Joe Darger and his three wives, Alina, Vicki and Valeri, are not seeking the right to marry, like same-sex couples in states throughout the country. The Utah foursome simply wants their polygamous marriage to be decriminalized.
Joe, Alina and Vicki appeared Friday on “The O’Reilly Factor,” which airs on Fox News. They currently are promoting a book, Love Times 3, which the polygamous foursome jointly authored.
Darger and his wives said they are “independent fundamentalist Mormons” and that polygamy is accepted practice in their faith. As such, said husband Joe, polygamy “goes back five generations” in his family lineage.
Joe Darger is legally wed to Alina. By also taking Vicki and Valeri as his wives, unlawfully, he is subject to arrest on a felony count. Alina told Bill O’Reilly that the four “should have the right to participate in a polygamous marriage.”
If their four-way marriage does not invite enough scrutiny, there is also the matter of their family size. Altogether, the Dargers have 24 children which they financially support, said husband Joe, by an unspecified family business.
Polygamous families like the Dargers explain why most Americans are confused about the Mormon faith, according to a recent poll conducted by Gary Lawrence, a Mormon and author of Mormons Believe … What?!.
In response to the question “Do Mormon’s practice polygamy?” 15 percent of those polled answered “definitely yes,” 31 percent answered “probably yes,” and 22 percent had no opinion.
In the mainstream Mormon faith practiced by such prominent adherents as Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, polygamy is punished by excommunication from the Church of Latter-day Saints.
Unfortunately for mainstream Mormons, their faith is often confused with that of independent fundamentalist Mormons, like the Dargers, who do indeed engage in modern day polygamy.
That confusion could grow even more pronounced with an increasing number of states no longer restricting marriage to one man and one woman.