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LifeSiteNews.com: Reports from some northern Indian states that have the worst gender imbalance in the country due to sex-selective abortion say that “wife-sharing” among brothers is becoming a common occurrence.
But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal.
NC Family Policy Council: On July 12, 2011, Kody Brown and his “wives” stood before the cameras to announce that they were filing a lawsuit challenging Utah’s antipolygamy law . . .
ABC News: The common perception of polygamy is that men pick out the women they want to marry. But at Centennial Park, a polygamist community in Arizona, the opposite is true: It’s up to the women to choose their husbands with the help of God, a choice that has brought tension into the household of Michael, Rose, Connie and Teresa.
The Washington Post: The family from cable television’s polygamous “Sister Wives” reality show has told a federal judge in Utah how much they’ve been hurt by the threat of prosecution under the state’s bigamy law.
The Australian (carrying a story from The Times) today reports that Britain is experiencing an unexpected rise in polygamy among young Muslims. Even though polygamy is illegal in Britain, it is permitted under Shariah law and accepted in many Muslim communities.
Religion Clause Blog: In Adgeh v. Oklahoma, (10th Cir., Sept. 8, 2011), the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in a brief opinion (after refusing to hear oral argument in the case) rejected as frivolous a claim that Oklahoma’s statute barring polygamy is unconstitutional.
Joseph Farah at The big same-sex marriage lie: I have to laugh every time a same-sex marriage apologist suggests a society can somehow, arbitrarily, without consequences and further confusion, redefine marriage as an institution between two people of either sex.
Associated Press: Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs broke his silence Friday, delivering before jurors a 55-minute sermon defending plural marriage as ordered by God and protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Testimony by Ed Whelan before Congressat EPPC: I will briefly explain in my testimony why I oppose S. 598 and why I support the continuation in law of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). S. 598 should also be understood in the broader political context of the Obama administration’s stealth campaign to induce the courts to invalidate DOMA and to invent a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. I will therefore discuss more extensively how, even before its February announcement of its formal decision to abandon defending DOMA, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice was systematically sabotaging its supposed defense of DOMA.
OneNewsNow.com: “We are seeing growing evidence that the polygamists are moving forward in their attempts to redefine marriage to being more than one spouse,” the Focus spokesperson warns. “To use the same-sex ‘marriage’ arguments will be one of the best ways that they will be able to achieve that.”
Cristina Odon at The Telegraph: A Government “discussion paper” seen by Paul Goodman of Conservative Home argues that, to create “the conditions for integration”, all religious marriages should be recognised by the state.
Telegraph: Ministers have ruled out legalising polygamy after a leaked Whitehall paper suggested multiple Islamic marriages could be officially recorded by the state.
Brian Raum at Human Events: Marriage supporters have warned for years that fabricating same-sex “marriage” will only serve to usher in more and more assaults on the foundational building block of society. And now, in a perfect yet appalling example of what’s been foretold, polygamist Kody Brown is chasing the success of the homosexual agenda in New York State by filing a lawsuit to strike down the laws against polygamy in an effort to save himself and his four “wives” from prosecution.
International News Network: A vast majority of young Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia disapprove of the traditional acceptance of polygamy. They are, however, reluctant to openly support interfaith marriages or premarital sex, says a new survey.
NPR (includes audio): The latest episode in Sister Wives is playing out in the courtroom, not on cable. On Wednesday, the Brown family — the husband, four wives, and 16 children who star in the reality TV show — plans to file a lawsuit in federal court in Utah. The family members say the state’s anti-bigamy law is unconstitutional and that Supreme Court precedent backs them up.
Ralph Richard Banks at NYTimes.com: The cases against polygamy and incest are not nearly as strong as most people imagine. Yet they will not become legal anytime soon. To see why, it helps to understand the evolution of moral assessments of interracial and same-sex marriage.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011: A bill on “Marriage and Family” seeking to legalize polygamous marriages returned to parliament in 2008. But once again it failed to pass after coming under strong criticism from female lawmakers, notably Bakhyt Syzdykova, a young deputy and woman’s rights activist.
