Polygamy/Plural Marriage versus Same-Sex Marriage

[deleted account] ( 23 moms have responded )

There's a reality show on one of the networks in the States that features a man and his 1 legal wife, plus 3 "sister wives". He has fathered 16 kids between the 4 women and rotates from home to home to home to home. They have always expressed freedom of religion, are law abiding citizens (well except for the polygamy) pay taxes, contribute to society, etc. The news segment stated that the guy, Kody Brown, has filed a lawsuit in his state of Utah to get Plural marriages declared legal in the name of freedom of religion. The news segment ended by stating that while polygamy is illegal and frown upon by the Church of Latter day Saints (Mormon faith), there are an estimated of 25,000 couples practicing plural marriages.

So I was thinking, from the outside, looking at this man and one of his wives with a few kids and it's the picturesque scene of a perfect family. Yet I see many things wrong with thier lifestyle. Yet in contrast, if you see a same-sex couple with their family, a few kids, and then there's stares, squawks, scrutiny, and hatred.

Why would one marriage be considered acceptable as man-woman, yet the other not?


JuLeah - posted on 07/14/2011




Cause we hate queers. We didn't always. It's funny, but the woman back at the turn of the century, the silly, crazy women, who wanted equality under the law, the right to vote ... were not gay.

Yet, they did spend a lot of time together planning.

Now women spending time together had never been a problem before - sewing circles and such things. But these women started to really gain ground and the men were frightened. What if they really became equal under the law? What if they no longer obeyed every command? What if they no longer 'belonged' to their husbands?

For the first time preachers started to preach about the dangers of women spending too much time together and about the 'sin' of female companions. That had never before been preached about. It had been accepted in most social circles without comment. There were many famous women and men who had 'companions' and no one was upset by the idea.

But, when women really started to gain ground politically, started to gain power ... they had to be shut down. They had to be stopped. So, they were called sinners and everyone was told they were unnatural and that God hated them.

They idea was passed down from parent to child and no one really every thought about it ... if all of our neighbors think a thing, it must be true and so we teach our children.

Think I am mistaken? Germans didn't hate Jews prior to WWII. Hitler started an education campaign for the children and a re education campaign for the adults.

Adults who had long had Jews as neighbors, friends, were suddenly seeing ads in magazines that mentioned how evil the Jews were, suddenly seeing posters up on the community board, hearing from their preacher about how God actually hated them, hearing from their political leaders about how Jews were destroying the economy and plotting to take over the world 'the Jewish agenda'

It is much like the gay agenda, I assume, though as a Jew and Lesbian I can honestly say I have never seen the document.

Once hate takes hold, it takes on a life of its own. In Germany, friends were turning in friends, neighbors were killing neighbors.

As a society we were taught to hate queers in much the same way. There are STILL people who believe God doesn't much like Jews and that Jews will take over the world if given the chance. There are STILL people who believe to be queer is to go against God.

It was NOT 'in the bible' prior to women asking for the vote and now, "God hates queers" can be found in most bibles ...
Polygamists have not yet pissed off the people in power who wish to remain in power … if they ever do, we will be taught to hate them too.

Tara - posted on 07/14/2011




If Steve would go for it I would more than happy to have a polyandrous relationship and a polygamous one too, that way there would be way more hands and helpers to go around, everyone would have their needs met regularly and we would all be friends....
Ahhh utopia.
I don't think anyone should see them as any different as long as they are all consenting adults. Coercion and control often go hand in hand with polygamy, but without that bit I see many benefits to this style of marriage.

Jenny - posted on 07/14/2011




I also think that no one batting an eye to a polygamous family is a stretch although I will concede people do not seem quite as opposed to it than to same sex marraige. Which proves my point that (many) people are just grossed out by male anal sex, they don't actually care about the relationship itself.

I see a lot of truth in what JuLeah said in we are taught to hate what is thought of as a threat to those in power.

Personally, I do not care one bit how adults form families so long as they are all consenting and it is based on love and not control. This is not something government should have a say in period.

Rosie - posted on 07/14/2011




i have no problem with people having multiple wives/husbands as long as everyone is consenting adults (which often times isn't the case ).
i think having more than one spouse kinda defeats the purpose of marriage, and vows and stuff, but meh, who am i to care. they aren't hurting anyone.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/14/2011




Does it not state in the Bible somewhere that a man can have many wives?? So if you read the bible why would you be against this??

