Oh, hey, polygamy has been decriminalized in the state of Utah. Did you know that? If the informal poll of people around the office that we ran earlier is any indication, chances are you did not.
What makes the fact that you’re likely unaware of this even more surprising are the circumstances surrounding the decision. The lawsuit that paved the way for this decision was filed on behalf of the cast of the hit TLC reality series, Sister Wives, which is about, you guessed it, polygamy.
See, the state of Utah, for some reason, was investigating the family on suspicion of committing polygamy. Charges were never filed, but the targets of the investigation felt their civil rights had been violated and decided to take it to a judge.
So, to recap, the stars of a TLC reality show about polygamy sued the state of Utah for having the audacity to investigate them for committing polygamy and, not only did they win, they somehow managed to decriminalize polygamy altogether in Utah. How is this not the biggest fucking news story in the world?
In everyone’s defense, the ruling was just finalized at the end of August, so it’s not like months have passed between when the story broke and now, right? The story is still fresh enough that people can be forgiven for dragging their feet on the way to the massive outrage party that this will surely become any minute now.
Except, no, because this story first broke in December of last year. You remember that, don’t you? All the controversy that erupted last December around a federal judge turning Utah’s biggest taboo into a government sanctioned way of life?
No, you don’t remember, because that controversy never arrived. Twice in the span of less than one year, a federal judge has ruled that outlawing polygamy in Utah is unconstitutional, and we, in a country that practically depends on meddling in other people’s affairs, have barely said a goddamn thing about it.
Case in point, when’s the last time you heard two cable news pundits take each other to task over the ramifications of allowing plural marriage in Utah? Unless we’re watching different televisions than everyone else, the legalities surrounding who among us are allowed to marry is indeed something that comes up from time to time. So how is this not coming up?
It’s hard to say for sure, but the silence likely stems from the fact that, at least as it pertains to same sex marriage, neither side should really want to latch onto this kind of ruling to strengthen their point.
It’s not like same-sex marriage proponents are going to hitch their wagon to Mormonism’s most radical sect, and the other side must realize that if saying a guy can’t marry two women is unconstitutional, saying the same about his right to marry another dude can’t be far behind.
In other words, it’s not something anyone wants to get in front of a camera and hurl insults at each other over. Unfortunately, in this day and age, that means it might as well not even be news at all.
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