As a non-native Utahn, I have been watching the FLDS drama unfold in Eldorado, Texas with great trepidation, and numerous questions. Recently I observed in the SL Tribune that one of our elected officials does not oppose the idea of legalizing polygamy. I address the following questions primarily to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who needs to have a plan if he’s going to seriously propose legalization.
This post isn’t just about the FLDS dramarama: Muslims also practice polygamy, and probably others would care to give it a go.
In principal, I agree with legalizing polygamy. I don’t care who someone sleeps with, so long as he or she is an adult capable of giving full consent. At minimum, I would like to see a governmentally recognized contractual relationship between parents that clarifies the responsibility for children that issue from any relationship. When I lived in Texas, the state Attorney General was very diligent about collecting child support from every dead-beat father, married or not. In the end, the state’s interest in marriage is about property, not sex, so I have some questions about the mechanics of polygamy.