Polygamists: support gay rights and I’ll support you

Polygamy Porter Beer - Wasatch BreweryAs a feminist, liberal, religiously holistic person I’m probably the last person the folks in Centennial Park, Arizona – a polygamist fundamentalist Mormon town – would think would be on their side.  But after watching Primetime tonight I realize I’d be a hypocrite if I was not.

Many of you might remember a similar story a couple of years ago about Colorado City, Arizona – a town only two miles down the road from Centennial Park – whose residents also practice polygamy but with an abusive and pedophilic twist.  But if Primetime got its story right, Centennial Park is a far cry culturally from Colorado City.  In Centennial Park, although a marriage is partially arranged, women have a say in who they will marry and can walk away from the match without a problem.  Families there look and act much like the people in my neighborhood – they listen to hip hop music and have modern homes even if they do have dozens of children.

I absolutely don’t agree with Centennial Park’s strictly literal interpretation of the scriptures.  For instance, they believe that persons of African lineage were given their dark coloring through a curse by God as they are direct descendants of Cain.  And as a feminist, I was ready to be hung up on their belief that wives are much like property, which is disconcerting to say the least.  Yet one does not have to like a person or buy in to everything they believe in order to support their rights.

But the funny thing?  Although they are racists and sexists and their biblical rigidity would prohibit them from recognizing me as a Christian, I do feel their cultural structure is working – for them.  If the interviewees were being forthcoming, they are happy and even the wives in these marriages would have it no other way.  They say their hearts are big enough for more than one spouse.  Who of you who are parents to multiple children can not understand the notion that love does not have limits?

So, residents of Centennial Park, I have a proposition for you.  You believe you have a right to have a marriage that is not the cultural norm yet works for you?  Support gay marriage.  GLBTs are asking for the same thing you are – the right for their relationships to be recognized as legitimate even if the majority of us choose not to live their way.  Can you see that you are different yet you are the same?  If so, I’ll stand by your right to plural marriage one hundred percent.

It’s what Jesus would do.

Now, do I want a sister-wife?  Nah.  “The Lifestyle” is not for me.  Nor is it for my husband, who much to my dismay loves his Polygamy Porter t-shirt still insists that I’m all the mate he can handle and then some.  But if others choose to swing, even if it is in long skirts down to their ankles, we’re not going to cast the first stone.

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