I don’t, but on things like this I go with how DO I FEEL about it.

LOTS and LOTS of conditioning have led us to think certain ways about certain things..right or wrong, okay or not okay…we think the way we do from 1,000+ of years of “Tradition” if you will.

But now that I am old enough to think for myself and go off of what truly feels okay in my gut…I see nothing wrong with the lifestyle they live (they contribute to society, pay taxes, take care of the kids)

Is it very different for me to see…. yep it is…(where I live im more use to seeing same sex couples then a man with many wives..im use to seeing men kiss and women kiss, but where true, kind love is involved cannot disagree with the adults involved same sex or plural mates


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Sal - posted on 07/14/2011




hell why not.....there are other religion and cultured that have plural partners....it is (just like the gay marriage thing) a christain issue, not a people issue, and just like gay couples it is happeneing anyway the law isn;t stopping it, so why not let it happen legally, it isn;t for me, but i can't see why not

[deleted account]

OKAY...I HAVE to put in my 2 cents here.

1. Polyamorous relationships are highly varied and individualized according to those participating. For many, such relationships are ideally built upon values of trust, loyalty, the negotiation of boundaries, and compersion, as well as overcoming jealousy, possessiveness, and the rejection of restrictive cultural standards. The skills and attitudes needed to begin and manage multiple polyamorous relationships add challenges than are not often found in the traditional "dating-and-marriage" model of long-term relationships. Polyamory may require a more fluid and flexible approach to love relationship, and yet operate on a complex system of boundaries or rules. Additionally, participants in a polyamorous relationship may not have, nor encourage their partners to have, preconceptions as to the duration of the relationship, in contrast to monogamous marriages where a life-long union is generally the goal. However, polyamorous relationships can and do last many years.
Polyamorous "families" can be very complex or very simple. One man and woman could be married to each other as well as each having a boyfriend/girlfriend on the side. Or more than one boy/girlfriend on the side for each and so on.

2. A poly family is different. As discribed in the original post this one man has 1 legal wife and 3 sister wives. That is a poly family and NOT polyamorous. Each of those women have decided to be poly-monogomous. Each of those women like and don't mind sharing their husband with each other. Chances are they neither want or need to be some one persons everything. In this case the man has a poly family. Each of the wives see each other as a "sister" and that they are all married to the same man. Their kids will see each other as brothers and sisters as well as being a part of a much larger family. There are a lot of ways that Polyamorous families and plain Poly Families are a like and a lot of ways that they are different.

3. No it is not always the man that gets to have many wives. It is just the most commonly publicized. There are plenty of women out there that have more than one husband and she is the only wife.

4. Yes I agree wholeheartedly that poly anything gets a bad name because of the few that insist on forcing children into what they want to call relationships when in fact those few people are just pedophiles wanting to pervert a way of life for their own means.

5. No, same sex marriages and poly marriages are NEVER going to be the same and should NEVER be lumped together. Same sex marriages or unions will always get more flack just because poly marriages seem more "normal" to the one man one woman thinking people. That is not to say it is right. Just that no one should lump these 2 styles of marriages together.

6. I am NOT going to argue or defend myself to anyone's religion. This isn't about religion. Ok. Yes I am. hehehe
Look. Christians believe things should be one way and one way only. That anything outside of the bible or their own beliefs is wrong. I am not here to say either way. I am here to say only that there is more than just Christianity out there in reguards to beliefs. Each persons beliefs are their own and should be respected for their beliefs just as you want your beliefs respected. Bashing each other over beliefs isn't going to solve anything and will only make you all feel badly.

Alright. I think I have said quite enough for the moment. :) I hope this helps clear up a few things for some and enlighten those that just didn't know there was a difference. :)

[deleted account]

Actually, the more I really thought about it, I have never seen a blantently outward polygamous family in public either. I guess I was just thinking about the man/woman/woman/woman relationship versus the man/man & woman/woman relationship. I suppose many of you are right that it would be more bizarre to stare at an obviously multiple partner marraige than a same-sex couple.

Becky - posted on 07/14/2011




I think that here, there would be plenty of people staring at an obviously polygamous family. That's just not seen here, ever. Not that I'm aware of anyway.

