Re Lets give polygamy a go (Letters, Jan. 19): Letter writer Brian Smyth suggests sanctioning polygamy. Is he being facetious, or toeing the line of those discredited Mormon fundamentalists living in their compounds in backwoods Utah? To those like Smyth who like to draw an analogy with gay marriage, I would point out that gay marriage is typically a union of equality between two committed, loving people. Polygamy is, by its very nature, an exploitative and degrading relationship. The fact that some people seem not to mind being exploited or degraded does not change the nature of that relationship. Our society should not be in the business of sanctioning exploitative relations. Although there are some people who would like to engage in sexual slavery or child pornography, these activities are illegal and condemned by thoughtful people. Polygamy should remain in the same category.
-- Laurie Westphalia, Sacramento