November 22, 2009 |
Right-wing pro-marriage advocates are correct: Monogamy is definitely under siege. But not from uncloseted polyamorists, adolescent "hook-up" advocates, radical feminists, Godless communists or some vast homosexual conspiracy. The culprit is our own biology. Researchers in animal behavior have long known that monogamy is uncommon in the natural world, but only with the advent of DNA "fingerprinting" have we come to appreciate how truly rare it is. Genetic testing has recently shown that even among many bird species -- long touted as the epitome of monogamous fidelity -- it is not uncommon for 6% to 60% of the young to be fathered by someone other than the mother's social partner.
November 6, 2009 |
The first polygamist sect member to face criminal trial after the raid at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in West Texas last year was convicted Thursday of sexual assault of a child. Jurors took a little more than two hours to convict Raymond Jessop, 38, of sexually assaulting a teenager with whom he had a so-called spiritual marriage. Jessop allegedly has nine wives. He faces a bigamy charge, but that case is to be tried later. The girl in the assault case, now 21, was previously in a "spiritual marriage" with Jessop's brother before being "reassigned" to Jessop when she was 15, according to documents seized at the ranch.
October 4, 2009 |
When she was practicing law, Kartini Maarof once went beyond the call of duty for her divorce client. She arranged for Rohaya Mohamad, a mother of seven, to be married again -- to Kartini's own husband. The spouse they have shared for a decade is 43-year-old Ikramullah Ashaari, who has four wives and 17 children. His 72-year-old father has 38 offspring from five marriages, without ever having flouted Islam's prescribed limit of four wives at a time. Polygamy is legal for Muslims in Malaysia, though not widespread.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2009 |
A polygamist who tortured, starved, imprisoned and beat his wives and children for decades was sentenced to seven life terms in prison Friday by a judge who said the man's "reign of terror" warranted the harshest punishment available. Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, spoke before sentencing and denied ever mistreating his three wives and 19 children. "I never tortured anyone," he told Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III. "I don't know where that came from."
November 4, 2008
Re "Five on Eight," Opinion, Nov. 1 The Times' Op-Ed page featuring opposing views on Proposition 8 was thought-provoking and interesting. As a Mormon, however, I thought two of the articles could be clarified. First, Lola Van Wagenen asserts that Mormons should be sympathetic to same-gender marriage because Mormons once practiced polygamy. Van Wagenen knows that Mormons do not equate polygamy with same-gender marriage because Mormon doctrine makes it clear that the endorsement of polygamy was to encourage righteous offspring -- something that cannot occur in same-gender relationships.
August 6, 2008 |
Child Protective Services asked a judge to place eight children from a polygamist sect's ranch back into foster care, saying their mothers refuse to limit their contact with men accused of involvement in underage marriages. The children will stay with their mothers until a hearing scheduled for Sept. 25, a CPS spokeswoman said. None now lives at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Two of the girls are daughters of Lloyd Hammon Barlow, a doctor indicted last month on three misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse, according to court filings.
July 15, 2008 |
A few miles from the Vatican, Najat Hadi kept house with her husband, his other wife and their assorted children, an unhappy home with a hateful woman 10 years her junior and a cruel spouse who left her with a jagged scar peeking from her collar. Finally, she says, her Egyptian-born husband, who worked in Rome making pizzas, beat her so badly that she left him. But he kept her children.
July 10, 2008 |
Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was hospitalized in fair condition under tight security in Las Vegas, a day after he was found "convulsive," weak and feverish in a Kingman, Ariz., jail cell, a sheriff's spokeswoman said. Jeffs, 52, of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convicted by a Utah jury last year of first-degree felony rape as an accomplice.
June 30, 2008 |
The polygamist sect preached that Dan Fischer was a heretic who had turned his back on God's chosen children. But for Enos Deloy Steed, who was banished at age 17 for kissing a girl, Fischer was like a guardian angel, the kindest man he had ever met. Steed's father disowned him and left him wandering southern Utah in search of menial work. Fischer gave him a place to live -- and volunteered to put him through college.
May 31, 2008 |
As officials haggled Friday over how to return more than 400 children to their parents, it was becoming increasingly clear that Texas' audacious attempt to rein in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had backfired -- and become a lesson in the difficulty of cracking down on the 10,000-member polygamist sect. "If you want to make any change . . .