Jenn - posted on 07/14/2011




Most in a polygamous relationship claim they are because of religious beliefs. Polygamy WAS in the Bible and was prominent in ancient society...Judaism, Hinduism, China.

Most modern societies deemed polygamy inappropriate and no longer necessary.

Same-sex unions have also existed since ancient times (such as Greece, Rome, medieval France) but Christianity and other religions pressured society to forego any acceptance of same-sex marriage because it could not result in procreation (that was the argument). That's still the battle today.

I don't care who marries who as long as no one is exploited or abused!

Anna - posted on 07/14/2011




I disagree with your assertion that everyone would look at this picture and not blink an eye. If people put it all together and realized what it was- one husband and multiple wives, don't you think they would get at least as much scrutiny as a homosexual couple would? If you're different people get curious, and polygamists strike me as being far more uncommon then homosexuals. Or maybe polygamy really is everywhere and people just never notice. It's a legitimate comparison, but I don't think the public is as accepting of polygamy as you think.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/14/2011




Also, yeah - I think I would bat an eye if I saw some dude take a break at the park and go smooch a bunch of ladies in a romantic type way.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/14/2011




I don't know why that would be because I personally don't scrutinize same sex marriages. Ha. I have to say, I would have no problem with polygamy if it didn't seem to go hand in hand with exploitation so much of the time. If that's what people actually want to do, that's cool. But it seems to me the people that actually want to are probably in the minority.

Amie - posted on 07/14/2011




I have no problem with men and women having multiple wives/husbands. I think the problem most people have with it, is that we only ever hear about polygamy. How often do you hear about a polyandry family? I've never heard of one. That's not to say they don't exist, they do somewhere, just not here in any sort of abundance. If they did, people would be just as upset as they are about polygamy.

I don't know (and will probably never know) why people want to hone in on what others are doing in their relationships and homes. Get out! Not your business.

Do I think some abuse this type of lifestyle? Well, most likely. There are creeps in all walks of life.
I don't agree with it being banned. It is no ones place to tell adults who they can and can not be in a relationship with or who they can marry. That goes for everyone.

When it comes to kids, well yes, keep an eye on them. If the families want to "marry them off" to other people who are like them. Then keep an eye on that particular group to make sure they are not doing anything to coerce the girls. Even at that, arranged marriages are nothing new and still continue in many parts of the world. Just because *we* don't like it or understand it, doesn't make it wrong. It's just not for us.

I should also state, I know someone who got married at 13. (She is friends with one of my good friends) Yes, it was legal. Her parents and the parents of the older teenager she married both signed consent papers to allow it. That's all it took. They're still together now, have 3 kids, she's a SAHM and he has a great career that supports them all. They are by no means anywhere near any type of norm but things like that can happen. I'm not sure how it would work if someone younger wanted to marry an adult but I'd imagine (though it'd be something I'd have to look into) that so long as the judge allowed it and the parents signed the consent papers - it'd be allowed too.

[deleted account]

By beliefs don't dictate what society deems acceptable and society doesn't change my beliefs. And that's all I'm saying here. ;)

JL - posted on 07/14/2011




As long as everyone in the relationship is a consenting adult then who cares. If everyone in the marriage is committing themselves without duress or fear of abuse then I don't care. I am someone who believes in my right to privacy and that includes who I chose to commit myself to and who I chose to be with in my bedroom. I have no opposition to plural marriage at all as long as women and men under the age of 18 are not being forced into them and abused. If they are adults it's their right to love who they love. Marriage is about love not gender or plurality. The government has no place stepping in and telling consenting happy adults who the hell they can love.

[deleted account]

I dont' have a problem with it but I don't think we're as a whole capable of doing it. Even in those happy families, there are jealousies and problems. As long as all spouses are completely, totally willing - why not? But this does add my support to the idea that marriage shouldn't have any legal benefits but that's another story.

Alison - posted on 07/14/2011




I think the assumption that no one would bat an eye is inaccurate. I would bat an eye if I saw a man, even a great father, at the park with three wives. It's not a usual site and I would think it was strange. For me it's the same issue as homosexual marriage because I'm very conservative and am for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I've debated my stance on homosexual marriage before and I don't want to go at it again. I just don't agree with the blanket statement that everyone is ok with polygamy but hates homosexuals. I don't watch the show being referred to, although I have heard of it, and I don't intend to anytime soon.

