Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Most Awful Thing Imaginable is Having More Than One Wife

"I have a great-great grandfather. They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert and so he took additional wives as he was told to do. And I must admit, I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy," he said.

- That's Mormon US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney , as quoted in the Boston Globe today.

Now, I'm against polygamy, I don't think it should be recognised in the U.K., for example.

But he can't imagine anything more awful?

No wars on his watch, then.


Tristan said...

Why shouldn't polygamy and polyandry be allowed?
Surely people should be allowed to make their own decisions.

If you object to it because it would lead to greater burden on the state due to marriage benefits then the answer is simple.
Remove state support for marriage and make it a private contract between people. Religions can still adopt their own standards for recognition of marriage within the religion of course, so if its religous grounds you oppose it on then fine, anyone of your religion can be held to those standards.

Joe Otten said...


Are they not allowed? Yes there are limits to the available contracts, but how does this limit behaviour?

If marriage is by definition exclusive then a polygamous arrangement is by definition not a marriage or marriages.

Not that I know anybody who goes in for it, but you do get the impression that there is a bit of polyandry, polygyny and poly-social-partnershippy going on.

Chris Black said...

Those are good points you raise Tristan.

My starting point for being against polygamy is that historially it has been associated with the subjugation of women.

But more generally I regard marriage as a permanent relationship/ bond between two people, recognised under law, that tends to lead to their greater happiness and fulfillment. Some people get married in a religious contrxt, though I didn't.

I also think its the best bet for successfully raising children and creating the next generation- not a failsafe bet, not the only possible bet but generally the best bet.
For those reasons I think that the state should act in a positive way towards the institution of marriage.

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