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Hello, my name is Tyler. I am 19 years old and I have lived in a polygamist culture for most of my life. I have made the choice to someday live this principle. I don’t

expect you to understand my reasons for my choice, but I do expect you to respect my ability to do so. This is a choice many people have made in the past, and

because they made this choice they have been alienated, they have been persecuted and prosecuted but they’re resolve remained. Mankind has always persecuted what

they don’t understand; sadly that has been a natural reaction to anything that challenges the status-quo. But because you are ignorant of something is no reason to want

to destroy it. Understanding and reason are two of our greatest tools as human beings. In the heart of every American is written the immortal second sentence of the

Declaration of Independence. This promise has been a source of hope and a vision of a better life for many immigrants all over the world, but because of our beliefs we

have been denied this promise. Because of their beliefs many of our people have been incarcerated and had many of their basic human rights stripped from them-namely,

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I did not come here today to ask for you permission to live my beliefs, I shouldn’t have to. I have come here to defend a

principle I hold so dearly. As Thomas Payne once wrote: “The time of the sunshine patriot and the summer soldier is over.”  

 

These are the times that try men’s souls.