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Banning Polygamy in The United States

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Ever since the Reynold versus United States case of 1879 that forbade all forms of polygamy practices on the grounds of religion, some American religious groups continue to practice this illegal practice. In 2008, the state of Texas rescued over 400 girls in Eldorado from Warren Jeffs, a polygamist leader who broke from his former church after it decided to comply with the state directives to forbid polygamy. With such cases surfacing on the issue of polygamy in the U.S., it remains a topic of discussion as individuals provide different arguments on whether the practice can be acceptable. Polygamy should be banned in the U.S because women are not treated as an equal and it increases the chances of disease spreading between all the married families.

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Today, in the U.S., polygamy should not be allowed in religious groups for various reasons. First, practicing polygamy violates the right of women by depriving them of their right to equality to men. When polygamy is introduced in multiple religious groups or to the general American population, the chances that women could encounter more hardships in terms of equality rights is high. Further, polygamy exposes women to psychological distress. Often, women in polygamous marriages have to struggle with dealing with each other, which transcends to mental torture. Such cases result in worse conditions like depression and domestic violence. Aligned with this distress caused by polygamy, the majority of women find themselves as victims of gender-based violence because of opposing the addition of more wives in their marriage. In other cases, when two-wives in a marriage disagree, the husband is likely to favour one of them, which extends conflict and creates a window for violence. In fact, both women could be subjected to domestic violence or other harmful events of rights violations.

Additionally, polygamy undermines the health of women and society significantly by encouraging the spread of diseases. Allowing one man to engage with multiple women sexually increases the risk of spreading diseases and immorality to some extent. This further puts the whole society since certain behaviours might surface as well as more diseases. For example, the number of street families and violation of children rights could increase. Currently, the United States has been flooded with different cultures as people interact with each other. For the majority of the customs, polygamy is perceived negatively, with most individuals opposed to it, as they see it as morally unacceptable. By not allowing polygamy in the U.S., there are chances that minimal cultural concerns will arise based on what is moral or ethical.

In counter-argument, the proponents of polygamy argue that banning polygamy is a breach of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which provides for the right to freedom of religion. What all of them fail to recognize that whereas it is a religious practice, it violates the rights of their women mothers and sisters. Also, they argue that this practice could create peace in families, an argument that lack basis on how it polygamy would be beneficial to families.

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In the question of allowing polygamy in the American religious groups, this should not be allowed considering the mental and physical problems that come along with it both to the families, women, and the American community. Notably, the U.S. government is trying to contain polygamy by forcefully enforcing the law, as evident in the Texas raid. However, if we are to realize the goal of a polygamy free society fully, we need to explore other measures of fighting the practice such as education about its negative implication to the people.

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Banning Polygamy In The United States. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
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