“Early Man and the Law”: Alabama ruling upholds parental rights, concurrence invokes Blackstone and the law of nature
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: In Friday’s Ex Parte E.R.G., the Alabama Supreme Court struck down the Alabama grandparent visitation statute, holding that it violated the rights of parents. The decision was a splintered 4–3-2 decision, which reflects the Supreme Court’s splintered decision in Troxel v. Granville (2000) — which held that some such laws are unconstitutional, but didn’t decide whether all such laws are unconstitutional. And the opinion among state courts is likewise splintered. I hope to have a chance to blog about this in the next few days. But for now, I just wanted to note this passage from Justice Parker’s concurrence (which also contains various assertions about the Christian basis of American law) . . .
UPI: A Turkish family consultant says legalizing polygamy would protect women who are already involved in what are in effect polygamous marriages.
The Post.ie: The government has been told that it may be risking causing offence to Muslims living in Ireland who wish to engage in polygamous marriages.
AFP: A young Egyptian woman whose complicated love life led to Muslim-Christian clashes that killed 15 people in Cairo was arrested on Thursday and charged with polyandry, a judicial source told AFP.
AP on Google: An internal tug-of-war over control of jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs’ southern Utah-based church may force Utah courts to walk a constitutional tightrope that experts say could tread a little too close to separation of church and state.
Canada.com: Today’s judges are making decisions that should be in the domain of our elected representatives. Do we want a judge in British Columbia rewriting our 121-year-old law banning polygamy? Should an Ontario judge be responsible for the decriminalization of cannabis? An elected bench would be democratically accountable to the public.
UGPulse.com: The marriage and divorce bill coalition has called for the outlawing of polygamy. The group of representatives from over 40 women and civil society organisations made the call while appearing before the legal and Parliamentary affairs committee.
LocalNews8.com: A federal appeals court is blocking a federal judge in Utah from handing control of a communal land trust back to leaders of Warren Jeffs’ polygamous church.
Russell Nieli at Public Discourse: While often hostile to the Calvinist Christianity in which he was reared, David Hume’s essay “Of Polygamy and Divorces” offers a vigorous and well-argued defense of marriage arrangements as they existed in England and many other parts of Europe from the early Middle Ages through most of the 18th century. His arguments have great relevance for us today as we struggle to cope with unprecedented rates of divorce and unprecedented ease of both entering into and exiting marriages and other intimate procreative relationships. His arguments against polygamy are also important as that practice seems to be undergoing something of a resurgence in parts of the southwest, with renewed interest in the popular culture.
Chuck Colson at LifeSiteNews: The supreme irony here of course, is that liberal elites, including professors at Brown University, my alma mater, have been leading the charge for sexual license, feminine autonomy, and of course, so-called same-sex “marriage.” And now, suddenly, they are bumping up against reality and the logical consequences of their own ideas. In this case, polygamy’s exploitation of the women who have been promoting sexual freedom.
Anthony Esolen at Public Discourse: In other words, let the sexual revolution be justified on grounds of the common good. I believe it fails that test miserably, with evidence that is weighty, obvious, manifold, logically and anthropologically deducible, and clearly predictable by wisdom both pagan and Christian. Let them make their case, rather than asserting a principle that, in reality, would destroy the very idea of the common good. For if we cannot appeal to the common good in a matter so fundamental, I do not see how we can appeal to it in any other.
Forbes: Third District Judge Denise Lindberg has been ordered appear Monday and explain why she sought to block a federal court ruling giving the trust back to church leaders.
Reuters: A Canadian law criminalizing polygamy is not unlike the country’s stance on homosexuality, which was decriminalized in 1969, a lawyer for members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told a British Columbia court yesterday.
Pravda: The debate regarding officially allowing polygamy in Russia has been going on for years. The main arguments in favor of polygamy are the existing families with multiple wives, whose position is now not protected by law, as well as shortage of men. Perhaps the fate of the third or fourth wife is better than being alone?
The Canadian Press: A lawyer for so-called polyamorists says their non-religious, egalitarian relationships are the “Achilles heel” in the governments’ defence of the anti-polygamy law.
East Valley Tribune: “Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation designed to shield people from being disciplined professionally because of their religious views, at least in part over the issue of polygamy.”
CTV.ca: A lawyer arguing against Canada’s law barring polygamy says the ban is a relic of another time that violates freedom of religion.
