Quantcast
Utah

Federal judge overturns part of Utah's law against polygamy

Comments

Return To Article
  • Nephets Troy, MI
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:57 p.m.

    Worth repeating:
    It has been my view for some time that the federal government, who once took polygamy by force from the Latter-day Saints, would one day be the ones to give it back. Here we see one giant step towards that eventuality.

    It would be the ultimate irony if polygamy were to become legal, but its prohibition among the Latter-day Saints remain.

  • Nephets Troy, MI
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:50 p.m.

    Worth repeating:
    "For all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same." (Doctrine and Covenants 132:3)

    In the last days (whenever that is) seven women will take hold of one man and say, "We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!" Isaiah 4:1
    Amen

  • Nephets Troy, MI
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:22 p.m.

    Herman Frederick Ferdinant Thorup is my great great Grandfather who immigrated from Denmark to Utah on August 8th 1869 with the first Mormon Pioneer Train to Utah. He was sealed to three wives in the SLC Temple. Sophie, Anne Christine, and Jensine. Herman had 21 children, served 3 missions to Denmark. He was sentenced to prison in the Sugarhouse prison twice and served a total of 9 months in prison for polygamy. His father, Herman August Thorup made the doors to the SLC Temple. Herman planted the trees in Liberty Park. He lived faithfully the law given in D&C 132. I will also live this law if it is made legal and endorsed by the living Prophet.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 19, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    For the purposes of this ruling, with the level of legality that this ruling is dealing with, "same sex marriage" has been legal in all 50 states since 2003. In this case we are dealing with laws that make certain forms of polygamy a criminal offense that can lead to jail time.

    That said, Waddoups has not overturned even all criminal laws. The state can still prosecute and send to jail for "bigamy" where it can be argued there was some form of fraud involved.

    This ruling does not, despite what some who are not paying much attention claim, make it so that plural marriage has any legal recognition. This is on the level of the Lawrence v. Texas of plural marriage, not on the level of what Prop 8 dealt with. Waddoups has not said that either the Federal Government or the state of Utah has to recognize in law that any person can have more than one legal spouse at once. The day when Adullah Said may be able to get New York to recognize both his wives he brings with him from Saudi Arabia as legal wives might be close at hand, but it has not come.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 19, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    If being illegal was the only think keeping the LDS Church from reinstituting polygamy, then it would have already done so in some countries. In Swaziland where the church has multiple wards the king has over 20 wives.

    Elder Oaks in his talk in the last General Conference made in 100% clear that plural marriage was against the policy of the church even in places where it is legal, and that participating in it or advocating it is in all places grounds for excommunication.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 19, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    This seems like an article lacking any depth. I think the writer really should have sought to get various voices on the matter, and been more clear in explaining both what the ruling means and what the reasoning behind the ruling was.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    antodav

    TAMPA, FL

    "And so it begins…

    Anybody who denied that gay marriage would create a "slippery-slope" effect looks really dumb right about now."

    -------------------

    I actually think this has more to do with the idea that religious beliefs should be above the equal rights of others more than gay marriage. If you believe that you should be able to live your beliefs - even to the detriment of other Americans (discriminate against gays, etc), you are helping in the cause of polygamy.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    The verses in the new testament where the qualifications for a church leader are listed both include that he be a man of one wife. If polygamy was outlawed for all early church members, Paul would have had no reason to add that restriction. Polygamy was therefore allowed in the ancient christian church. It may have been forbidden to church leaders since having extra wives and kids would demand more of the leaders time which would limit the time he could have to perform his church calling.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 16, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    In the last days (whenever that is) seven women will take hold of one man and say, "We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!" Isaiah 4:1

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Dec. 16, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    @Diligent Dave, Logan, UT

    "So, should this 2013 ruling result in a major long due apology on behalf of the Federal government, indeed, the nation at large, of initially foisting the requirement for this provision on Utah around 120 years ago as a stipulation for Utah being admitted as a state to the 'Union'? "

    Sure Dave just get in line behind Native Americans, African Americans, Disabled Americans,Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Americans and basically any American who is not a white male Christian American. Because as you so keenly pointed out, the LDS church has only been waiting 120 yrs. for an apology. The others that I've mentioned have been waiting far longer than that.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    How about some Federal judge ruling that the taxpayers don't have to subsidize the costs associated with raising their offspring? Would that now be too un-American?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 16, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    In regards to other state laws, it does indeed look like Utah may just be catching up with the rest of the country.

