Montana trio applies for wedding license

A Montana man said…that he was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings…in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

County clerk officials initially denied Collier’s application, then said they would consult with the county attorney’s office before giving him a final answer, Collier said…

The county attorney copped out by saying he wouldn’t second-guess the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s ruling…made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them…

Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”

The three have seven children of their own and from previous relationships.

“My second wife Christine, who I’m not legally married to, she’s put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy,” he said…

Anne Wilde, a co-founder of the polygamy advocacy organization Principle Voices located in Utah, said Collier’s application is the first she’s heard of in the nation, and that most polygamous families in Utah are not seeking the right to have multiple marriage licenses.

“Ninety percent or more of the fundamentalist Mormons don’t want it legalized, they want it decriminalized,” Wilde said.

A federal judge struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law two years ago, saying the law violated religious freedom by prohibiting cohabitation. Bigamy is still illegal.

My friends used to tease me, saying I must believe firmly in marriage – otherwise I wouldn’t do it so often. Still, that describes – to me, anyways – how difficult it is to find really deep compatibility in our society. I don’t know that it’s so different from the past, just that freedom and opportunity are more widely accepted among educated folks.

And, yes, I’d say that’s a benefit – not a problem. My wife and I found each other just over 23 years ago and we get happier the more we know about each other – the more we learn about life and the world together.

Nathan and Victoria and Christine appear to be happy together. They’re not trying to harm anyone or steal from anyone. I don’t think they need to be classified as criminals.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Sister Wives family ready to challenge Utah polygamy laws

The family featured on the U.S. reality TV series “Sister Wives,” about an advertising executive and four women he calls spouses, is challenging the government’s right to criminalize its lifestyle, the family’s lawyer said.

The family…will challenge Utah’s bigamy statute. It is not trying to get the government to recognize plural marriage, just to stay out of the intimate affairs of consenting adults.

“We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs,” family attorney Jonathan Turley said in a statement.

“Sister Wives”, which has just concluded its second season, premiered in the U.S. on cable television in September, earning strong ratings while also drawing the attention of authorities in the Utah town of Lehi, south of Salt Lake city, where the family shared a large house.

The show documents the world of Kody Brown, then 41, and the four women he lives with — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn — along with their children, as they seek to fit in with mainstream society while maintaining their religious beliefs in plural marriage.

Brown is legally married to just one of the women, but counts the three others as “sister wives,” a term in polygamous sects that refers to a husband’s multiple marital partners…

Utah law enforcement officials conducted an investigation into the family but no charges have been filed, and their lawyer has previously praised prosecutors for their “commendable discretion and judgment” in the case…

Plural marriage, an early tenant of the Mormon faith and once common in Utah, was renounced by the church more than 150 years ago and outlawed, as it already was in the rest of the country, as Utah was seeking statehood.

Opposing states’ rights to prosecute people for their private relations, demanding equal treatment with other ordinary citizens is something that should be defended by any libertarian, democrat, old-fashioned Christian alike.

All this crap derives from politicians who hope to profit from choosing issues popular with organized [profitable] religions, held as somehow sacred to belief systems roughly akin to the Inquisition – the clown army ready to jail anyone on the spot who actually cares enough to fight to be free from paternalist supervision.

2 brides in 2 days – too much of a good thing?

A 23-year-old Pakistani man plans to marry two women in 24 hours, gaining national attention for his novel solution to a dilemma over wedding the woman he loves or going ahead with the marriage his family arranged.

Pakistani law allows polygamy based on the concept that Islam, the main religion in the country, allows up to four wives. But men who take multiple wives usually do so years apart and must get approval from their first wife prior to a second marriage.

Azhar Haidri initially refused to marry 28-year-old Humaira Qasim – the woman to whom he has been engaged since childhood – because he wanted to marry the woman with whom he had fallen in love, 21-year-old Rumana Aslam. But the decision threatened to split his family apart since arranged marriages are often customary in Pakistan.

”I gave this offer that I will marry both of them,” Haidri told The Associated Press ahead of his first marriage to Qasim on Sunday in the central Pakistani city of Multan. ”Both the girls agreed.”

He married Aslam on Monday…

For their part, both women say they think the compromise is a good one and they plan to live as sisters and friends.

I am happy that we both love the same man,” Aslam said.

Cripes! It took me decades to find the right woman. I can’t imagine sorting out two at once.

“I only have several mistresses – I’m not a polygamist!”

A French Muslim threatened with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy on Monday denied the accusation, saying he had only one wife and several mistresses.