Islamist Watch: In 2008, the Toronto Sun reported that “hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.” . . . Instead, welfare abuse by Muslims appears to have metastasized across the Western world. Almost three years later, news stories about radical Muslims — often immigrants — engaged in social benefits scams emerge regularly from Europe, Canada, and Australia. Even when they are not involved in fraud, Muslims frequently are overrepresented on welfare rolls, compared with other communities. The statistics from around the globe are jaw-dropping, especially in economically uncertain times.
Toronto Star: A lawyer fighting to overturn Canada’s ban on polygamy is urging a judge not to base his decision on what may be criminal behaviour by some of the residents of a polygamous commune in B.C. George Macintosh, a government-appointed lawyer . . .
Reuters: “Religious rights are being weighed against those of women and children in a landmark Canadian court case deciding if the country’s long-standing law against polygamy should be struck down.”
Rose McDermott writes at the Wall Street Journal (via Google): Polygamy—or more specifically polygyny, the marriage of one man to more than one woman—has been widespread in human history. And it is becoming increasingly common, particularly in Muslim enclaves—including in Paris, London and New York.
The Christian Legal Fellowship will present its closing statement in the Constitutional Reference on Polygamy tomorrow before the Supreme Court of British Columbia at or around 10am pst in courtroom 55; interested individuals may view the closing statements via live webcast . . .
Carolyn Castiglia writes at Babble.com: In 2008, when California first sanctioned gay marriage, many people argued that “the California Supreme Courts legal reasoning could be applied to polygamous and incestuous marriages.” Glen Lavy of the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund wrote in the LA Times, “Although some proponents of same-sex “marriage” have been trying to distance themselves from polygamy, it is, and long has been, defended by powerful voices like the American Civil Liberties Union.” . . . No one wants to see incest supported by society, but victims of GSA need some level of sympathy. After all, if your child was conceived using a donor embryo and he or she wishes to meet her biological parents someday, there’s a 50% chance they’ll experience some level of obsession or Genetic Sexual Attraction, too.
The Province: “The closing arguments are being broadcast virtually live on webcam after B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman approved a media application by the CBC. The courtroom was packed as the submissions got under way Monday. The final arguments are expected to run two weeks.” | Live Streaming
CTVBC.ctv.ca (video): A lawyer for the B.C. government warns that making Canada the only western country to legalize polygamy would make more victims out of society’s most vulnerable people.
C-FAM: The cohesion of the American family is about the worst in the world, according to a new UN report. Rather than recommending policies reinforcing traditional family roles, the study recommends social policies reflecting the new reality . . . he report promotes the concept of “social fatherhood,” which “encompasses the care and support of males for children who are not necessarily their biological offspring.”
Valerie Richardson writes at the Washington Times: “Unlike same-sex marriage, which has no historical roots and is a new frontier — you can’t say the same thing about polygamy,” said Austin Nimocks, attorney for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes same-sex marriage. “There’s a cultural underpinning and support for plural marriage, so one could say the case is actually stronger for plural marriage.”
Vancouver Sun: Canada’s anti-polygamy law offends fundamental freedoms protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, argues the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.”
CNET: “Apparently, hell hath no fury like a woman bigamized. So you will be stunned into a permanently single life when I tell you that Barton Jr. has been charged with polygamy. Michigan, unlike certain areas of Utah, tends to look down on polygamy. The maximum sentence is four years (and/or a $5,000 fine . . . ”
The Republic (AP): “The Utah Supreme Court says a federal court ruling on the state’s handling of a communal land trust belonging to Warren Jeffs’ polygamous church could affect two pending appeals.”
UPI: “She said investigators received troubling evidence last week that eight girls, some as young as 12, were sent to the United States to marry older men.”
Washington Post: “The 34-year-old Ramzan Kadyrov, who rules Chechnya with an iron fist and imposes Islamic law in the southern province, told the mass market daily Komsomolskaya Pravda that he is “always on the lookout for a decent bride” but has not found the right woman yet.”
CTV: “Aly Hindi, an outspoken imam at Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Ont., said there are more than 200 polygamous Muslim marriages in the Greater Toronto Area alone. The figure is impossible to verify as polygamy among Muslim and other immigrant groups in Canada is often shrouded in mystery.”
Indiana University: “Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.”
