Nathan Collier [center] and his wife Victoria [left] along with wife to be Christine [right] are moving to legalize their plural marriage based on the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage
By Gary P Jackson
A couple of days ago I wrote Congratulations Polygamists, Pederasts, Oedipalists, et al.: Your Case is Made, the Precedent is Set! Call the Wedding Planner! where I predicted we’d soon see any number of deviations from traditional marriage, now that the Supreme Court has declared marriage a “right.”
I included a Politico opinion piece that made a pretty solid case for plural marriage [polygamy] based on the arguments used to convince the Court to grant the new “right” for gays to marry.
This from the Associated Press, via The Blaze:
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man has applied for a marriage license so he can legally wed his second wife.
Nathan Collier of Billings said Wednesday that last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage inspired him to try to force the acceptance of polygamous marriages.
He says he’ll sue the state if his application is rejected.
Collier says Yellowstone County Courthouse officials initially denied the application Tuesday. When he told officials he planned to sue, they said they would consult with the county attorney before giving him a final answer.
Collier married his first wife, Victoria, in 2000. He and his second wife, Christine, had a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 but didn’t sign a marriage license.
The trio recently has appeared on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”
Since plural marriage is currently illegal in all 50 states, Collier [left] has only been legally married to his first wife Victoria. He is moving to now legalize his marriage with Christine [right] who he wed in a religious ceremony in 2007
Part of me mourns civilization, the other part says: “Good for him!” If he is denied the right to marry he should sue the living hell out Yellowstone County and everyone involved! The Court has ruled!
The Daily Mail has more:
‘It’s about marriage equality,’ Collier said Wednesday. ‘You can’t have this without polygamy.‘
Collier and his second wife were met with confusion when they went to the Yellowstone County court house on Tuesday to fill out the application.
‘So, are you legally married, you didn’t get divorced?‘ one clerk asked, when he saw that Collier marked ‘not applicable‘ on a question asking the dissolution date of his previous marriage.
Collier responded that he was indeed still married and trying to marry for a second time.
‘We’ll have to deny that, let me go grab the other supervisor real quick so I can get confirmation but as far as I’m aware you can’t be married to two people at the same time,’ another clerk said.
County clerk officials initially denied Collier’s application, then said they would consult with the county attorney’s office before giving him a final answer, Collier said.
Yellowstone County chief civil litigator Kevin Gillen said he is reviewing Montana’s bigamy laws and expected to send a formal response to Collier by next week.
‘I think he deserves an answer,’ Gillen said, but added his review is finding that ‘the law simply doesn’t provide for that yet.‘
‘All we want is legal legitimacy. We aren’t asking anybody for anything else. We just want to give our marriage and our family the legitimacy that it deserves,’ Nathan Collier said.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Nathan Collier said he had yet to hear an answer from the county attorney on their decision to grant or deny the marriage license.
However, he says that he has told through ‘other sources‘ that the attorney general’s office is considering charging him for bigamy.
‘I knew the risks I faced when I asked the State to grant legal legitimacy to my family, and I accepted those risks.
‘I only ask that if their intent is to lock me in a cage (and we wonder why they keep asking for more money to expand the jails?!?!?) over my family dynamic, contact me privately and I will walk in your front door. ‘I have no reason to run or hide. Please, don’t kick my door in and shoot my dogs,’ Collier wrote.
Collier goes on to say that he is ‘saddened‘ that his family faces such challenges in the ‘land of the free‘.
‘You can believe that the entire nation is and will be watching your choices and actions. There is no honor in destroying functional families,’ Collier added.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.
Collier, 46, said that dissent inspired him. He owns a refrigeration business in Billings and married Victoria, 40, in 2000. He and his second wife, Christine, had a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 but did not sign a marriage license to avoid bigamy charges, he said.
Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show ‘Sister Wives.’
In the episode, the Colliers hosted the show’s stars – the Brown family – at their home in Billings and discussed their polygamist lifestyles. The Colliers and the Browns had never met before.
The three have seven children of their own and from previous relationships.
In an interview with the Examiner, Nathan Collier said he courted both of his wives at the same time.
He says he fell in love with both and couldn’t choose so they decided to start one family together.
Christine and Victoria said they are so happy with their lifestyle that they are thinking of adding another wife to the mix.
When they first started their family, Victoria and Christine lived in separate houses on different sides of town with Nathan splitting his time between the two.
But now they live together all as one, which they say works better.
‘My second wife Christine, who I’m not legally married to, she’s put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy,’ he said.
Collier said he sent an email asking the ACLU of Montana to represent him in a possible lawsuit. ACLU legal director Jim Taylor said he has not seen the request.
Taylor said he has no opinion on Collier’s claims, though the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage ‘is about something very different.’
Anne Wilde, a co-founder of the polygamy advocacy organization Principle Voices located in Utah, said Collier’s application is the first she’s heard of in the nation, and that most polygamous families in Utah are not seeking the right to have multiple marriage licenses.
All in the family: Nathan, Victoria and Christine Collier pictured top center, surrounded by their children who they are raising as one family in Billings, Montana
If we want to get serious for a minute, we must acknowledge that plural marriage, polygamy, is far more legit than gay marriage. Polygamy has been around for thousands of years. It’s spoken of in the Bible. In many societies it is still practiced, often times with these marriages being arranged. Gay marriage, on the other hand is a construct of the mid-to late 20th Century and has almost no history.
If we, as a nation are going to allow something, whose concept is younger than I am, it’s going to be hard to deny one that is older than the Bible! Especially when the applicant can successfully claim the same 14th Amendment “equal protection under the law” protections that gays were granted by the Court!
Welcome to the brave new world of “anything goes“!