'Polygamy Rights' Movement Not Re-Defined by Homosexuals
Date: Mar 31, 2006
Word Count: 2700 words
Cross-Reference: Big Love, HBO, Brian Barnard, polygamy rights movement
While HBO's "Big Love" writers and a Utah attorney, Brian Barnard, are welcome to promote polygamy, the appreciative but leery conservative polygamy rights movement at the national level will not be re-defined by them.
Conservative polygamy rights activists have always acknowledged that they have little need to spend much time seeking to persuade liberals - even many homosexuals - that liberalism's "tolerance" dogma obligates such liberals to accept un-coerced, consenting-adult polygamy. Accordingly, as polygamy rights activists thereby focus on persuading their fellow conservatives with true conservative arguments, any liberal person in favor of polygamy is more typically left with unassisted "free reign" to persuade other liberals without commentary from the polygamy rights movement.
However, the arrival of pay TV channel HBO’s March 12, 2006, premiere of “Big Love” - a show about a secularized Mormon Polygamous family - brought new concern about the limitations of such "free reign," regarding liberals and polygamy rights. The media buzz about this new TV show from Hollywood directed great media attention onto the growing polygamy movement. Consequently, an attorney in Utah named Brian Barnard, individually representing a Mormon polygamous couple’s two-year lawsuit demanding a legal marriage license for a second wife, also began appearing in the media as a “representative” of the polygamy rights movement. Both the show and that attorney’s publicity have caused some concern for actual polygamy rights activists - leery that homosexuals could potentially be harming, if not actually re-defining, their movement.
The creators of “Big Love” are Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer. Not only do the two script writers work together, but they are homosexual “partners” too. As The Washington Blade reported (March 10, 2006), when Olsen originally suggested creating a show about polygamists to Sheffer, the latter said he thought the idea was “yucky.”
The homosexual pair are reported to have spent three years “researching polygamy.” However, such time was only conducted exclusively with the Mormon Polygamy paradigm in the Utah area. As the resulting series demonstrates, they never stepped outside of the false “all polygamy is Mormon Polygamy” stereotype.
“Big Love” is a show about a secularized Mormon Polygamist husband with three wives - and their vehemently regretted connection to an extortionist Fundamentalist Mormon Polygamous "compound" with whom they would prefer to never see again. Now, the “mainstream Mormon” institution can protest the story's Mormon connections all it wants, but when the form of polygamy uses, as it does in the storyline, beliefs which are exclusively Mormon-created - such as the “Doctrines & Covenants,” or as calling plural marriage as either “the principle” or "celestial marriage" - then it is Mormon Polygamy. Period.
It has to be admitted that "Big Love's" first few episodes do positively educate its audience of a few things. Quickly dispelling the ridiculous myth that polygamy is a “sexual fantasy” for men, the episodes do demonstrate how much of a challenging difficulty that polygamy can be for a husband to successfully manage - from personalities to multiple in-laws to viagra. It also shows that normal consenting-adult polygamists, including many Mormon Polygamists, vehemently do not support the criminal activities which have anecdotally occurred in some of the rural Fundamentalist Mormon Polygamous communities - such as underage or arranged marriages.
However, in pandering to HBO’s quite-secular audience – it is certainly not targeted to a typically Christian or Mormon audience who do not typically purchase HBO, anyway – “Big Love” does unnecessarily succumb to the occasional use of gratuitous sex scenes. It also includes a ridiculous sexual sub-plot of unrealistic flirting between the adult youngest wife and the first wife’s young teenage son. Such erroneous focus could also be reflective of the sexual-based aspect of the show’s homosexual creators’ own minds.
Further alarming to pro-polygamists, each episode also begins with a very troubling opening scene. Episodes begin with the husband and three wives actually ice skating on a frozen pond together. Then the ice cracks, separating two of the wives off into their own separate sections. The message? They are “skating on thin ice.” And one wife remains in the same cracked-apart section with the husband.
That scene makes national polygamy rights activists suspicious and leery indeed. Are the homosexual writers thereby subtly hinting how they will write the final conclusion into the series? Is it their creative plan to deliberately write into the story the disintegration of the Mormon Polygamous family until there is only one wife left at the end of the last episode? If that conclusion is what is planned and ultimately occurs, it would expose the entire series as being an intended attempt to sabotage the understanding of polygamy before the masses.
But that is not all that makes pro-polygamists leery. And the homosexual connection continues too.
As all the media buzz about “Big Love” directed attention onto the polygamy rights movement at the national level, Utah attorney Brian Barnard posited himself into the media spotlight to discuss the polygamy rights cause. A johnny-come-lately to polygamy activism, Mr. Barnard’s only basis for involvement was in filing a lawsuit in January 12, 2004, for a local Mormon-based couple seeking a marriage license in Utah to marry a second wife.
