ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should Polygamy Be Legal?

Updated on August 29, 2014

Do you think polygamy should be legal?

See results

With shows like "Big Love," "Sister Wives", and "My Five Wives," people's perception on polygamy has slowly warmed. With the recent legislation in Utah, polygamy is no longer against the law. Still, these families are not recognized by the state government, but they can share federal benefits.
I am not Mormon; I am a very liberal Methodist, and I have no ideas on joining any polygamy marriage (well, no one has asked me either, to be fair). Rather, polygamy interests me, it's so different that the traditional family structure I am used to.

I am currently reading a book about the capture of the Fundamental Ladder Day Saint's (FLDS) leader, Warren Jeff's. Jeffs was on the FBI's 10 Most-Wanted Criminals in 2008 and 2009. He had so many wives, and it was rumored he had over 100 wives in multiple states, which is why the search for him was so difficult. He was later captured and charged with two-felony charges for the rape of a child, and aiding a rape of a child (he arranged child brides for his buddies). He was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole, plus 20 years. Multiple young boys have also reported he raped them from 4-9 years old.

With the all the attention on Jeffs, I wonder, what laws protect the women who do not want to participate in polygamy, but is fearful to go to the authorities, because polygamy was until recently against the law. The recent legislation which decriminalizes polygamy is a good start. Many women are scared to go to the police to report abuse because they are taught from a young age that police will break-up families, and take the kids away from their mothers. This could cause any woman to think twice before reporting abuse.

Traditionally, common law marriages aim to protect a woman's rights if the man lives under the same roof with his girlfriend for seven years. The government does this to protect a woman who has played a role as wife for a long time, and that should be recognized, and given certain rights. Depending on the state, a man cannot just kick his girlfriend to the curb after seven years. If he is the breadwinner, she can be entitled to alimony, health benefits, and she may even get a portion of his retirement.

If polygamy were legal, these women could not claim single mother when applying for food stamps or welfare. They would also have right to children and could claim domestic abuse if their husbands abuse them. They could claim married on taxes and could ensure the whole family has health insurance, not Medicare.

If polygamy were legally recognized on a federal and state, level, it would be a logistical nightmare for years. However, it would prevent food stamp and welfare fraud, and would protect a woman's rights. These men would not be able to leave their spiritual wife high and dry. The recent legislation in Utah has been a good first-step in preventing governmental fraud abuse, as well as protecting women and children. If a man goes to the courthouse to try to marry even a 16-year old, parameters could be in place to ensure her protection.
While there will always be those sickos who would try to marry young girls, by making polygamy legal, more people would stand-up and speak out against this abuse. If you were a woman who was in a plural marriage and had kids, but saw that her husband was about to marry a 12-year old, you might be afraid to go to the police. That woman may be afraid that her kids would be taken away,and that she and her husband would go to jail. If polygamy were legal, this woman could notify the authority and not fear retribution, at least from the law. The issue of polygamy and whether or not it should be a legal promblem that should be addressed with compassion for the wives.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Lol, that's the only way I could make sure my honey do list gets finished.

    • pcharboneau profile image


      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Of course, I believe in polyandry, too, which is one wife and multiple husbands. Lol.

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      I agree, thanks for reading my hub!

    • pcharboneau profile image


      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      As long as the marriages do not infringe on the rights, safety, and freedoms of others, as Sami Hanson says above, then I belive polygamy should be legal. There will always be cultists who will try to abuse the system, but polygamy was around in the early days of the Bible, so I don't know why Christians have a problem with it now. Of course, that was in the days before Christianity.

    • dwelburn profile image


      4 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Fascinating article. I've always believed that marriage was ordained as one man one woman, but you make some interesting points. And as long as everyone is happy maybe polygamy is not such a bad thing.

    • Sami Hanson profile image


      4 years ago from Kansas

      I am not opposed to polygomy as a whole, but what I cannot stand are those certain religions (similar to the Jeffs situation) in which people are raised in a brainwashed environment, dress the way they are told to dress, marry at a young age (often arranged), and ultimately those religious/polygomous families that take all freedoms and rights away from their children (or wives).

      That being said, I am a proud Libertarian. I believe that each individual is entitled to live their lives freely without judgement or laws bounding them---- basically, people should be able to do whatever they want UNLESS it infringes upon the rights, safety, and freedoms of others. So if women such as those on "Sister Wives" are happy and are engaged in the situation on their own accord, I do not see a problem with it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)