‘Sister Wives’ Win Utah Polygamy Lawsuit

Ruling declares parts anti-polygamy laws unconstitutional

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The family at the center of the reality show Sister Wives is celebrating after a federal judge ruled Friday that key parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws are unconstitutional, and that polygamous families could no longer be arrested on felony charges.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Kody Brown and his four wives on behalf of their family and other fundamentalist Mormons who believe that polygamy brings exaltation in Heaven, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Brown and his family have starred on TLC’s Sister Wives for four seasons. The judge ruled that parts of laws against polygamy violate the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Mormon Church formally banned polygamy more than a century ago, but about 38,000 Mormons who still practice or believe in polygamy may now find it easier to marry multiple wives without facing arrest or felony prosecution.

Under the new ruling, it is still illegal to obtain multiple marriage licenses, but families can no longer be prosecuted for cohabitation with multiple women or “purporting” to be married, CNN reports. Utah’s polygamy laws were previously some of the strongest in the nation.

“While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our beliefs,” Kody Brown said in a statement Friday. “Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”

Some women who left polygamous marriages were disappointed in the ruling, and argued that polygamy encourages abuse against women and children. Kristyn Decker, who spent 50 in a polygamous sect, said that comparisons between polygamy and gay marriage were off-base because of the power structure of polygamous relationships. “It’s not about choice,” she said. “It’s about coercion.”

But supporters of the ruling argued that more social inclusion would make it easier for polygamous families to report abuse. Utah County Attorney Juff Buhman said last year he wouldn’t prosecute consenting polygamous adults unless there were allegations of violence, abuse or fraud.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said he had not yet had time to review the decision, but that legal decisions about social issues make him a bit uneasy. “I’d much rather see decisions on social issues come from our Legislature representing the will of the people,” he said.

[Salt Lake Tribune]

4 comments
AplhaFemale1968
AplhaFemale1968

Wow- this governor has no idea how the United States government is supposed to work. Hey Governor Herbert, read the US Founding Documents. The legislative branches can pass laws, but the judicial branch can over rule them. The US isn't a majority rule nation. The US was designed to protect the rights of the few from the abuses of the many. 

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

The legalization of homosexual marriage will open the floodgates of all sorts of immoral unions..........


2 Peter 2:6

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly....


Jude 1:7

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

TheCarpenter
TheCarpenter

@CrossWinds Before you can you the Bible as evidence you need to produce non-Biblical evidence which proves that the Bible is as valid as you Claim it is.

John3rd
John3rd

@TheCarpenter @CrossWinds  The Bible stands on its own and does not need further validation from any other source.  It has been proven over and over again.  It does not matter if you or I or anyone else believes it or not, it is true because God said it and that's all there is to be said.

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