It has to be admitted that pro-polygamists are "not unhappy" to see a polygamy-case going to trial, of course. And while the case might not likely succeed in its attempt to force state government to grant multiple marriage licenses, it is possible that the case could end Utah's unacceptable law enforcement application of even unlicensed co-habitation in making a so-called charge of bigamy.
Still, in the final analysis, the case is not about de-criminalization as is otherwise promoted by the polygamy rights movement at the national level. Indeed, as Barnard’s lawsuit was using the legalization route in its argumentation, and was also repeating the already-failed Mormon defense of “freedom of religion,” the evangelical Christian Polygamy organization, TruthBearer.org, issued a qualified press release the next day, on January 13, 2004.
Because Barnard’s localized use of the legalization route conflicted with the de-criminalization arguments already established by the polygamy rights movement at the national level, there was real concern as to how Barnard’s case could play out. In that press release, Mark Henkel, the established national polygamy advocate, was quoted, saying, “Unfortunately, seeking ‘legalization’ could backfire.” As Henkel had explained to The Washington Blade, the month before on December 26, 2003, “The government does not have any authority to be in the marriage business in the first place.”
So, with cautious and mild trepidation, the national polygamy rights movement took note of Barnard’s sudden, new arrival on the polygamy rights scene at the local level in Utah in 2004. That lone local Utah attorney had never consulted with the national polygamy rights movement to understand what the movement really wanted. Howbeit, attorneys are, of course, free to legally pursue whatever arguments they choose for their own clients. But representing clients in a local case is vastly different from being a qualified spokesman for a larger, national movement.
With the “Big Love” premiere episode on March 12, 2006, the media frenzy began. Numerous media outlets sought interviews from the polygamy rights movement. The March 20th issue of Newsweek, available online March 13th, even quoted Henkel again making his often-reported sound-bite, “Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle.”
Indeed, as both the founder of the cross-denominational, evangelical Christian Polygamy organization, TruthBearer.org, and being the established national polygamy advocate, Mark Henkel originated that sound-bite. The media distribution site, www.Pro-Polygamy.com , was explicitly authorized to use it on its front webpage. As attributed back to him, Henkel’s sound-bite had also long been repeatedly reported in many different news sources over the years - from WorldNetDaily.com in 2003, to The Wall Street Journal in 2004, to The Washington Times in 2005, to Newsweek in 2006, etc. No question, Henkel's sound-bite and conservative arguments had been laying down the framework for the polygamy rights movement at the national level for years.
Even so, as that sound-bite became repeatedly “heard around the world” in March 2006, suddenly Utah attorney Brian Barnard showed up in media - such as on MSNBC's "The Situation with Tucker Carlson" on March 20, 2006 - discussing “polygamy rights as the next civil rights battle.” While it is to his credit that Barnard has been careful to say "what he does not know" about polygamists, it still remains that he is just a local Utah attorney representing a single Mormon Polygamy case, using arguments that do not fully reflect the positions and direction of the national polygamy movement.
And other legal cases which Barnard takes are in stark contrast with the firm family values of many polygamists around the country. A March 4, 2006, Associated Press article in a central Utah newspaper, The Daily Herald, reported that Barnard recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition. And a March 18, 2006, article in another Utah newspaper, The Deseret News, reported that Barnard recently filed a new anti-religious-freedom lawsuit representing American Atheists, Inc. As the national polygamy rights movement would never have any association with such extremely anti-conservative, anti-God, liberal groups, it is clear that Barnard is just an attorney. By itself, that is fine for him; but it reveals that he is certainly not a qualified or committed "spokesman from the heart" for the polygamy rights movement.
Such other cases also help further explain Barnard's more liberal choice to push a legalization direction for his polygamy-seeking Utah clients, instead of staying with the national polygamy movement's stated positions of de-criminalization and of removing any government involvement in defining marriage.
But seeking legalization plays right into the hands of deceptive propagandists who then wrongly try to mis-apply the meaning of both Henkel's sound-bite and the national polygamy rights movement itself. Anti-polygamists use the pursuit of legalization to falsely accuse polygamists of "following" or being in league with homosexuals.
But such false accusations could not be further from the truth.
"Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle," not because polygamists are supposedly "learning from" or "copying" the homosexuals' liberal arguments, but because of just the opposite. Indeed, conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's official Dissents in both Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) directly instructed polygamists how to proceed with those precedents. Therefore, conservative polygamists heeding Scalia's written instruction is merely their act of using such a conservative Justice's own stated directions on the issue. Those Decisions established that big government has no liberal authority to oppress or hinder the freedom of consenting-adult individuals from doing that which is actually allowed for any other consenting-adults. And taking that thought even further to true conservatism, the national polygamy rights movement has ultimately called for protecting real marriage by removing government from being liberally authorized to define marriage in any form.