    Here's Utah's code on bigamy:

    Title 76

    Utah Criminal Code
    76-7-101. Bigamy -- Defense.
    (1) A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.
    (2) Bigamy is a felony of the third degree.

    And here's Tennessee's:

    TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED
    39-15-301. Bigamy.
    (a) A person commits bigamy who:
    1) Is married and purports to marry a person other than the person's spouse in this state under circumstances that would, but for the person's existing marriage, constitute a marriage....
    ....
    (c) Bigamy is a Class A misdemeanor.

    Notice that there is no "cohabitation" provision in Tennessee's code -- and notice that bigamy is a felony in Utah, but only a misdemeanor in TN.

    I bet the legality gets complicated by common law marriages, though -- some states have em, and some don't.

    Remember, ALL this court decision does is remove the "cohabitation" provision from the Utah law. It doesn't make polygamy legal.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 16, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    There are some here who speculate that the church will never reinstate plural marriage. Everyone is entitled to his opinion of course. You need to realize though that it is just as much speculation to say that plural marriage will never return, as it is to say that it will. For a Latter-day Saint, the correct answer to the question on whether plural marriage will ever return is, "I don't know." The truth is, there is no official church position one way or another.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 16, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    It has been my view for some time that the federal government, who once took polygamy by force from the Latter-day Saints, would one day be the ones to give it back. Here we see one giant step towards that eventuality.

    It would be the ultimate irony if polygamy were to become legal, but its prohibition among the Latter-day Saints remain.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    Re: "If polygamy becomes legal, could the LDS church reinstitute plural marriage again, since it would then be legal?"

    That's the question that has a lot of us shaking in our boots.

    Here's hoping the Attorney General appeals. That'll at least kick the can down the road.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 15, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    In regards to state cohabitation laws --

    As of 2013, cohabitation of unmarried couples remains technically illegal (almost never enforced) in only three states -- Mississippi, Florida and Michigan.

    However, I still don't know if there are additional laws against **bigamous** cohabitation in these states or in other states.

    Anyone got specific info?

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 15, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    @Clinton --

    "why would it be any more difficult for a woman to get out of a plural marriage than it would be for her to divorce in a monogamous marriage?"

    Oh, I wasn't necessarily comparing it to monogamous marriage. I was saying that it's easier to get out of a polygamous cohabitation than a polygamous marriage, because of the lack of legal entanglements.

    " your inference that incest, abuse, rape, etc. is synonymous with plural marriage is also lacking any sort of factual basis. "

    I never said they were synonymous. I said they all convey a significantly increased risk of harm, compared to other forms of marriage.

    "There is no reason to conclude that plural marriage would breed such behavior any more than monogamous relationships would."

    Of course there is. And there are many research studies which back up the multiple deleterious effects of polygamy, ranging from the spread of AIDS to the abuse and neglect of children.

    @Mugabe --

    "His first wife must be the one to select the additional wives. "

    You are mistaken. In fact, in most countries with legal polygamy, the first wife has no right to refuse when the husband decides to take an additional wife.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Most states have laws against co-habitation, but they are ignored to the detriment of the country.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    I knew it was bound to happen, but I think that people are looking at polygyny, the correct term, as something deviant and perverted. People who practice this in other countries have a different view of it than the western society. It is very well regulated and a man just can't decide that he wants to marry another woman and go do it. His first wife must be the one to select the additional wives. The number of wives is regulated as well, most of the countries I am familiar with, only allow the man to have only four.

    I don't think that this practice was meant for all nations. I sincerely believe that it was only for those who are literal descendants of the nation of Israel.

    No matter what government says about it, it is a law that is given by Heavenly Father, and "For all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same." (Doctrine and Covenants 132:3) It appears from this statement that the law just isn't revealed unto one man, but unto as many as the Lord will see fit.

  • BlueEyesBrittany Paris, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    "For the Lord delights in the chastity of women"

    I have always wondered how much the Lord delighted in the chastity of men too because we, women, surely delight in it and since there are few men who please God in that respect, we feel much safer in every respect steering clear of them.

    I am outraged as how it would be that only women should be chaste and men do not have the same obligation. Another evidence it seems, that religions were created by men who had double standards and make rules that were unequal and favoured them over women.

    No wonder there are more and more atheists if men get exaltation for marrying plural wives and women get the scarlet letter and damnation for doing the same.

