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Letter to the editor: Proposed legislation would also ban plural, child marriage

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:01 am
Whole lotta snarkin’ goin’ on as Kevin Krajewski shared his perception of HJR 6 (now HJR 3), labeling it “pointless folly,” and proponents as bigots. (Jan. 10)HJR 3 is the proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution to “provide only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman ... as valid or recognized in Indiana.”

In what amounts to a diatribe against right-wingers, Krajewski fails to see the bigger picture; namely, that this proposed legislation would not only ban same-sex marriage, but also plural marriage and child marriage.

On Jan. 6, a Texas judge ruled the 700-member compound of cult leader Warren Jeffs — one legal wife, 78 other wives (24 of whom were under age 17) and nearly 60 children — was to be seized by the state of Texas. This one, very high-profile case took six years and (at last count) nearly 20 million tax dollars to bring to this conclusion.

About the polygamous sect in Colorado City, Ariz., author Jon Krakauer wrote in “Under the Banner of Heaven,” “Fundamentalists call defrauding the government ‘bleeding the beast’ and regard it as a virtuous act.”

A Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer commentary by Mike Tittro (July 25, 2012) attests to the adverse effects another polygamous cult has on a community: “We have seen the demand by some Islamists for Sharia Law to be recognized here in the U.S. Pakistani and Bangladeshi men have been bringing more wives into England and up to 1,000 polygamous families now not only live there, but receive welfare payments for their multiple wives as ‘single mothers.’”

The U.S. Constitution prohibits any foreign law trumping an American law. Neither are religious-based laws in support of polygamy allowed. Indiana (and every state) can, and should, underscore that by adding to their constitution.

Most assuredly, Mr. Krajewski, Indiana “has much bigger issues” to address than these. So my question is this: Why not encourage our lawmakers to firmly close and bolt Indiana’s door to any and all possibility of taxpayer-funding of the polygamous lifestyle?

Becky Osbun


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