The concept of polygamy has always confused me, not so much the act itself but the legality of it. Everytime someone mentions on Big Love how polygamy is illegal but this doesn’t make any sense to me. Let me explain it to you as I understand it through Big Love.

Bill is married to Barb. He then decided he also wanted to marry Nicki but legally couldn’t marry her so they had their own ceremony and live as they are husband and wife. Then Margene comes along, he marries her in a ceremony but there are no documents since it’s not legal. They live in 3 separate houses right next to each other and have lots of babies.

The police find out that there is polgamy going on in this family and arrests bill, with what proof? There is no marriage license for Nicki and Margene. Obviously the children are his and he pays for all 3 households but in a legal respect, there is no marriage.


Say that Manly Man and I decided we wanted Gwen to move in with us and be our girlfriend. We’d do dinners together, go on vacations together, have cats together and maybe a little hanky panky from time to time. Could we be arrested for that?

What if we decided to have a ceremony in our backyard and Kevin was the officient? If we didn’t get a marriage certificate how can what we are doing be illegal? At what point is a multiple relationship crossing the line to being illegal?

I’m not saying I condone it. While I think whatever adults want to do with each other is up to them as long as everyone is completely willing I do think it might be a little confusing for children. Then again, if it’s a really strong bond between everyone it could make for a great family situation. I mean, some people think two men being a father is confusing for children but let’s be honest, all children are confused no matter what their situation is.

I looked this up a little before I went to bed and couldn’t find much at the time. I did find an article on pro-poligamy.org about how it’s not right that someone is arrested for having 3 wives when Hugh Heffner openly has several girlfriends under the same roof.

What are your thoughts?

[tags]big love, polygamy[/tags]


  1. TJ from Keene

    March 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

    This is an interesting one. For the most part, I don’t think it would work for me (I can’t imagine having TWO wives nagging at me). On the other hand, if s group of 3 or more people want to be “married” I think they should be allowed to. I don’t think it will affect children as much as you think.

  2. Maureen

    March 9, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I think that, as long as the adults involved are acting as responsible parents, then the children will be fine.

    But, don’t you see? It’s just like gay marriage. If we allow two (or more) consenting adults to do whatever they want in their relationships with each other, it won’t be long before people will be allowed to marry their dogs…. (I don’t follow the logic on that one, but that’s always the way that argument ends with people who are afraid of things being any different from what they expect them to be)

  3. Avitable

    March 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    The illegality shows up when everyone makes it official that each relationship is a wedding. If his other two wives were never married officially, then it’s not really polygamy!

  4. bluepaintred

    March 9, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Is it real polygamy if the other weddings aren’t legal? I think without the papers, its some dude with an open marriage. a VERY open marriage!

  5. Turnbaby

    March 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

    There used to be laws on the books prosecuting adultery and sodomy (usually defined as anything penetrative except penile vaginal penetration). That’s the only thing I could think of unless there are laws particular to a certain state that were crafted to allow prosecution of folks trying to have polygamous ‘marriages’ as you have described.

  6. B

    March 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I’ve heard of stories where guys had a few wives but the wives never knew of each other. I can’t remember how it was pulled off though, perhaps fake names or something.

    As far as polygamy, I don’t care what ADULTS do, its when you start hearing stories of 14 or 15 year old brides that I have problem.

  7. metalmom

    March 9, 2009 at 10:53 am

    B took my point already. I have a problem with the underage child brides or the ‘arranged’ marriages. If two or more people want to live together as a family and raise their children together, who am I to judge as long as the kids are well adjusted, well cared for, loved and educated. From what I have seen on the news and in news stories, these ‘families’ provide well and usually are average middle income households.

    I’d much rather see more of this than single parent households with no role models, drugs or violence.(NOT that all single parent homes are like this!!)

  8. Hannah

    March 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I know people who are in poly-type relationships and honestly, I don’t get it. There is too much risk of jealousy and petty fighting between everyone involved. But whatever, its their choice. I will say though that I strongly disagree with the relationships where its one man and many women. He keeps getting new partners while the women are expected to be faithful only to him? Right.

  9. crystal

    March 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Based on the info you’re giving us – I’ve never seen the show – it’s not polygamy, it’s polyamory. There’s a difference. Polygamy would require that there be actual legal documents that show intent of two marriages. A backyard ceremony without a marriage liense doesn’t make for a legal marriage, thus there’s really no legal grounds for cops to get involved.

    I’ve chatted with/read the blogs of people in poly relationships, and as long as all involved are aware of each other and ok with things, then there hasn’t been a problem. One couple has had holiday dinners with both her live-in boyfriend, her other boyfriend, and the girlfriend of her live-in boyfriend. In fact, the only complaint that one of the woman has is that she usually ends up seeing movies twice, once with each boyfriend.

  10. Grey Street Girl

    March 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    All I can think of is there must be some funky law on the books in Utah. I need a sister wife who likes to clean. 🙂

  11. Manly Man

    March 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I believe that in order to BREAK a law, a condition must be in place to do so, i.e. a “marriage” not LEGALLY recognized by the enforcing government is not considered a condition of marriage (as recognized by that government) and therefore cannot be prosecuted as a crime in what ever form it takes or however many times it occurs. Whew. Oh, and marry your dog! The investment/return ratio is much better! :devil:

  12. Gwen

    March 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Well you know I’d be up for it. Especially if kevin is there. Can we all marry Kevin too?

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