Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stopping Gay Marriage One Polygamist at a Time

Just after the raid on the FLDS compound in Texas, the Tribune carried an article comparing the views on polygamy of Congressman Joe Cannon and Republican rivals vying for his seat. Cannon reportedly said that the government should not prosecute polygamists solely because of plural marriage. Conversely, David Leavitt (Michael Leavitt’s younger brother), was quoted saying that “polygamists should be prosecuted, or it will pave the road to same-sex marriage.” He further said if “we allow two consenting women and a consenting man to redefine what our society says is marriage, then we have opened the door for the redefinition of marriage for same-gender marriage. This is a broader scope than just polygamy."

Leavitt is not just blowing political smoke. As Iron County Attorney he prosecuted and got a conviction against Tom Green for bigamy. Green did six years behind bars. To his credit, I suppose, Leavitt is forthright about wanting to lock up polygamist. He says prosecute them plain and simple. You don’t need the pretense of saving children from deluded evil parents; just prosecute the parents outright for polygamy. And how about his rationale -- he wants to jail consenting polygamists because if we don’t, same-gender marriage may gain acceptance. I don’t know about you but I find that reasoning chilling.

Leavitt’s comments make me wonder if the Texas authorities don’t share his views on polygamy and have decided to go after the FLDS as harshly as they can. Perhaps the authorities saw the abuse charge as a gift -- a gift that allowed them to take battle to the entire FLDS community. In retrospect, they may have over played their hand, but time will tell. So is it just me or does it seem that what Texas is really trying to do is stomp the FLDS church out of existence?