by George Conger, Anglican Ink
Support for equal access to marriage for polygamists under American law should not be construed as a call to change the Episcopal Church’s marriage canons, the Rev. Danielle Tumminio tells Anglican Ink.
On 18 December 2013 the Massachusetts curate and columnist contributed an opinion column to CNN’s Blog entitled “How I learned to love polygamy” that urged the legalization of plural marriages.
Ms. Tumminio wrote that “gave a little squeal of delight” when she learned of the decision handed down last week by Judge Clark Wadupps of Utah Federal District Court in Brown v. Buhman which ruled that parts of a Utah law banning polygamy are unconstitutional.
She had long believed that polygamy harmed women, but after meeting the plaintiffs in the Brown case, participants in the reality television show “Sister Wives” she changed her mind. “Since meeting the Browns, I have become a supporter of them and their lifestyle,” she said.
“When done well, “ she wrote, “polygamy works because the participants have a different goal for marriage than monogamous couples: Most Americans believe that marriage is for the purpose of cultivating intimacy between two people, both sexual and emotional. But for the Browns that takes a distant second to the goal of cultivating a community that together can reach heaven. It’s a different way of thinking about marriage and family, but it’s not inherently an abusive one.”
She added that “as a Christian, it makes sense to support healthy polygamous practices. It’s a natural extension for those Christians who support same-sex marriage on theological grounds. But even for those opposed to same-sex marriage, polygamy is documented in the Bible, thereby giving its existence warrant.”