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The Slope Slips

By ThinkProgress

"The Slope Slips"

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I suppose we were warned:

Amber Clark, 28, an Army veteran who moved here from California about two months ago and who described herself as an active Mormon, said she thought polygamists should be left alone, so long as no one was under age or coerced into marriage.

“I’m liberal in that respect,” Ms. Clark said. “If it’s legal in some states for people of the same sex to get married, why is it not legal to marry more than one wife?”

As it happens, I agree, but I know many gay rights groups seem very concerned about the need to deny the existence of any slippage. And, in fact, I think it would be pretty easy to draw a logical or legal distinction if you felt it necessary, since a difference between “one” and “more than one” can be drawn in a principled way in a whole variety of contexts. To me, though, the main issue here is that polygamist communities in practice seem to be sustained through dubious practices that are wrong (and often illegal) on their own terms. That, however, is different from saying that a genuinely consensual plural marriage is something we need to prohibit.

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