In Bad Axe Michigan, a woman named Lorri L. Freesland was sentenced to 15 days in jail and one year probation for polygamy. The judge also gave her six months to resolve her marital status. Says the New York Times:
– There are matchmakers and then there are match breakers, such as the Huron County judge who sent a woman to jail for polygamy and gave her six months to divorce one of her husbands. Lorri L. Freesland of Kinde pleaded guilty to the charge in December.Authorities have said she wasn’t divorced from the man she married in 2000 in Macomb County’s Clinton Township when she married her second husband Aug. 3, 2007. Her first husband moved to Alaska in 2006.
Normally, the cases I’ve seen recently of polygamy are men and normally they reside in some far-flung Muslim country; and normally, they are not jailed for their actions they flout it as if it is the most normal thing in the world. They point to some obscure text in the Koran or the Bible or what have you and they explain why it is perfectly laudable that a man should have more than one wife. And this is not a situation like Lorri’s where she has unloaded one husband (who moved to Alaska in 2006) before she marries the other one, albeit without first obtaining a divorce.
Still, polygamy is a misdemeanor in most states in America (or maybe all states, though I’m not too sure about Utah) and in most countries in the world, it is likewise frowned upon. But might that be a mistake? Might polygamy actually help to reduce the divorce rate? In Lorri’s case it obviously helped keep the rate of divorce low since there was no divorce from the first husband. But her situation, as I said, is an anomaly. Usually, in polygamist societies, the man is the one with multiple wives and he basically has them all living under the same roof or in close proximity, like a harem.
That way, everything is out in the open. Folks don’t have to worry about adultery. He treats all the wives “the same” and he never divorces anyone.
In a way, that could have it’s charms, I’m thinking. And in a way, that would be good for the divorce rate. Eh?