When Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed SB102 into law on March 28, he all but ended Utahs compliance with the first condition Congress put on the states admission to the federal union, making polygamy illegal under the states constitution.
From the moment in 1896 that President Grover Cleveland signed the congressional act admitting Utah to the union as the 45th state until the governors signature, polygamy—the practice of one man having multiple wives—was a felony punishable by years in jail. To the present day, Utahs constitution says polygamy is “forever forbidden.”
Under SB102, polygamy remains illegal, although the practice is now considered an infraction on par with a parking ticket rather than a criminal act, unless the man involved is also guilty of human trafficking, sexual abuse, domestic violence, or fraud.
Herberts decision to go along with the nearly unanimous support of SB102 among state legislators got little national attention because the rest of the country was in the second week of the national lockdown amid the pandemic.
Utah decriminalizing polygamy is still a background issue, with America now convulsed by riots instigated in dozens of cities by radical left-wing anarchist groups such as Antifa seeking to exploit the tragic May 25 death of George Floyd after being improperly restrained by a Minneapolis policeman.
But the issue isnt being ignored among defenders of traditional monogamous marriage, and not only because many of them predicted in the decade prior to its legalization that homosexual marriage would revive demands for re-legalization of polygamy.
“Oh my goodness, its the phrase, Well, what do you know, who saw this coming?” said Glenn Stanton, director of global family formation studies at the Colorado-based evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, when asked by The Epoch Times on June 2 about Utahs action.
“I and others made that argument on college campus stages all through the 2000s and would be booed and hissed about it, as like, how ridiculous,” Stanton said.
“But its wholly rational. There are now serious people arguing for polyamory [one woman with multiple men], there are serious people arguing for polygamy.”
Stanton noted that Utahs polygamy advocates “use the same language” as gay rights advocates who argue that “love is love … so if youre going to use that and thats going to be your banner, then youve got to be consistent with that, and the polygamy people just made that case.”
Defenders of traditional monogamy like Stanton argue that recent history and social science leave no doubt that the one-man/one-wife family structure is best for everybody involved, but especially for women and children.
Stanton pointed to a landmark study published by the Royal Society in 2012 entitled “The Puzzle of Monogamous Marriage,” by professor Joseph Heinrich of the University of British Columbia, anthropologist Robert Boyd of UCLA, and environmental scientist Peter J. Richerson of the University of California at Davis.
In their study summary, the authors noted that “the anthropological record indicates that approximately 85 percent of human societies have permitted men to have more than one wife (polygynous marriage), and both empirical and evolutionary considerations suggest that large absolute differences in wealth should favor more polygynous marriages.”
But in fact, they wrote, “monogamous marriage has spread across Europe, and more recently across the globe, even as absolute wealth differences have expanded.”
Based on the results of their study, the authors concluded that monogamy has become so widespread due to multiple factors associated with “suppressing intrasexual competition and reducing the size of the pool of unmarried men.”
Those factors result in reduced “crime rates, inclRead More From Source