I was reading a couple of stories recently where the law practices conflicting comportment concerning similar circumstances. And while I choose to believe both sets of individuals facing the legal system made choices that I consider -stupid is as stupid does- questionable behavior –> one practice is actually illegal while a similar practice is not. My question becomes – in the eyes of the legal system, why is one behavior legal and the other not?
In the first case a Utah man –Kody Brown– has been facing charges of bigamy after TLC made a popular television show called Sister Wives, surrounding his polygamous marriage lifestyle with four wives. The family also has 17 children. With four wives and 17 children – I would need a large supply of pharmaceuticals including Aspirin, Viagra and some sort of happy pill just to survive. I wouldn’t even want to think about how I could financially pay for the living arrangement- much less four women cursing at me for leaving the toilet seat up, hanging the toilet paper the wrong direction as well as my large collection of Moline Dispatch editions for reading material kept in the bathroom. (In my childhood days the newspaper would also have joined the Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Wards catalogs in serving the extra duty of replacing toilet paper in the out house.) Fortunately for the family in question legal proceedings of bigamy by Utah authorities have been dropped.
In the similar yet different case (legally) another man –Desmond Hatchett– whom has fathered 30 children with eleven different women, does not have to worry about polygamy charges, as he has not bothered to marry any of the children’s mothers. Yet he has faced legal problems for several years; due to the fact that he is incapable of keeping up with child support payments, for so many children. No doubt that is a problem. Payments of child support for 30 children would probably send Bill Gates into the poorhouse. The man is now seeking financial help from the government to meet his child support.
The conundrum for a poor simple hillbilly like me is – why does the law look at the man with four wives and seventeen children as a bigamist criminal, yet the man with thirty kids from eleven different mothers, is only a criminal when he can’t pay his child support. Now I don’t personally care how many wives or children a man has or doesn’t have. I have been a lifelong bachelor my whole 29+ years on this planet. (Maybe it’s the toilet seat issue?) And one wife sounds like more than I could handle at this stage. I do believe that if you are going to take the time and effort to make babies – you are personally financially responsible for them. Yet I do question a law that punishes one person while another skates on a technicality. Perhaps it is time to dump the bigamy laws. Or better yet, perhaps it is time to get government out of the marriage business altogether and leave it up to the churches and religious institutions that created it. The governments time concerning marriage is better off spent chasing down deadbeat dads and moms whom don’t like to pay to play.
- Sister Wives Cast: Cleared in Bigamy Investigation! (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- ‘Sister Wives’ Bigamy Lawsuit Dropped (huffingtonpost.com)