Polygamy, Polyamory, Sister Wives and You

Some of you may be saying to yourself: “Self, why has Lucius Scribbens developed such an interest in polygamy and the plight of the Brown’s (the family featured in the TLC reality series Sister Wives) in Lehi, Utah?”

Well it’s like this.  The starts of TLC’s new series, Sister Wives – Kody Brown and his wives Meri, Janelle and Christine (and soon to include Robyn) – represent more than polygamy.  They are a very functional, long-term plural quad with 15+ years together and 13 kids, and any consensual plural relationship that constitutes commitment (such as they exhibit) could be prosecuted under current bigamy laws across the United States.

TLC's Sister Wives

The stars of TLC's new series Sister Wives

Just because you are legally married to one person and have a handfasting to another, doesn’t make you safe from being convicted of a third degree felony for bigamy.  You are under U.S. laws, a polygamist… Like it or not.  The only thing saving your ass at this very moment is that you aren’t Mormon therefore you aren’t garnering the attention of the representatives of the State.

The U.S. Model Penal Code (MPC) states that you don’t have to be married to more than one person, you only have to say that you are to be guilty of bigamy.  Hell, in eleven states just coinhabiting with someone other than a family member is illegal and can earn you a fine and possibly jail time.

Sure, many of these laws are not enforced because they are just asinine and lets face it, impossible to enforce.  Can you imagine trying to round-up all the single people bumpin’ uglies and prosecuting them for fornication?  The public would go fucking crazy with the misappropriation of their tax dollars and the waste of police and court resources.

Yet, we’ll prosecute Kody and his wives for having a consensual adult relationship where the children are very well adjusted and if anything overly loved and cared for.

But that doesn’t matter, busting and prosecuting those with relationships different from your own is what’s important.  Just ask the Lehi, Utah Police Department.

That is why I have a sudden interest in polygamy.  Because it’s not just a “Mormon” thing.  It’s any and all relationships that involve more than two adults.  What happens in British Columbia with polyamorists challenging polygamy laws will set precedence for that country.  What happens to the Browns with their consensual, very loving and very long plural “marriage” could set the groundwork for all of us who currently love or at one time will love more than one person at the same time in a consensual relationship.  This isn’t just prosecuting Warren Jeff’s and his band of teen-lovin’-arranged marriage-middle-age men anymore.  This has now crossed the line to honest, loving relationships between consenting adults.

And for that reason you should also be concerned.  The big picture is it’s cases like this that develop the legal precedence for future instances of seemingly similar situations.  We either protect everyone’s right to live in the consensual adult relationships of their choice whether plural, Dom/sub, Master/slave, etc., or we just roll over and don’t whine when all of a sudden our rights are being infringed upon. Just because it’s someone else today doesn’t mean it won’t be us tomorrow.

  • It seems that the main concern, right now, is adults cohabiting. Does it smack of intolerance?Absolutely.
    I can certainly see a case for investigating where there is suspicion of arranged marriages against the wishes of Bride &/or Groom, possible multiple abuses or child neglect involved, or maybe attempts to defraud financial institutions, Social Services, etc.

    However, even if you ignore the aspect of plural intimate relationships that we’ll call Marriage, what about those people who are relying on friends for a place to call Home? With the current economic downtrend impacting MILLIONS of people, offering an adult friend a shelter (we used to refer to it as being Christian, charity, or being a good neighbor back in the day) will now let you collect a fine and jail time?

    Time to think again World. You disappoint me further with your lack of charitable actions and intolerance for what people do behind their closed doors where they are consenting adults.

  • tsanko

    Wonderful ..thanks a lot for posting a good informitive blog