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The Right To Exist In A Relationship With More Than Two Individuals In Western Society

1678 words - 7 pages

The Right to exist in a Relationship with more than Two Individuals in Western Society

The laws and popular views in western society state that polyamory, a marriage between more than two individuals, is illegal. I will defend that polyamory and relationships involving more that two consenting individuals should be made acceptable in our society through exploring what is defined as legitimate, focusing on the inclusion of others beliefs, evolutions of the laws in western society, and the consequences of not representing others within the legal system.
The word legitimate is defined as “born into wedlock”, “having full filial rights and obligations by birth”, “being exactly ...view middle of the document...

Which law is the legitimate one to defining relationships? In an article that was posted in The Star newspaper quoted an Islamic priest who openly performs polygamy marriages within Toronto, Ontario states "If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that (Javed “GTA's secret world of polygamy,” par. 9)". This places further emphasis on “conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards” which is the customary view within his religious community. Therefore under the laws of the religion a legitimate relationship can exist between more that two people. Along with Islamic religious values, certain sects of the Mormon religion have incorporated plural marriages as being part of their religious way of life which are openly practiced in parts of North America. To further legitimatize polyamory based on religion, it can be in fact considered under existing laws of the land such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms specifically under Fundamental Freedoms and Equality Rights and within the United States Constitution primarily the First Amendment. These western laws of the land both emphasize the freedom to practice religion.
Polyamory can exist in several different forms (polygyny: one man having multiple wives, polyandry: one woman having multiple husbands; or group marriage: combination of polygyny and polyandry). Within the two religions discussed above polygyny is the practice of these two religions. These religions are established in North America and will continue to grow and their rights must be covered under the legal systems to protect these people practicing polyamory. The relationship is simply adults making the choice of being in a marriage with more than one person. Islamic beliefs have the option of having multiple wives, so this is a consenting choice that can be made, but not a religious requirement. On the other hand, the Mormon Church heavily focuses on plural marriage as part of their religion and their plight to heaven. It is important for society to understand and embrace that both monogamy and polygamy are an individual’s lifestyle choice. Therefore if part of the religious belief is polyamory then is it not then protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and United States Constitution thus making it legitimate?
The argument that polyamory is illegal and should remain as is in North America, I believe, is heavily based on others not understanding and respecting the religious and principle beliefs surrounding polyamory. In addition, the media has had quite a negative affect by publicizing extreme cases that further feed into others stereotypes of people in relationships with more than one individual. Most recently, there is much media surrounding Bountiful, British Columbia in which allegations of prostitution, sexual exploitation of children, sexual abuse of children, sexual...

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