Good. While it is not a lifestyle choice I would peruse, I most certainly feel any consenting adult has the right to be in the relationship they choose without oppressive laws, bans etc.
Quoting MeAndTommyLee: Good. While it is not a lifestyle choice I would peruse, I most certainly feel any consenting adult has the right to be in the relationship they choose without oppressive laws, bans etc.
District court ruling finds key parts of Utah polygamy laws unconstitutional.
By Jim Dalrymple II
| The Salt Lake Tribune
A U.S. District Court judge has sided
with the polgyamous Brown family, ruling that key parts of Utah’s
polygamy laws are unconstitutional.
Judge Clark Waddoups’ 91-page ruling, issued
Friday, sets a new legal precedent in Utah, effectively decriminalizing
polygamy. It is the latest development in a lawsuit filed by the family
of Kody Brown, who became famous while starring in cable TV channel TLC’s reality series "Sister Wives." The show entered a fourth season at the end of the summer.
"The court finds the cohabitation prong of the
Statute unconstitutional on numerous grounds and strikes it," Waddoups
Utah’s bigamy statute technically survived the
ruling. However, Waddoups took a narrow interpretation of the words
"marry" and "purports to marry," meaning that bigamy remains illegal
only in the literal sense — when someone fraudulently acquires multiple
The Browns could not immediately be reached
Friday night, but issued a statement through their lawyer calling the
decision humbling and historic.
"While we know that many people do not approve
of plural families, it is our family and based on our beliefs," Brown
wrote. "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."
Jonathan Turley, the attorney representing the
Brown family, called the opinion "magnificent" Friday in a phone
conversation. In a blog post, he added that it strikes down "the
criminalization of polygamy" and will allow "plural families to step out
for the first time in their communities and live their lives openly
among their neighbors."
"Regardless of how you feel about the legal
issues in the case," Turley told the Tribune on Friday, "this is a
decision that was rendered after considerable amount of reflecting and
consideration by the court."
Turley explained that the ruling means everyone
is entitled to freedom of religion as well as due process. He also
expects the ruling to stand up over time, and potential appeals, which
the Utah Attorney General’s Office has indicated in the past it might
Joe Darger, who with his three wives detailed their life in the book "Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage,"
praised the decision and said it would change the future for Utah’s
polygamists. He said that he learned of the victory Friday night when
Kody Brown called him. The call was unusual — the two men don’t call
each other frequently, he said — and when he learned of the ruling he
"It just caught us off guard," he said. "It’s like Christmas came early."
Darger added that his 25th child, a girl who was born Dec. 10, will face an entirely different future as a result of the ruling.
The Browns filed their lawsuit in July 2011,
arguing Utah’s law violated their right to privacy. The family’s
argument relied primarily on the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that
struck down the Texas law banning sodomy, which was celebrated by gay
At the time, Utah Attorney General Mark
Shurtleff responded that the bigamy law is different because it involves
entire families, not just consenting adults.
The lawsuit also came at a time when the Brown
family faced possible prosecution from Utah County. However, nearly a
year after the Browns filed their lawsuit, Utah County District Attorney
Jeff Buhman announced that his office wouldn’t file bigamy charges against any consenting adult polygamists unless violence, abuse or fraud was involved.
During arguments in January over the lawsuit,
both sides engaged in a conversational and sometimes heated exchange
with Wadduops. For much of the hearing, Wadduops zeroed in on the
definition of a polygamous relationship. Posing a hypothetical question,
he asked what the difference was between a polygamous relationship and
an unmarried man who chooses to have intimate relationships with three
After a series of increasingly heated
exchanges, Assistant Utah Attorney General Jerrold Jensen replied that a
polygamous relationship is different because it was defined by people
representing themselves as married.
"I think it’s the representation that they make to the world," Jensen said.
Waddoups also drilled Turley. During that
conversation, Turley argued that Utah has a unique bigamy statute
because it makes it illegal for married people to cohabitate with adults
who aren’t their legal spouse.
"Other states focus on multiple marriage licenses," he said.
Turley also criticized what he characterized as anecdotal evidence to say polygamy fostered abuse.
Months passed after the hearing without any
developments, though many speculated that Waddoups was waiting for U.S.
Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage before making a decision. However,
those rulings came and went in June and still the Browns’ lawsuit remained unresolved.
Turley pointed out Friday that abuses against
spouses and children in monogamous and polygamous relationships will
continue to be prosecuted.
According to Darger, who has lobbied in favor of polygamy in the past,
the next step will be focusing on equality, education and overcoming
bigotry. However, with polygamy decriminalized he does not anticipate a
push to go one step further and legalize plural marriages. Darger said
other causes will consume his energy in the future and he and other
polygamists would prefer simply to have less government involvement in
All consenting adults should be allowed to be in whatever type of relationship they want.
Quoting PrimmednPunked: All consenting adults should be allowed to be in whatever type of relationship they want.
I agree. I don't really care if they are legally married. However, it shouldn't be illegal to live together! How is that not complete government intrusion in the bedroom?
Truthfully, if DH and I had to do it all over again, we wouldn't have been married through the government. We would have just covenanted through God. IMO, the government has NO place in my marriage.
"While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our beliefs," Brown wrote. "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."
Works for me.
Polygamy isn't something I would choose but I don't see a problem with allowing it.
I absolutely believe that this should be legal between consenting adults.
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