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The testimony last week was heart-wrenching: a girl of fourteen forced by a polygamist religious leader to marry her cousin and submit to sex she did not want with a man she did not love. "It was the darkest time of my entire life," she said.

But wait. The world of polygamy being laid open at its worst in court last week is also now being openly championed by advocates who call it a lifestyle choice and religious right. And they are gaining converts, including legal scholars asking: how can you argue for decriminalized adultery and even gay marriage and hold polygamy taboo?

This hour On Point: the surprising fresh debate over whether the country should accept polygamy.


Howard Berkes, Rural Affairs Correspondent for NPR

Mark Shurtleff, Utah's Attorney General

Jonathan Turley, Law Professor at George Washington University

Vicki Prunty,
Director of Tapestry Against Polygamy, a non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City which provides assistance to women leaving the polygamous lifestyle.
She was a plural wife — a first wife in one marriage and a 3rd wife in another. She left the polygamous lifestyle in the early 90s

Mary Allred, third wife in a polygamous marriage

This program aired on November 28, 2006.


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