The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a French citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political row with opposition parties accusing the government of exploiting the situation.

Hebbadj’s story came to light on Friday, when his wife complained she had been fined for driving while wearing an Islamic veil on the grounds that it was dangerous.

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux accused Hebbadj of having four wives, who between them were claiming single parent benefits for his 12 children…

Hebbadj said only one was his wife and the others were lovers.

If one can be stripped of one’s French nationality for having mistresses, then many French could lose theirs,” he told reporters in the Western city of Nantes, where he lives…

Local authorities on Monday launched an official investigation into the polygamy and benefit fraud claims.

One of the few situations where a trite phrase like “Damned if you do – Damned if you don’t” – fits.

Zuma faces polygamy question at Davos – this is economics?

South African President Jacob Zuma was forced to defend his right to have three wives after he was put on the spot during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Polygamy is legal in South Africa but remains a subject of contentious national debate. Zuma has married five times in total but has faced criticism from opponents who say the practice is out of step with modern times and inherently unfair to women.

On the second day of the WEF, Zuma told Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria it is part of his culture. “People interpret cultures differently,” he said. “Some people think their culture is superior to others, that it is the only one accepted by God.

“That is a problem and one we need to deal with. We (South Africa) follow a policy that says we must respect the cultures of others…”

Too bad Americans don’t feel the same. Goodness knows, I’m the happiest man on Earth – having found the right woman to be with after decades of wandering – and marrying. That doesn’t mean I support all the religious folderol that somehow mandates gender, number and whatever else in defining what constitutes a family unit.

Zuma told Zakaria that his cultural choices do not influence his political beliefs or his views on female equality.

Asked if he treated his three wives equally, he replied: “absolutely,” much to the amusement of the packed conference hall.

Individual freedom of choice is another one of the subsets of Liberty proudly used by Westerners – especially Christians – to demand the rest of the world conform to their folkways and mores.

There are other religions as backwards on many questions. The operative word being religions.

The Web provided all his wives. Fourteen of them!

A man has been arrested in Mumbai for marrying 14 women, each unaware of his other wives, over two and a half years…

Police officers said Tushar Waghmare registered his profile on a website, stating that he was divorced and looking for working Brahmin – upper caste – women who were either divorcees or widows. He claimed to have divorced his wife in 2006.

Waghmare fixed appointments with his targets at one of his rented apartments in the city, after visiting profiles of women on marriage websites.

“None of the women or their parents ever thought of doing a background check on him, as they would be impressed with his job profile,” deputy commissioner RM Vhatkar said.

Waghmare, who has since been sacked from his job with Air India, earned £946 a month and reportedly took care of all 14 “wives”. Three of them were professionals and the rest were housewives…

His last wife, a 29-year-old divorced architect, found him out when she visited him at one of his other homes.

Har! The man is obviously bent on self-destruction.

Quest to legalise polygamy in Utah goes public


Some 40,000 people in the US state of Utah live in illegal polygamous families in which a man takes more than one wife. These fundamentalist Mormons have now begun a campaign for a change in the law they regard as discriminatory and unfair…The campaign is called Principle Voices and one of the organisers was Anne Wilde, now a widow after a 33-year marriage.

Anne Wilde talks about her late husband and his other wives. I had met Anne the evening before her big campaigning day and she was worried as to how many would turn up for fear of being identified for future prosecution. But she need not have worried.

Those piling into a conference room to hear from the state’s politicians were from a breakaway group that had refused to opt for monogamy. “I see myself as a free man in a free society,” said one father, who came with his two daughters, both aged 12.

On the podium was Republican politician Ric Cantrel who had a surprising message for people seen to be openly breaking the law.

“Your patriotism is unquestionable,” he said, “and your faith inspiring. “You have no hesitation to put God’s law above the law of the state with a propensity toward civil disobedience and I find that very American.”

It’s…clear that Utah’s polygamous communities would be safe from the police as long as they stuck to other laws and, for example, did not indulge in child marriages or paedophilia.

That’s the point I would make. As long as folks aren’t harming each other or breaking essential laws grounded in fact, what’s the harm in allowing multiple marriages – which are accepted throughout the world – ranging from polyandry to polygamy? Maintaining laws passed on the basis of one or another religion makes our code no less absurd than the worst of Sharia.

Yes, keeping a happy, healthy marriage together can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Which is why so many opt for something less demanding throughout the educated industrial West. But, if you wish to live within a more complex form, you should have the right to do so.