "We are Slouching Towards Gomorrah."

"Hot Air" concludes the same thing I've been saying for probably a decade, but uses "Lawn Mower" as opposed to an Aardvark:
"But with all that said, while a wildly unpopular position among many conservatives, I still think the government’s hands should be as far away from the entire concept of marriage as possible. The fears that some are expressing over the Brown decision, however, aren’t really related to this question and appear to be unfounded. The court didn’t strike down rules against actual polygamy – the practice of being licensed and married to more than one spouse – but rather laws prohibiting one from saying they are married to additional people. You can say you’re married to your lawn mower, but that doesn’t mean the government is going to recognize it or grant you any benefits based on it."
I would note that "benefit" is for me, one of the biggest swear words in my vocabulary, and infinitely more so when it's attached to "government."

The New York Times hilariously reveals their "anti straight" bias merely via headline, stating that the polygamy law in Utah, has been "weakened." Had Kody been Gay, they would have doubtless trumpeted the huge victory for Gay Marriage. "Business Insider" does see it that way.

The odd interest of ALIPAC makes me wonder if they see it as an avenue to unlimited immigration. "Freepers" aren't exactly thrilled but might want to read "Hot Air" and take a deep breath.

At Breitbart Ken Klukowski points to the incremental slippery slope strategy. It's only the tip of the iceberg folks:
"This lawsuit is the brainchild of Prof. Jonathan Turley at George Washington University. He’s designed a two-step strategy, piggybacking on same-sex marriage: first, decriminalize polygamy, then assert a right to official recognition of polygamy."
Time magazine doesn't seem to think it's a problem for women anymore, including young women, but a problem young men.
"(Time's own) studies suggest that polygamy, when conducted among consenting adults (unlike the kind practiced by Warren Jeffs), is not as harmful to the young women who consent to being a second or third wife as it is to young men. Because the older and more successful men attract most of the wives, there are not enough women for the younger men to marry. In a community that values family above all, this can be devastating and has led to many leaving or being expelled from their homes."
And then they hit on the idea that plural marriage is only practiced in closed gated communities or "compounds." It's not, but beating that dead horse image still serves the purpose of "Anti Pligs." They also ignore the fact that the ruling throws open the door to group marriage and polyandry so it's a complete non sequitur as observations go. Doh!

The lack of comment at Poor Richard's News proves that no one cares. I have one of the two comments at the site, which is about the same as the performance here, and I've retreated to being a blogging nobody. There are some sites with a plethora of comments, but they are all first tier bloggers who chose to comment on the story. I've been scanning Fox and CNN but haven't caught either of them running the story. For this reason (should this trend continue), I will venture to make a prediction, probably by tomorrow.

I figured Al Jazeera would eventually run the story, and they have. Vox Popoli has commented. I always value what's said there, whether I agree or not. In this case though, Vox seems to be advocating a dictator or revolution:
"American society is rapidly slip-sliding away, to the extent that it can even be said to exist at all anymore. One may not be able to legislate morality, but it is becoming eminently clear that one can legislate civilization. And barbarism, for that matter. But we may be past the point where civilization can be legislated; it may have to be imposed."
I guess a King wouldn't have additional consorts and he'd keep us from having them. That's what we have found, right? Leaders, especially the most powerful, always keep their pants on, away from home.

Last but not least of course, the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) Blog has chimed in with some thoughts:
"The state of Utah, the judge noted, does not prosecute those who engage in cohabitation as an act of adultery — that is, a married person having intimate relations with a person who is not the spouse. The state thus threatens prosecution only for those who cohabit as a religious activity, according to (Waddoups).

The judge said the state has ample authority, under other criminal laws, to protect against crimes such as incest, sexual assault, and rape of a minor.

He thus struck down the cohabitation ban in the bigamy law, finding it intruded upon the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment. In addition, the judge also struck down that section of the law under other constitutional provisions.

Specifically, the judge struck this phrase from the law — 'or cohabits with another person'."

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Elusive Wapiti said...

"Fall of Reynolds" argues that marriage is hurt far more by divorce (serial polyandry) than by homogamy or polygyny.

I'm not a fan of either homogamy or polygyny, but I'm inclined to agree.

The Pharisee said...

I'm not a fan of any homosexual relationship, "married" or otherwise, but it is none of my business. The coattail effect of gay marriage rulings is undeniable.