More the Merrier: Who Needs Monogamy in Montana?

Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, was a champion of the same-sex marriage legalization movement.

But even he thinks the idea of one man legally marrying one woman, and then another and another would be ruinous for the nation.

If nothing else, Rauch is afraid legalizing polygamy would allow “high-status men to hoard wives at the expense of lower status men.”

Such could be the case in Billings, Mont., where Nathan Collier, who already has one good woman, wants another.

Nathan’s legally wedded wife, Vicki, thinks it is a wonderful idea for her husband to marry another woman, Christine.

Nathan and Christine totally confused Yellowstone County officials when they applied for a marriage license June 30. The bureaucratic procedure that is completed effortlessly countless times a day in county offices all across America quickly ground to a halt as local officials tried to figure out why Nathan, who is married to Vicki, would think he could apply for a marriage license to wed Christine.

Better yet, why would he want to?

"So, are you legally married, you didn't get divorced?" asked one clerk.

"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," said a supervisor.

The state Attorney General’s Office, as KRTV-TV reported, cleared up all confusion for Nathan, Christine, and the perplexed county officials by affirming polygamy is definitely illegal in Montana.

Christine told MTN News she can’t understand the problem with polygamy.

"It's two distinct marriages, it's two distinct unions, and for us to come together and create family, what's wrong with that?" said Christine. "I don't understand why it's looked upon and frowned upon as being obscene."

In fact, marrying more than one spouse at a time falls into the category of “Offenses Against the Family” and is classified as a misdemeanor in Montana.