So actually, "polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle" because it actually provides the true conservative, yet win-win, solution to finally ending the legalized "government marriage" debate once and for all. By removing big government from unconstitutionally defining marriage in any form (after all, no one in the Bible was ever married "by government"), the true conservative position of limited government frees and resolves both sides of the debate. The biological impossibility of "same sex marriage" can neither be used to re-define marriage nor be used to empower government to tyrannically force churches to perform homosexual "weddings." Likewise, without anyone's marriage (real or imagined) being defined by government, then if homosexuals subsequently want to imagine that they are somehow "married," they are free to have their imaginations. And, those who choose homosexual behavior can also realize their claimed intent of so-called legal "equality" with those who choose "one man, one woman" and with any anyone else who does not accept such imaginings of supposed "same sex marriage." Everyone becomes truly free and no one is forced to accept anyone else's big government agendas or re-definitions. And true conservatives can rejoice in limited government principles finally prevailing - and ending the frankenstein-monster of big "government marriage" altogether.
So, as Brian Barnard's single Utah case instead pursues a legalization direction, it unfortunately helps the anti-polygamists to accuse the polygamy movement of somehow "riding on the coattails" of homosexuals. It is made even worse when Barnard then presents himself as any form of spokesman for the polygamy rights movement.
And one more item further makes it even that much more troublesome. Polygamists have been reportedly informed that Brian Barnard is a homosexual himself.
That final item makes national polygamy rights activists suspicious and definitely leery indeed. Why should a homosexual attorney take a polygamy-related case and then use the very legalization arguments that the actual polygamy movement does not seek? Why should a homosexual attorney posit himself in the media as any form of spokesman for a national polygamy rights movement with whom he does not consult? Should his case ultimately fail, as the legalization argument could very well cause, Barnard will simply go on with his own reported homosexual life. Naturally, he will move on in his legal practice and just keep taking cases representing actually extreme liberal groups. But the real polygamy rights movement will be left to pick up the pieces he leaves behind with yet another failed court precedent.
POLYGAMY RIGHTS NOT RE-DEFINED
Of course, pro-polygamists are glad to see a case proceed. They do not want Barnard's clients' case to fail. And it would certainly be good to see an overturning of the legal connection which currently allows mere unlicensed co-habitation to be exploited in legally securing a bigamy charge in Utah state. But a homosexual attorney (using the known homosexual agenda for) using legalization is not only probable to fail for polygamy (as that same old argument has failed in the past), but it actually empowers lying propagandists to deceitfully malign the polygamy rights movement of supposedly "copying homosexuals" when they do not.
In the same way, pro-polygamists are quite glad that HBO's "Big Love" allows viewers to see - at least in the first few episodes - that most polygamists, truly, are rather normal consenting-adults indeed, who do not all live in secretive compounds, and are just like most anyone else. They gratefully welcome the subsequent media attention which the show has caused, to then educate the masses about what the different forms of polygamous families are really “all about” - such as the very different form, Christian Polygamy. And it would certainly be good to see "Big Love's" storyline continue only in the direction of increasingly strengthening the polygamous family's totally-committed bond together, without ever writing any family breakup into the show. But homosexual writers creating a polygamist "soap opera" storyline - about which one of the homosexual writers perceives is "yucky" and with which both writers could eventually push some homosexual agenda of so-called "homosexual monogamy" for "same sex marriage" by writing the family's break up into the story - is not only likely to deceptively sabotage the public's perceptions of polygamy in the long term, but, again, empowers lying propagandists in the short term to deceitfully malign the polygamy rights movement of supposedly "working with homosexuals" when they do not.
For these reasons, pro-polygamists are leery of such homosexuals so prominently jumping into the fray of the polygamy rights movement. Of course, any polygamy-supportive liberals and homosexuals have "free reign" to freely persuade their fellow liberals and homosexuals about their dogma-required "tolerance" for consenting-adult polygamy, while many pro-polygamy activists will continue to persuade their own fellow conservatives. "Big Love's" homosexual writers and the reported homosexual attorney Brian Barnard are, of course, free in America to promote their views to other liberals and homosexuals.
But using any liberal-oriented media presentations (television) or legal arguments (legalization) do not legitimately re-define polygamy rights. Indeed, the national polygamy rights movement will not be re-defined either by such homosexuals or by propagandists maligning polygamists as supposedly "following or copying homosexuals."
Truly, "polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle." But it does not come from the Left. It comes from the Right. And it does not "copy" or "follow" homosexuals - it actually seeks to end the "government marriage" debate altogether. Indeed, with its true conservative, yet win-win, position of limited government, the national polygamy rights movement could actually and finally resolve the tiresome debate of big "government marriage" once and for all.