The State of New York just passed a law allowing same sex-couples to marry. Opponents of same-sex marriage complain that the practice undermines the institution of marriage. Therefore, Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, which bared federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allowed states to do the same. DOMA also created a federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse”. Marriage is defined as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” and spouse is defined as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”
To all those who really want to defend marriage, I say that nothing undermines the institution of marriage more than sociopaths who use the institution to defraud others. I spoke with someone yesterday who is trying to protect a friend from just such a situation. The sad truth is that it is not a crime to lie your way into a marriage then use the marriage to prey upon an innocent spouse.
In most states when couples apply for a marriage license they have to raise their right hands and swear the information provided is true. Sociopaths have no problem honestly swearing to false information. As Sandra Phipps of Fight Bigamy says “Getting away with multiple, fraudulent marriages in our country is a snap.”
With the help of Sandra Phipps, I surveyed victims of bigamy about their experiences and asked them to complete the PSCAN an instrument developed by Robert Hare to allow non-clinicians to share information about another person’s psychopathic personality traits. I presented the results of this survey at the May SSSP meeting. It is no surprise that all of the bigamists score in the very high level of concern for psychopathy range.
I would go as far as to say that Marriage fraud other than for immigration is likely the only crime committed only by sociopaths. Furthermore, family members especially parents and spouses are the primary targets of sociopaths.
If we really want to “defend marriage” we have to enact laws that make marriage fraud a crime. Why shouldn’t it be illegal to lie your way into this social contract? Why shouldn’t those who commit bigamy get more than a “slap on the wrist”? Authorities routinely say to bigamy and marriage fraud victims “You should have been more careful.” These statements are based on a “blame the victim” mentality that could be applied to many crimes.
The true defenders of marriage need signatures for their petition to develop a National Marriage Database. I encourage you to sign the petition but also say we need to go further and make marriage fraud a crime.
Click here now to Sign the petition
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