Should I Marry?

Pastor Manywives Asked:

I am a single woman with dual Canadian-American citizenship. One of my best girlfriends, a Canadian, has asked me to marry her in a state where same gender marriage is legal so that she can get an American greencard. The problem is, I was already thinking about marrying my American girlfriend so that she can to move to Canada. To complicate matters, I am a clergywoman with a religious group that is not as open to gay marriage as perhaps it should be. What should I do? Is it legal for me to have wives in two different countries? Is it moral to wed for purposes of immigration? And if I choose to marry one or both of my female friends, what should I tell my church? Any advice will be greatly appreciated! ~ Pastor Manywives from New Orleans

Advisor Jamal answers: This is an easy one to answer. First, you should marry your Canadian girlfriend in the state where same-sex marriage is lawful. You will need to cohabitate and convince credible observers that you are in love with this woman in order for them to truthfully testify before US immigration official tribunal that you are a legitimate couple. With respect to your marrying your American girlfrien, you will want to wait for the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on a case now under consideration in which the the law against polygamy may be ruled unconstitutional since, it is argued, the law infringes on the religious rights of the person. Chances are that the law will be struck down. This will allow you to marry a second wife in Canada. Of course, you would need to prove to Canadian immigration officials that you are cohabiotating and in love with wife #2, and residing in Canada with her. The problem is that if you live in any US State with two wives, you could be charged with polygamy. The obvious answer to the problem is that you should move back to Canada or divorce wife #2 before you return to live in the US.

As for the moral issues surrounding marriage for purposes of immigration, I think I must leave that to Phil to answer since he has a rather, shall we say, ‘robust’ interpretation of morality.


  1. Being from the Netherlands, I am quite open to non-traditional lifestyles and matrimonial arrangements. Personally, I don’t see why you need to discuss your private life with your church.

  2. I’m sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with Bert about what to tell the church about the Pastor’s marital circumstances. I think there should be full disclosure.

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