America is just now at the apex of the same-sex marriage debate and the Library of Congress is already moving on. In fact, they’re bringing law professor John Witte Jr. of Emory University to talk about polygamy and why the Western world has been so opposed to it. In fact, he’s opposed to it and the Library apparently doesn’t see fit to present both sides of the issue and bring in anyone who’s for it.
A release is misleading in that it attempts a neutral outlook. “Though polygamy remains criminal in every Western nation, and in every American state, there is growing cultural and constitutional pressure to remove these criminal prohibitions, according to Witte,” it says. “In his lecture, he will discuss the modern arguments for polygamy, explain the two millennia of Western arguments against polygamy, and then weigh whether the classical arguments remain cogent enough today to maintain the Western criminal prohibitions.”
The lecture, “The Western Case for Monogamy over Polygamy,” takes place at… 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. It’s free and open to the public.
Online searches reflect that Witte has clear views on polygamy. He has written about the intersection of law and the religion extensively in the past, and doesn’t come at polygamy free of judgement. In November he wrote a piece for WaPo arguing “that polygamy is dangerous because it harms women, children, and men alike, and will allow some religious communities to become a law unto themselves.”
Attempts to reach the communications office at the Library were returned with “out of office” replies. “I am on furlough, and I will return to the office on Tuesday, April 16,” one email said. A phone call was greeted by an answering machine.