    Religions will always outrage me in how they have treated women since the beginning of time. To me, if God does not understand the notion of fairness and same law for all, then we are better without him

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Dec. 14, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    And so it begins…

    Anybody who denied that gay marriage would create a "slippery-slope" effect looks really dumb right about now.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    @ The Walker

    Looks like we are not that perfect in representing church. your personal believes seem to locate people at a wish thinking hope, the church does not teach it rather look at Paul for comparison :

    "3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

    (2. TIM 4)

  • Old Navy Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    Does this mean Kody Brown and his wives are going to move back to Utah? Or are they going to continue living an extravagant lifestyle in Vegas only because of the money they receive from their TV show?

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    @ Diligent Dave / Logan, UT

    We all should be Anti-Polygamists, as speaking about our attitude. Elements seen in Jacob, very clearly.

    How about reading the whole part :

    "27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

    28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

    29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or acursed be the land for their sakes.

    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands."

    Jacob 2

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:31 p.m.

    @Kevin J. Kirkham
    "It should have made it legal for all of the wives to be legally married to him."

    Who'd want more than one wife? Alotta girlfriends, perhaps, but only one wife to nag you.

    To the DNews monitor: Isn't that what this guy, Kody Brown has... alotta (four) girlfriends? He's not married to them and they live with him, so they must be friends. And they appear to be girls. If you agree (and to be fair, you must) then why deny my post?

  • philipcfromnyc Far Rockaway, NY
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    The anti gay marriage crowd will use this ruling as ammunition for their cause. It is therefore essential that those who advocate gay marriage point out thee difference between polygamy and gay marriage -- not one gay marriage advocate that I know of is pressing for the gay equivalent of polygamy. I would like to read the judge's opinion before making any further statements pertaining to this issue -- but you can bet that this comparison will be made.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Polygamy is not, in and of itself, immoral or evil. Some of the great prophets of the Old Testament, including Abraham and Jacob, had more than one wife, as well as some of the modern prophets.

    I personally believe that plural marriage was given to the early saints to help prepare them for the eternities, as that is the kind of union that will be practiced there.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    Dec. 14, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    The only proper marriage is between one man and one woman, because that is what the Lord has decreed in our time.

    Comes the day He approves of plural marriage, or marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, He will so state through His prophet.

    The only proper thing for anyone who disagrees to do is to take it up with the Lord Himself, not with any mortal or group of mortals.

  • CDL Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 14, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    The reality is that this is not only opening the door for men with multiple wives, but women that want multiple husbands. Apparently, it's not legal for multiple 'legal marriages.' This ruling only at least right now allows them to openly cohabitate in the various groups or life styles without recriminations. This is going to be a legal mess when these groups begin to separate, and their are children and properties connected to 'all.'

  • Jil York, SC
    Dec. 14, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    It is just wrong.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    In another case Utah is defending the right of religious people to bypass secular law, defending the right of a baker to not have to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple. If this approach works, wouldn't the Fundamentalists claim their religious rights are being violated if they are not permitted to actually marry more than one person?

  • Clinton Draper, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    @Contrariusier: I disagree with your last statement. If polygamy were legalized, why would it be any more difficult for a woman to get out of a plural marriage than it would be for her to divorce in a monogamous marriage?

    Furthermore, your inference that incest, abuse, rape, etc. is synonymous with plural marriage is also lacking any sort of factual basis. There is no reason to conclude that plural marriage would breed such behavior any more than monogamous relationships would. Those sorts of people simply are, regardless of the sort of relationship they are in. I know several polygamist families who have loving and nurturing relationships with their spouses and children, and tying words like "incest" to these relationships seems quite unfair and unjustified. To claim that gay marriage is "safer" than a polygamous marriage for these reasons seems as ignorant as those who claim that all gay men are child molesters, don't you think?

  • Everyone Gets a Gun Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    So what’s changed? After and years of distancing itself from polygamy the CoJCoLDS is not about to embrace polygamy. Utah won’t embrace same-sex marriage --and other than a very rare exception -- Utah will continue the non-enforcement of the polygamy laws on the books.
    Will Utah appeal the decision? A non-appeal would maintain the status quo. (Polygamy? What polygamy? Not us.) A high profile appeal would only spotlight Utah’s peculiar institution.

