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.
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.
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 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.
September 27, 2007 |
In 1953, the state of Arizona broke up a 385-person polygamous enclave that straddled its border with Utah, arresting all the men and placing the children with foster families. A judge eventually ruled the action illegal, and members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints returned to their homes. Now, 54 years later, the community numbers about 10,000.
September 15, 2007 |
When the 14-year-old refused at her wedding to hold the hand of the man she was being forced to marry, Warren Jeffs took her hand and placed it in her prospective husband's. "I just sat there with my head hanging," the woman, who is now 21, told a jury Friday in the trial of Jeffs, the leader of a polygamous sect who is charged with being an accomplice to her rape by forcing the marriage.
August 20, 2007 |
HBO has treated the remarkable second season of its polygamist show "Big Love" like a radiant but overlooked sister-wife, paying more promotional attention to the conclusion of "The Sopranos" and the launching of "John from Cincinnati," a bombastic series the network ended up canceling last week. "Big Love," which moved back to Sunday nights to replace "John," is about two subjects that TV never finds sexy -- religion and family, in the uncynical sense.
August 13, 2007 |
Mary Kay Place could have made an entire career of playing country-quirky mothers. Her first big break came in 1976 as Loretta Haggers, a would-be country-western singer who yearned to be a mother, on the groundbreaking soap satire "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." There was also the role of Reese Witherspoon's mother in "Sweet Home Alabama." Currently on HBO's "Big Love," Place plays polygamist Adaleen Grant, mother of Nicolette (Chloë Sevigny).