28 April 2008

Colorado Springs Earns Reputation

The The Colorado Springs Gazette supports systemic forced polygamous marriage for underaged girls in Texas.

If Texas authorities are on a crusade against statutory rape, they have far greater concern than the Yearning For Zion Ranch, where pregnant girls live under the supervision of their parents in a state that allows minors to wed adults with parental consent.

And who cares about polygamy laws? They should carry no more weight than laws against homosexual marriage. Eighteen states, including Texas, have statues or constitutional bans against homosexual marriage and they're almost never enforced. Imagine cops smashing down the doors of a Texas home to arrest two women living in marital bliss.

It is worth noting that one has to be age sixteen and voluntarily entering into a monogamous marriage supported by a marriage license application for a parent approved marriage to be valid in Texas (or for it to serve as a bar to statutory rape -- Colorado similarly prohibits minors from entering into common law marriages).

Likewise, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional laws banning private, non-commercial homosexual sex between consenting adults in Lawrence v. Texas even though states are not required to grant the full privilege of marriage to those relationships.

Decades olders married men impregnating multiple thirteen and fourteen years olds who are strongly encouraged and pressued by their parents and community to do so is apparently right in line with the Colorado Springs values of the The Colorado Springs Gazette. Who knew that pimping was a family value?

There are also, of course, no cases in which two women living together in marital bliss have produced an unwed teen pregnancy, and I can think of any such relationships that have been coerced into being by parents or a religious community.

Then there is what Colorado House Republican leader Mike May has to say about the Republican State Representative from Colorado Springs:

Douglas Bruce might be the worst legislator in the history of Colorado.

Reagan's Eleventh Commandment is dead and gone too, or maybe it has a Doug Bruce exception.


Michael Malak said...

The FLDS raid was trigger by a crank caller in Colorado Springs. Texas CPS has already lost two of the children. Nine more are in the hospital, include a two-year-old for shock and weight loss. In general, children in the Texas foster care system are four times as likely to die as the general population.

The raid was triggered from false evidence, the children are suffering, and nearly a month on there are still no specific allegations of statutory rape.

If the government is willing to knock down the FLDS doors and kidnap children based on a crank call, then it's just a matter of time before they do it to our doors.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The FLDS raid was conducted based upon a valid warrant based upon a false tip. Giving a false tip is a crime and probably a tort as well, but it does not make the matters learned in the process fruit of the poisonous tree (a doctrine that often does not apply in civil proceedings like termination of parental rights cases in any case).

The raid disclosed widespread evidence of serial child rape. The ages of the girls, of the fathers, and of their children speak for themselves on the statutory rape counts. It is simply a matter of using DNA evidence to figure out who begat whom in a matter which proves the case beyond question. The ages and relationships involved make it highly likely that many of those rapes are felony statutory rapes. The group's leader's conviction for forcible rape suggests that in some cases those felony statutory rapes are matters of proof rather than consentual events.

The fact that the parents knew of and encouraged these child-sex relationships amounts to child abuse that is grounds for terminating parental rights, and that is even before we account for the boys whom, it will come out, have been dumped into society without support making them neglected for parental rights purposes.

Has Texas CPS done everything right in the largest CPS raid in U.S. history? No. The separation of the youngest children (incapable of offering helpful testimony) from their mothers was inappropriate. And the Texas foster care system is no national model. But, the baseline rate for child death is extremely low, and the case for taking action in this situation is compelling. We have good grounds to believe that this cult has killed one girl for resisting its authority, and their rejections of modernity test 1st Amendment limits on what one can do to children.

Inaction would be inexcusible betrayal of the children, and would tolerate disregard of serious criminal laws. I would have hoped for better, but this is unlikely to be a recurring trend. There aren't a lot of child rape cults to bust in this country after the FLDS is shut down (and indeed, it isn't clear that the FLDS was always as bad as it is now under new leadership).