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Criminalization Of Polygamy Essay

The United States’ government has not followed the constitutional bill of rights and has failed to separate religious views with the law’s implemented over one hundred years ago that are still being practiced. The specific injustice referred to is the criminalization of polygamous marriage in all 50 states to this day, even after proclaiming “equal marriage rights” to the citizens of the United States. While the rights to marriage have been granted to the homosexual community, it is still deprived from the polyamorous community.

The United States government has banned polygamy, of all natures, because of he anti-mormon movement in the 1880’s, contradicting the 1st amendment and criminalizing private, consensual acts of adults who follow and do not follow the mormon faith. Forbidding different demographics from marriage because of prosecution of a specific faith over one hundred years ago. The foundation of the criminalization of polygamy was based on the “moral” status of the, then, members of congress, completely ignoring the separation of church and state.

With “equal marraige rights” grantes to the homsexual community, the logical next step to equal rights would be to legalize polygamy amongst consenting dults. The criminalization of polygamy shows strong similarities to the criminalization of homosexual marriage, and interracial marriage, both of which have been overturned because of the primitive view on lifestyles which are “morally unacceptable” to some groups. The morals of few should not determine the segregations, separations and criminalization of other citizens of the United States.

The United States government has gone against the 1st amendment of the constitution by purposely creating laws to pinpoint a specific religion, which has now affected more than one religious group, and people who all ogether do not identify with said religious groups or practice polygamy for any religious purpose. These laws have invaded the privacy of the citizens, and destroying their rights to the pursuit of happiness. The anti-mormon movement began when the territory of utah was primarily inhabited by mormons, and at that time the LDS church practiced polygamy openly.

The supreme court prosecuted men, and unincorporated the LDS church from the utah territory, later seeing the results of these actions would not stop polygamy by solely persecuting the individual the United States began the ban of the mormon eople to immigrate to the united states to further their eradication on polygamists. In the 1880s, Congress looks at the Utah Territory and says, in effect, “We are going to break the Mormon Church(The Mormon Problem).

This outlook of a specific religious group completely destroys the 1st amendment for the constitution which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… (Characters of Freedom)” The meaning of this puts into effect that congress, who waged war against the LDS church, can not make laws against the actions of a religious elief. In 1882 congress passed laws to force the Mormon Church to end the practice of multiple marriages immediately.

With these laws the rights of polygamists were taken, restricting them from jury service, voting, and holding office. These parts of the laws made in 1882 and 1887 once again broke an amendment of the constitution, the amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (Charters of Freedom). ” May of the arguments as to why polygamy has to be banned were based on personal beliefs of orals.

The personal belief that someone else’s love affairs are immoral cannot be valid when, in fact, no one is being harmed or forced into the relationship and the relationships have not been factually evaluated first hand. Members of congress and the supreme court did not spend time with the families who practiced polygamy at the time, nor did they care how the imprisonment of the husbands of these families affected the lives of women and children who were now left to fend for themselves, and support their families in a time when only men worked.

Women and children were at risk of losing their homes, heir health, and their mental stability. These damaging effects are now changing the lives of modern day immigrants who are practicing polygamy, but cannot immigrate to the United States because their “moral status” is not deemed adequate to be a member of American society. The islamic faith practices limited polygyny, a form of polygamy, which allows one man to marry up to four wives. This practice was intended to help women whose families cannot support them, and need a husband to be able to survive.

Now, within the islamic community, polygyny is rarely practiced and there are laws and customs required to ake more than one wife. The USCIS defines polygamy as “the custom of having more than one spouse at the same time (Will You Be Denied. ),” when investigating the applicants of immigration to the United States. Although this is the definition used when referring to polygamist marriages by the USCIS “it doesn’t matter whether or not you are legally married to the people who share your polygamous relationships.. if USCIS becomes suspicious, it may look at all your sexual and household relationships(Will You Be Denied.. ).

Although the constitution does not blatantly state that the federal overnment cannot look into someone’s personal relationships or family practices, the first amendment states the freedom to practice religion, and the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right, but when the government begins to tear apart families on suspicion of a law made to eradicate a practice of religion over one-hundred years ago is the government really looking at the health, happiness, and rights of the residents of the United States or to protect themselves from admitting that the laws implicated were in directly insubordination of the United States constitution.

Without the government, who implements the law pon its people, following the fundamental laws of its country there is almost no incentive for the people of the country to follow the laws placed on their lives other than the fear of being imprisoned. In today’s era the laws would most likely not stand in court. One Polygamist FAQ page explained “The laws passed by Congress during the anti-polygamy period (1862-1890) were instigated by both public hysteria and religious persecution of the Mormons.

Today, such laws would, in all probability, be declared unconstitutional as a “bill of attainder” (a legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a rial). (Polygamy: The Mormon Enigma). ” Modern-day anti- polygamists point to the rise of acts performed in the name of polygamy which became unveiled in the 20th century. “Anti- Mormons considered polygamy to be immoral, lustful, and womanizing, and decried it as “spiritual wifery. (Polygamy: the Mormon Enigma). ” The claims that the practice of polygamy is womanizing has been found very offensive to the modern day polygamist women who have chosen the polygamist lifestyle. The Daily Mail wrote “Many people assume that polygamist communities operate to benefit men so they get to choose the omen they want. But in one Arizona town the opposite it true- it is the wives that pick out the husbands. (Even The Polygamists… ).

Within the town in Arizona it has made an example that not all polygamist relationships fit the stigma that people associate with polygamy, the stigma that all polygamist relationships are found on mormon farms, behind closed doors, involving rape and child abuse. “The government’s new anti- polygamy focus appears to be on child abuse, domestic violence, welfare fraud, and “child polygamy,” rather than on polygamy itself (Polygamy: the Mormon Enigma). ” While all of hese things have been found as demented forms of “polygamy” it is not the true polygamous relationship which deserv respect as a legal marriage.

As all marriages there needs to be regulations and laws against abuse of children, domestic violence, and other wrongful acts harming others, but between consenting adults the state of a marriage or relationship should be legalized. Under no circumstances does the polygamous community agree with the forced marriage of women, children, or men alike. The legalization of polygamous marriages would have the same ethical laws applied as a monogamous marriage, ruly giving marriage equal rights.

With the modern era discovering their emotional needs there are more young people being open about their desires for unconventioal relationships, and being accepted. When people see that the polygamous relationships of people who are pure does not harm those around them, can strongly contribute to society, and benefit the motional state of those involved possibly the community of people who choose to love more than one personat once will be legally recognized, accepted and even welcomed into the modern day United states of america. Equality belongs to all, and love belongs to no one.

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