  • attyguy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    All government attempts to control who mutually consenting adults love, how they experience passion, and how they choose to associate are doomed to fail as a practical matter. We should all respect each consenting adult's free agency in choosing his/her individual path. We should hope that all people experience true love, great romance and passion. I have been blessed to find those experience within a traditional marriage. I am not so narrow-minded however to believe that my path chosen path is the only way. I do not believe it is my right, or the govenment's to impose that structure on others. If you have experienced: love, romance and passion in your life you should not want it withheld from anyone else.

  • Jefferson Kalispell, MT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    I find it interesting that the impetus for Utah's anti-polygamy law was...........Federal law. 150 years (give or take) later, the impetus for over-turning Utah's anti-polygamy law is.....Federal law. So have the courts ever ruled on the constitutionality of the Edmunds-Tucker act which was passed for the express purpose of outlawing polygamy as practiced by the LDS church at the end of the 19th century?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    The LDS Church isn't going to recognize or support polygamy. Not going to happen. Don't get your hopes up if you are a critic and would love to have one more thing to throw rocks at the Church for, or if you are a man who secretly would desire such a thing.

    Ain't gonna happen.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    RE; Diligent Dave, Polygamy continued despite the promise to abandon it. In 1899, then Apostle Heber J. Grant President would plead guilty to unlawful cohabitation and be fined $100. In 1906, sixth LDS President Joseph F. Smith "pleaded guilty before Judge M. L. Rictchie in the District Court Friday to the charge of cohabitating with four women in addition to his lawful wife." He was fined $300, the maximum allowed .

    RE: rick122948 Jesus, ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, … “you shall not commit adultery”… , honor your Father and Mother(not Mothers), Mt 19:17-19. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God. Commandments not suggestions.

  • Thriller Saint George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    I compare polygamy to alcohol; I have no interest in either but I see prohibition as a bad idea. I'd love to see alcohol become non-existent, think of the lives it would save. But as history teaches us, outlawing something doesn't always work. In fact, in some cases it makes it worse.

    So it is, I believe, with polygamy. If people were allowed to live polygamous lives, there wouldn't be so much isolation, so much oppression from within and demonizing of those outside the population and there wouldn't be the genetic problems. Hopefully, with time, there would be no more polygamous "communities" where people have been forced to gather so they can worship the way they want.

    This is my opinion, of course.

  • Thriller Saint George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    @Contrariusier
    Founder effect and bottlenecks are only a genetic issue when the population becomes isolated (like Colorado City where you find many fumerase deficiency cases). As long as there is gene flow, there will be little to no founder effect or bottleneck genetics associated with having lots of offspring; the alleles dilute into the general population.

    However, by making polygamy illegal, and forcing these groups to isolate themselves then you're absolutely right, you will run into a genetic bottleneck and in the right circumstances (like Colorado City) you get a founder affect and genetic issues such as fumerase deficiency. But if polygamy was able to be more open, the gene flow that comes with being able to mix with the rest of society would significantly reduce any type of founder affect and eliminate the bottleneck.

    Also, look up "effective population size" and you'll see that virtually all organisms everywhere are minimizing the number of males that contribute to the population genetics; that's the whole point of sexual selection.

    So ostracizing a group by making their behavior illegal is what exacerbates the problem; decriminalizing it would only help improve gene flow.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    I understand how people would think that "anything goes" now and I don't approve of that at all. But I am one that can understand marriage only if it involves TWO people. This practice is hurtful to women and has caused much heartache. It is just an excuse for adultery and has been a brainwashing technique to women making them think that they have to do it to "get to heaven". This is untrue and hurtful and I don't believe it will become the norm. After all, women are around 50% of the world and it only makes sense that each woman deserves her own spouse.

  • rick122948 boise, id
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Cohabitation has not been illegal in the United States for the most part from the beginning. Even when the church practiced polygamy, multiple marriages weren't done, simply sealings in the hereafter. Couples have often chosen to simply cohabitate rather than marry legally for any number of reasons from tax benefit to not feeling tied down forever. I know what I believe is right in the eyes of God, but when I want to impose what I believe is correct as the law, I would be acting as Satan to take away others free agency. That I believe is the whole purpose of our mortal existence. We are told as a warning of the abominations of the last days, but we are told to steel ourselves and protect our loved ones. If we try to take others agency away we are acting contrary to heavenly father's plan for which a war was waged in heaven.

