Bigamy cases remain relatively rare in the country with only a handful brought each year across the country. Yet, Kevin Michael Taylor, 31, and Sammantha Michelle Bailey, 21, have joined that ignoble roster of with a double bigamy charge. It appears that everything in Double T Trial, North Carolina is . . . well . . . double. Both husband and wife were allegedly married to other people. With the polygamy case unfolding in San Angelo, Texas, it is another example of our struggle with plural marriages.
In Taylor’s case, this was reportedly his fifth marriage (though he may have divorced four) and for Bailey it was her second. That is seven spouses between them — reaching virtual biblical proportions.
Bigamy and polygamy are often used interchangeably. Technically, bigamy is the act of a married person who marries another person. As the root “bi” would indicate, it refers to two spouses where polygamy generally refers to more than two.
I have been a critic of polygamy laws because I believe that consenting adults should be able to choose their lifestyles so long as it does not involve harming children or others. Polygamy is an obnoxious practice to the vast majority of Americans, but it is also a good-faith religious practice to many. Click here.
Yet, my criticism of the controversy in San Angelo, Texas is not due to the illegality issue as much as the question of whether the police had probable cause to raid the compound on the basis of a single call and remove hundreds of children. It is admittedly a close question but it could spin off some very difficult constitutional questions.
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