Stop the Decriminalization of Polygamy
“Patriarchal polygamy violates human rights by placing woman in religious bondage,” says Kristyn Decker, founder of the Sound Choices Coalition, which is a partnership of organizations and individuals uniting in an effort to end human rights violation due to polygamy, and other forms of patriarchal abuse.
As a former plural wife, Kristyn Decker states, “When you are brought up in fundamentalism you are blinded from truth and reality.”
Sound Choices Coalition is urging the State of Utah not to decriminalize polygamy in response to the lawsuit by the Kody Brown family.
The Brown family is clearly atypical of the overwhelming majority of polygamous families who do not receive a pay-check from a television network. Kody Brown and the women he lives with have tried to gain public support in their effort to decriminalize polygamy while separating themselves from polygamist leaders, such as Warren Jeffs.
In 2011, the polygamy issue went to the Canadian Supreme Court where many hoped to have the laws against polygamy overturned. After more than a year of extensive research the Canadian Supreme Court decided that polygamy should remain ILLEGAL. Chief Justice Bauman’s decision stated that “the harms associated with the practice are endemic; they are inherent,” and that there is “no such thing as so-called ‘good polygamy’.” (SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Reference re: Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada, 2011 BCSC 1588, [1045, 1343]).
We hope Utah considers Canada’s recent polygamy research accumulated from Utah, from all over the world, and all previous cases involving polygamy.
If Utah decriminalizes polygamy then polygamous families throughout the country will find sanctuary here. Sound Choices Coalition hopes Utah will make a sound choice to protect women and children from the abuses within patriarch polygamy; such as unequal distribution of power within marriage, being forced to live polygamy under religious duress, arranged marriages, child-brides, young boys and men being forced out of families.
“No one wants to break up happy families or throw good fathers in prison,” says Christine Marie Katas, founder of VoicesforDignity.com. Katas, who wrote the symbolic petition, said, “But there has to be a better, more creative legal solution because the evidence clearly shows that significantly more harm comes to polygamous women and children than monogamous women and children.”
These harms include higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse, higher rates of marital dissatisfaction, higher rates anxiety and depression, higher rates of psychiatric hospitalization, higher levels of somatization, phobia and other psychological problems. Polygamous women have more children, are more likely to die in childbirth and live shorter lives than their monogamous counterparts. Children in polygamous families face higher infant mortality, and physical and mental disabilities from incestuous marriages. Many children suffer more emotional, behavioral and physical problems, have lower educational achievement, and are at a higher risk of psychological and physical abuse than children in monogamous families.
“If this much damage is evident in a culture where there is little to no enforcement of the laws,” asks Christine Marie, “how will these women and children be any better off by removing the laws altogether?”
The members of the Sound Choices Coalition are asking the public to take a stand against the legalization of the subjugation of women in polygamy by signing the petition here: http://chn.ge/SB3Fny.
Sound Choices Coalition will meet in front of the Federal Courthouse at 3:00 on Thursday, January 17th at 350 S. Main St. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Please unite with us against patriarchal abuses.
*Remember – patriarchal polygamy is not a matter of consenting adults.
Click here to learn why.