This thread is to debate and/or discourse on what I perceive to be the confluence of three trends in modern society, at least two of which are mutually exclusive with the other one.
Polygamy. In a vacuum, there's nothing wrong with multiple people loving multiple people if they're all open and honest with each other. But we don't live in a vacuum. We live in a society where polygamy only means one man with multiple wives. The women are given limited rights and freedoms, and younger men are kicked out of the community so that older polygamist men do not face competition to add younger women to their harems. Given the social woes associated with it, we in the Western World have banned polygamy.
Religion. We value freedom of religion as one of our fundamental liberal values. Moreover, we oppose the government stepping in and limiting the religious freedoms of individuals, due to the massive amount of harm that has historically been done whenever governments have tried to do just that. However, some religions support polygamy. I will point to some sects of Mormons and of Islam as two relevant examples of this in my discussion. These two religions of course differ on a great many points, and an important one, again for this thread, is that Mormons are born and raised in the Western World while polygamist Muslims are born and raised in certain Middle-Eastern regions. Which leads to my third point...
Immigration. People are moving from the Middle-East to the Western World. And many countries, like Canada, have a policy of allowing families to immigrate together. After all, keeping families united is the humane thing to do.
So we now have an obvious problem: how to deal with polygamist Muslim families trying to immigrate into our anti-polygamy Western countries?
1. We know Muslim men are moving in with multiple wives, passing them off as their sisters for example. We've caught some. Lying to immigration is bad. And if we turn a blind eye to this situation, we are effectively creating a back door to polygamy establishing itself in our countries.
2. But what to do when we catch them? If we force the men to pick one wife and turn the others away, we're breaking up families and marriages. Moreover, we're condemning the other wives to pretty bad lives as single mothers with kids in strongly paternalistic and misogynistic countries. However, if we allow the women in as single mothers, naturally after they're in they'll return to their husband and we'll again have created a back door to polygamy.
3. And how is that fair to Mormons? We do not allow them to be polygamists and we break them up when we find them... yet we'll allow Muslim immigrants to be polygamists! So it's forbidden to become polygamist here, but if you're from another country where it's ok you can bring in your wives and continue being a polygamist here. We're creating an unfair system where certain citizens have more rights than others depending on where they were born.
4. The last option is to not allow them in at all. Which means we're denying immigration based on a social and religious definition of marriage. Government-endorsed religious discrimination FTW! And don't forget the slippery slope. Should we also deny immigration from countries that support arrange marriages? Countries with dowries? Countries that do or do not allow gay marriage?
It's quite the mess of a situation, and I don't see an easy way out of it. So I thought I'd open it up to discussion here, to see what our glorious liberal echo chamber thinks of it. I'm curious to get some alternative perspectives on it, to maybe find another option to deal with it.