by Michelle Hogmire
“A legal drama that doubled as reality TV fodder took a turn in the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Monday, as a ban on polygamy was restored in Utah. The court ruling reversed a 2013 U.S. district court decision that determined the state violated polygamists’ right to privacy and religious freedom. […] Previously, this provision had been struck down by a lawsuit from the Brown family at the center of ‘Sister Wives,’ a TLC reality series.”
—“Utah’s polygamy ban restored in big defeat for ‘Sister Wives,’” by Yanan Wang, The Washington Post, 4/12/2016
Upset over the recent 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on polygamy, the “Sister Wives” Brown family and their attorney, Jonathan Turley, have vowed to request a review of the case—or a Supreme Court reconsideration. This reinstated ban disallows married people from residing with other partners, meaning that the Brown family might be engaging in illegal common-law partnerships. Turley stated that the Browns are experiencing discrimination, similar to that of the LGBT community, and he hoped to acquire an amicus brief from the ACLU for the impending case. However, he received something much better—the following brief, submitted by everyone’s friend, everyone’s favorite amicus curiae, Sir Nicholas Cage:
Dear Whoever at Whatever Court,
I, Nicholas Cage, know that these ami-something things are normally chock full of legalese, but—being a man of the people and only believing solely in the contents of my own mind—I’d like to submit my thoughts truly as a friend, without any expectations of repayment (although, you know, we can discuss that later, when the time feels right).
So you people seem to think that these polygamous marriages are icky, somehow. Like they’re misogynist or lead to some kind of abuse, or my favorite “Uh-oh! Next someone is going to want to marry their dog!” If you think a person and a dog are the same thing, fine. I tend to think that I’m the human representation of the Hindu god Vishnu on earth, both because I believe I’m the protector of this world and because I’ve always wanted multiple hands. But do I try to pass laws about that? No, I don’t. Even though I obviously should.
Anyway, I’ve decided to write this brief because I have solid proof that polygamous marriages can work—successfully and happily, without any negative social side effects. For, you see, I’ve been in a polygamous marriage for years now. Yes, that’s right, it’s time that I finally admitted it: I’m married, not to multiple others who exist outside of me, but to myself. I’m married to all the characters in my own head—every person that I’ve ever played in a film.
Let me tell you, polygamous marriages aren’t easy, but they can be rewarding if everyone fills their role. For example, the Rayford Steele version of me from Left Behind is an awful cook, but an excellent dog walker. Or, take myself as Terence McDonagh, from Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Now that guy can be a real dick, but he knows a lot about car maintenance. The dude from Gone in Sixty Seconds, Memphis Raines, makes a great metal band front man. If we all combine our talents together, we get one single successful relationship.
Not that bad, right? That’s all I’m saying. Give the Brown family a chance. Well folks, looks like I have to go: Stanley Goodspeed from The Rock needs my help with something in the shower.
Happy Travels, Fellow Starship Voyagers!
Michelle Hogmire is a literary agent assistant at Barbara Braun Associates and the Business Manager for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She grew up in West Virginia and has a BA in Creative Writing from Marshall University. She currently attends the MFA program at Columbia University and lives in New York City.