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My Married Life: How Bad Is Bigamy?

The first trial to come out of the Yearning for Zion Ranch raid kicks off this week. Raymond Merril Jessop will stand trial for one count of sexual assault, a first-degree felony, for allegedly having sex with his 16-year-old wife. If convicted, Jessop could serve to up to 20 years. He also faces bigamy charges in a separate trial. This was (and still is) such a fascinating story with so many interesting angles.

Though I'll admit I was more obsessed with the pioneer-pompadour hairdos of the FLDS women than almost any other detail, I'm still not sure what I think overall. I'm definitely against child marriage in any form. But I'm not so sure I really care about bigamy. It seems like it would be a horrible headache for both men and women, but I'm not positive it should be a crime. 

I look forward to hearing your arguments, whether they be for or against. I guess the part that really bothers me is the misogynistic undertones -- why don't any of these religious cults ever have one wife and multiple husbands?

What do you think? Is bigamy a clear-cut crime -- or should it fall under the banner of religious freedom?

-- Holly

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