Polygamists Fight to Be Seen As Part of Mainstream Society
SALT LAKE CITY -- In her battle to legalize polygamy, the only thing Valerie hasn't revealed is her last name. The mother of eight has been on national TV; her photo along with that of her two "sister-wives" has graced the front cover of a glossy magazine dedicated to "today's plural marriages."
She has been prodded about her sex life: "He rotates. It's easy -- just one, two, three." Quizzed about her decision to share a husband with two other women: "You really have a good frame of reference when you marry a man who already has two wives." Interrogated about what it's like to live in a house with 21 children: "Remodeling a kitchen, that's no small feat with three wives and a husband involved."
All the while, the petite brunette with a smile as bright as Utah's sky has insisted that she's just like you and me: "I'm a soccer mom. My kids are in music lessons. They go to public school. I'm not under anyone's control."
Valerie and others among the estimated 40,000 men, women and children in polygamous communities are part of a new movement to decriminalize bigamy.