This last Friday Time Magazine publish and article titled, “I do, I do, I do, I do.” The woman who wrote the article, Belinda Luscomb is from Australia and put together this video on the piece. Overall I think it captures our family well and she is a very good writer. However, I felt that some points that she has in the article and this video are worth commenting on. One is that I am not trying to be the face that you think of when you think of polygamy, what we are trying to show is that there is a very diverse face that represents people living in plural marriages.
In the article she also quotes a well known anti-polygamous activists as saying that while we may be OK, 90% of polygamists are from closed societies and are the problem. This is factually inconsistent with the fact that the largest amount of Fundamentalist Mormons are independent of any affiliation or so called closed society. Those kind of brash generalizations are unproductive in the dialogue about whether we should decriminalize families like ours; in fact most of the reason they are “closed” is because of the history of fear that permeates the culture.
Her assertion that some how we are part of the gay marriage debate and will not have the same credibility of that movement is really quite an easy trap for people to fall into. Certainly the parallels of the changes in society accepting all kinds of alternative family arrangements, first with single parents losing their stigma, to gay couples adopting and forming families, to now seeking legal recognition, all has an impact on how we are perceived. This ‘slippery slope’ argument that it somehow means having to decide on whether to legalize polygamy or not does a disservice to both movements however.
We know we are a very small minority to that population, and our desire is very different from seeking legalization. For us we want our civil rights, we want freedom from prosecution and from being classified as a criminal element. Legal recognition is not our goal, and in that regard she is right, society is not ready to legalize polygamy, but they are ready to see the absurdity of criminalizing it.
Finally, the idea that somehow polygamy is automatically associated with cultures abusive towards woman, and tending to uneducated children is exactly what it is, a stereotype. She brings up our daughter getting married at 19 and having a child as though somehow is it s point for this. In fact we encouraged her, as we have all of our children to attend college, but like we have all of our children, we have left choices up to them and support her in her decision to become a mother. What she could not know is that Laura graduated a year early, has the equivalent of an associates degree in education and will most likely continue in her education interests independently.
As a percentage, very few children actually adopt and follow plural marriages for a variety of reasons. However, their work ethic, sense of responsibility and ability to contribute to society remains very high in our observations. How many mother’s someone has does not impact how long they live or what level of education they can achieve. The fact remains, that there are families like ours, the Brown’s, and many more afraid to be public that are healthy functional families. We are not perfect, but our families deserve the same freedoms and respect that all families deserve.
All in all, we are grateful for the Time Magazine article. I think the pictures alone are a testament to the love of our family. Any time the discussion can be brought to the forefront minds are opened and hearts are softened. We have a long ways to go and encourage all of you who have shared in your support for us to continue to enroll others in the possibilities for a world with greater love and acceptance.
Love Time Three is an adventure in love, it is our love story, but it is about our love of family, our love of faith, and our love of freedom and the ideals that are behind all of those. Love is not a feeling or a notion. Love is simply acceptance. We don’t need anyone to condone, agree or make us right or wrong, but in the end what we want is to share our love with the world, and make it a better place for love everywhere.