The Legal Challenges of Religious Polygamy

Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 72-75, 2009

Emory Legal Studies Research Paper

3 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2011 Last revised: 9 Feb 2020

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This brief article shows the limits of arguments against religious polygamy that are based on the Bible, tradition, public health, child welfare, or public policy. It instead argues that polygamy is a malum in se offense, something that is inherently wrong or too often the cause, consequence, or corollary of wrongdoing. Polygamy cannot be countenanced in a modern democracy, even if it is pressed on religious freedom grounds. The author has developed these themes at length in his new title: The Western Case for Monogamy over Polygamy (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Keywords: Polygamy; Mormonism; First Amendment; Marriage; Constitutional Law; Malum in se

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, The Legal Challenges of Religious Polygamy (2009). Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 72-75, 2009, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1797850

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6980 (Phone)
404-712-8605 (Fax)

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