[deleted account]

OK, so let's remove this particular man and the state of Utah. Consider then simply a man at a park with 3 "wives" and 8 kids among them. He's the all-around awesome park dad pushing the kids on the swings, sliding the slide, monkey bars, merry-go-round, etc. This man takes breaks, goes over to his wives for quickie hugs/kissies before returning to the playground. No one really would bat an eye. Yet if it were the same scenario with a same sex couple, I am sure there would be people who are uncomfortable witnessing a same sex couple engaging inthe same behaviors of being a playground parent, and then quick hugs/kiss from the partner while lovingly watch their kids play.

I agree that I have no problem at all with 2 consenting adults. I don't care what they do or how they live their lives as 2 consenting adults becasue neither situation impacts my marriage. I just want to know why *some* people might be more accepting of a man with multiple female partners as opposed to a same sex couple.

Amber - posted on 07/14/2011




Actually, Utah was investigating that family. They said that since they went on camera declaring they were polygamists, that the state would not ignore it. That is why he moved his family out of the state of Utah. They did not want to be separated.

I don't have a problem with these marriages at all. As long as they are consenting adults, it's not my business.

Unfortunately, even non-polygamist families still arrange marriages for their young daughters. You can't deny ALL people the right to live life as they see fit (when it isn't hurting anybody) just because some will abuse that right. You go after those who abuse it, not the entire community of people.

They would have to figure out the tax law to accommodate these marriages. I don't think they should get multiple tax deductions for each marriage since there is only one husband.

I'm also all for gay marriage. I don't see much contempt or hatred towards gays in my area. It happens, but not often.

Sylvia - posted on 07/14/2011




My view is that marriage should involve two consenting adults. Emphasis on the consenting, emphasis on the adult. It shouldn't matter what sex they are.

That said ... I do know people who have happy and successful (i.e., respectful, non-abusive, non-exploitive) polyamorous relationships. So who the hell am I to say that's not okay?

The problem I have with "plural marriage" as it tends to be practised by people who call it "plural marriage" is that (a) it does not always involve adults -- the "wives" are often teenage girls married to much older men (also, ask yourself: where does that leave the teenage boys and young men in those communities?); (b) the extent to which those girls can be said to have consented is often very, very questionable (these are communities in which older men have all the power -- how easy would it be for a 15-year-old girl to say "no" to a marriage her father, the Man of the Family, has agreed to?); (c) it's hella sexist: men can have a bunch of wives, but it's unthinkable for a woman to have more than one husband; and (d) two or three wives, okay, but I'm sorry, nobody needs a dozen wives.

I would also have to say that in most places I've lived, buddy with his 3 wives and 15 kids would get waaaay more stares and comments at the park than a same-sex couple with a couple of kids would ;)

[deleted account]

"I dont think poly marriages are anything the same as same sex marriages, and I think comparing the two is actually offensive to homosexuals. As one is a choice and the other is how you were born."

See- I don't understand how this could be offensive. Here's a man with a wife & kids at a park, let's say. Hell, the whole family, all the kids and no one blinks an eye. Yet if a same-sex couple were to also show up at the park with their children, well then yes, those couples may be subjected to the scrutiny & stares, and downright hatred by those who disagree with a gay/lesbian lifestyle. When was the last time a guy with 3 wives was harrased in public just becasue they are living their lives as compared to a gay couple being harrased in public, just becasue they are living their lives?

Amanda - posted on 07/14/2011




Utah has clearly stated that they will not charge grown adults in polygamy marriages, the only time they do charge a person for this crime, is when young girls are being married off and wives are being abused.

Kody has tried for a few years now to get arrested for his marriages so that he could fight it in court and hopefully win to change the laws.

I dont really understand why this family needs it to be legal so much, as Utah has already stated they will not charge anyone in the family.

I dont think poly marriages are anything the same as same sex marriages, and I think comparing the two is actually offensive to homosexuals. As one is a choice and the other is how you were born.

I could careless how many wives a man has, as long as everyone are happy, no abuse is going on, and no children are being hurt.

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