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August 28, 2014

Polygamy Decriminalized in Utah as Federal Judge Strikes Down Criminal Prohibition

Strange days indeed.

Judge rules banning cohabitation violated religious freedom of the Browns

Kody Brown and his four wives appear in the TLC reality show 'Sister Wives'

Kody Brown, who stars in the TLC reality show with his four wives, filed a lawsuit against the state after leaving Utah fearing prosecution after the programme aired.
Now a federal judge has issued his final ruling in the case that strikes down parts of the state's anti-polygamy law.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ruled that a provision of Utah's law forbidding cohabitation violated the Browns' freedom of religion.

He ruled in favour of the family in December and has now said that Mr Brown and his wives can collect attorneys' fees.

Well, I'm stumped. I just can't keep up with things now.

If I understand this right (and frankly I'm guessing): The law remains one man, one woman for marriage. (Um, except that it can be two guys or two women, I guess.)

In Utah, they prohibited adult men and women who weren't married to each other from cohabitating.

They couldn't live in the same house.

The reason for this is that polygamists would have several non-state-recognized wives, and they'd all live in the same house together. While the state did not recognize the plural marriage, they lived as a polygamist family anyway.

Cohabitation was the means by which polygamists evaded the letter of the law against polygamy.

So Utah banned cohabitation by adults.

And this federal judge has ruled that to be an unconstitutional law discriminating against religion (Mormonism, I guess), so while the state does not have to recognize these marriages, it can no longer act to prevent these non-legal-marriage-like living arrangements, either.

Thanks to @rdbrewer4.


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posted by Ace at 08:02 PM

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