Peter Heck writes at One News Now: The debate over whether those practicing homosexuality should be eligible to obtain the legal status of “married” for their same-sex relationships is persistently mischaracterized by activists on both sides as an attempt to redefine marriage. For those opposing such a move, this is most likely an error of ignorance, while for those favoring, it likely is an intentional tactic of misdirection. To be clear, in order to “redefine” anything, there must be an alternative definition being advocated. To this point, no such proposed substitute has emerged.
Vancouver Sun: “A B.C. judge has approved the use of TV cameras and webcams to cover the closing arguments of the case examining the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-polygamy laws.”
Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Ho’s health is declining, and his succession plan has run off the rails. He has at least 16 children by four women, three of whom are alive and retain the title of “Mrs. Ho.” The four families are jostling for control of his assets, estimated at more than $3 billion.”
Toronto Star: “Only in Canada would this be a matter of constitutional challenge—which just goes to show how far the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been co-opted, manipulated, to turn fundamental concepts on their head in the ever-unravelling tapestry of classic Western democracy . . . While practitioners of plural marriage . . . have come forward to defend their lifestyle . . . so, too, have misguided sectarian allies added their support for striking down a law they claim criminalizes unconventional relationships.”
Vancouver Sun: “It is no secret that there are child brides and teen mothers in the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., and that many of them are illegal immigrants from the United States . . . The numbers come from the B.C. Vital Statistics Agency and were filed as an affidavit last week in B.C. Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Robert Bauman is hearing a constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada’s polygamy law is valid.”
Montreal Gazette: “A woman from the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., told a Vancouver courtroom Wednesday she wasn’t worried about her husband marrying a 15-year-old girl because she ‘seemed very responsible.’ The 24-year-old mother, who was married at 17, made the comment during her cross-examination at the polygamy trial in B.C. Supreme Court.”
Vancouver Sun: Child brides forced to make a marriage choice
Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, is interviewed in the Houston Chronicle. Here is an excerpt: “In the 1980s, the Anglican community started to wrestle with the issue of polygamy in Africa. Polygamy is not an issue here, except in very small pockets of Utah and Arizona, and the church has taken a very different position. We said no. In Africa, the church doesn’t officially recognize polygamy. They certainly have polygamous members of their churches. In some places, they say the man can’t take additional wives once he becomes a Christian, but he isn’t forced to divorce the wives he already has. The children generally are recognized as full members if they want to be baptized.” | Via Damian Thompson.
BBC: “Years of conflict in Iraq have left the country with more than one million war widows and a shortage of young unmarried men – pressures that may be bringing about the return of polygamy.”
Global Toronto: “A B.C. courtroom will hear testimony this week from women living in the secretive polygamous commune of Bountiful.”
Euractiv: “Nearly 187,000 women in Turkey, a candidate country for EU membership, are in polygamous marriages despite the practice being illegal in the country, a report has revealed.”
Times of India: “In a new study, scientists at the Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, have found being polygamous could be more than being monogamous, when it comes to fertilization. The team discovered that sperm from polygamous mice are better competitors in the race for fertilisation.”
Vancouver Sun: “A polygamous mother from Utah on Wednesday agreed to lift an anonymity order and testify using her name at the polygamy trial in B.C. Supreme Court. Alina Darger, who has seven children, spoke glowingly of her experiences growing up in a polygamous family and as one of three sister wives to her current husband.”
NewsDay: “Polygamy is an institution that has survived many centuries and despite the campaigns to do away with this practice, it is still deeply rooted in Zimbabwe.”
The Canadian Press: “Residents of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in the small British Columbia commune of Bountiful believe they are adhering to the original word of the religion’s prophet, says a former plural wife and advocate of polygamy.”
CKNW: “Carolyn Jessop recounted how she escaped her abusive husband, and the community of Colorado City, Arizona in april of 2003. She loaded up all eight of her kids into an uninsured van and drove away with the lights off. She described the terror she felt every time a car approached her vehicle, convinced it was someone coming to force her back.”
The Vancouver Sun: “Evidence so far has been overwhelming that polygamy is inherently harmful both to individuals and to society. That’s the bar that government lawyers must leap in order for Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the B.C. Supreme Court to conclude that it’s okay to override the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and freedom of expression.”