Friday, May 9, 2008

Law Enforcement's Role Regarding Polygynous Religious Communes

Yet again, Alternet has provided me with blogging fodder for today's entry. Their question of the day that one writer addressed in an article was:

How Should States Deal with Polygamous Sects?

My comment to this article was:

Children should be protected from every sort of abuse. This includes enforcing laws against the forced marriages of underage girls to much older men. The last time I checked, such laws included young girls being forced into monogamous marriages with much older men, as well as the polygynous form of polygamy practiced by the FLDS.

In other words, the crime is the forced marriage and subsequent statutory rape of an underage child, not the form the marriage takes, which should be irrelevant.

If the FLDS practiced polygyny between fully consenting adults, I'd say to leave them alone, as I don't think it's the government's place to mandate what form a marriage should take, but only to assure that whatever form a marriage takes, that it's between fully consenting adults.

The welfare of children and the forms a marriage takes are two separate issues. Strictly enforce the former and disregard the latter.



transfattyacid said...

I agree with you.

The problem is that the laws are not enforced, and when a problem arises, the knee jerk reaction is to make new laws - which are also then not enforced.

Anonymous said...

Well I have a basic problem with this situation. Division of church and state (i.e. government interference). If this is their culture and their religion, it is not appropriate for the authorities to interfere with what is considered normal to the adults and children in the sect. I understand most in the sect have been raised in this manner. If someone tried to get me to send my 12yo daughter to such a sect, I'd have a problem with that because she was not raised in their religion and ways. But for those who are, it is wrong for outsiders to interfere. Katie

Grouchy said...

Way too many laws = way too many laws abused.
I hope someone can explain how the newborns (the last couple days) could possibly fall into even the wildest interpretation of 'in danger' allowing the state to 'confiscate' them.