marriage

Witness to a Child Bride - "What Would You Do?"

I found this video to be a bit disturbing. Not for the simple idea of polygamy, as I really could care less what consenting adults decide to do in their private lives, but for the fact that so many people (about 95% of them, give or take) did absolutely nothing as they witnessed what they thought was a 15 year old child being forced into marriage:

Forced Into Polygamy in Public
What Would You Do If You Thought You Saw a Child Bride?

Colorado City, Ariz., home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, seems like a town stuck in the 19th century. Women wear old-fashioned clothing and sport elaborately braided hairstyles, and the practice of polygamy -- having more than one spouse at one time -- is not uncommon.

The FLDS, which has been renounced by the Mormon Church for its practice of polygamy, has been accused of arranging marriages between underage girls and much older men who already have multiple wives. Young women have spoken out about allegedly being forced into marriage when they were as young as 14, and wishing they'd had help escaping their fates.

So how would people react if they thought they were seeing a young girl being forced into a polygamous marriage against her will?

Some thoughts below.

The First Amendment and The Ambiguity of Marriage

This is an interesting post that came several days ago. I meant to front-page it but somehow it got overlooked, so I am rectifying the omission, carol. Originally posted 2009-03-19 06:50:18 -0500.

Some marriages in Pennsylvania are being annulled. Not because of domestic strife, but because of over-zealous county clerks with political agendas.

In 2004, Michelle and Marc planned to marry in Philadelphia and get their license in Bucks County - a decision influenced only by the office's proximity to their home in Hatboro.

They were acting within the law, of course. Couples can buy their marriage licenses in any one of Pennsylvania's 67 counties and hold their ceremonies in any other.

So how, the Toths now wonder, is their marriage considered legal in Montgomery County, but possibly null and void in Bucks?

The short answer is that the people responsible for issuing marriage licenses - the 67 elected clerks of Orphans Court - are at odds with one another. And the growing ranks of couples using a nontraditional officiant or no officiant at all are getting caught in the conflict.

On one side are clerks, such as those in Bucks and Delaware counties, who want the state marriage-license law tightened. They say the institution of marriage is being sullied, if not undermined, by nontraditional ministers and those who they believe are irreligious, liberal couples seeking to stretch the law.

On the other side are clerks, including those in Philadelphia, Chester, and Montgomery counties, who say the law is clear as long as it is read without bias. Their position has the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union. (This issue does not exist in New Jersey.)