  • Al Thepal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    This was a good decision by the judge. But I agree with some that plural marriage can potentially lead to problems so their should be some laws to avoid these things. Plural marriage in and of itself does not necessarily demean women. If a woman wants to marry a man who is already married to another woman or other women and the other woman or women consent, that is their choice. However, the problem with plural marriage is that it can lead to situations that are demeaning to women, and can lead to abuse of teenage girls, if it goes unchecked. Thus, I wouldn't be opposed to additional laws that increase the age of consent to around 21 for someone entering a plural marriage or something along those lines. This age would be set in stone regardless of what the parents say (ie a mother and father can't "allow" their daughter who is younger than this age enter a plural marriage. WIth all this said, I don't see why anyone would want to enter in to a plural marriage. My hands are full enough with one wife, and I am sure she would say the same about me!

  • jpc53 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Two things: same sex marriage is still between only two people and most laws still define marriage as between two people. Polygamists don't necessarily want legal marriage. They would then have to combine incomes and assets when filing for government benefits and paying taxes. It is better off financially to have one legal wife and then a number of "spiritual wives" because the spiritual wives are single parents and their incomes are probably low enough that they can get WIC, SNAP, and the holy grail, the Earned Income Credit on their federal tax returns.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    There are a whole variety of issues that people should be concerned about regarding polygamy.

    Many/most polygamists are experts at gaming the system. They apply for (and receive)welfare while doing their best to hide whatever assets or incomes they have. The polygamists in Colorado City even had their OWN welfare office because they had so many "claims", yet the assets of the church (who were supposedly taking care of them)were numbered in the tens of millions of dollars. It is very difficult to monitor these groups due to the closed society in which they exist.

    The "lost boys" who are kicked out of the clan; usually with very little education. They basically become wards of the state even when they're 19 or 20.

    What happens when the "husband" dies and (apparentally)his wife who has the marriage license gets ALL the assets?

    If we're going to acknowledge and legalize polygamy, there are a whole variety of other laws that should be changed also.

    Just "going along" with polygamy has gotten us the problems we are now seeing in Colorado city.

  • brobrigham Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Go read the 90-plus page ruling. The judge did his homework! Unless we are ready to begin locking up adulterers, there is little way he could have judged otherwise. In this case, only the first marriage was legal. All others were "religious" marriages and not recognized by the state. In the state's eyes, this is a man who is committing adultery with the full support of his legal wife. The only difference is that all involved consider the relationships as marriages. If I take my girlfriend to the woods, we exchange vows, but don't do the proper paperwork with the county, I am not legally married. That is basically what Mr. Brown did. He had ceremonies with three additional women and lives with them as husband and wife, but they are not legal marriages. In the eyes of the state, they are not married therefore he only has one wife and three mistresses. Are there anti-adultery laws in the books? Bigamy is still against the law, "religious" polygamy or "legal" adultery is not.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    The early mormons who practiced polygamy in the 1800's didn't care that it was illegal, why would the church care now even if it was legal (it isn't).

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Dan Taylor

    This isn't the work of the devil. This was a federal judge realizing that preventing consenting adults from participating in a relationship how they choose is illegal. You don't have to agree with what they do, and I'm sure you do things that other people don't agree with. That is life. People need to move on and not worry so much about what other people do, assuming no innocent underage people are being harmed. If there was abuse it is a different story. But abuse happens in all forms of relationships...

  • Archie1954 Vancouver, BC
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I find this multiple wives arrangement to be much more degrading to the sacrament of marriage than same gender marriages. For one thing it demeans women.

  • brainoncapitalist Orem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Oh the irony! The Federal government is telling the State of Utah that polygamy is OK. LOL!

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    The judge did not legalize polygamy. All he did was overturn the co-habitation portion of the law.

    So, yes... the Brown's can live under the same roof. But they are not all married to each other.

    The law is still one woman, one man.

    The comments on this board make it sound like polygamy is legal. It is not.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    This could never happen in new york or california. There, they tend to believe more in traditional marriage.

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    They are married, just cohabitating, or having sex with other women with the permission of the others. So, adultry. Just sad!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    @ Hey It's Me

    Is a 13-year old girl a consenting adult who can legally sign a marriage license? No.

    Your fears can be put to rest.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Rock on makes an excellent point. Having said that it takes all the strength I have to keep up with the one wife.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @somewhere in time, Utah" LDS Church. I don't believe the Church will ever reinstitute polygamy. It served its purpose and is over". Are you absolutely sure? It's a mere formality, at present, for the living. Many husbands today, once widowed, get sealed to another wife. If it gets legalized, it's just a matter of time, IMHO.

  • Gary Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    Not surprised by the decision of the court. The constitution prohibits the government meddling in religious issues and this is one of them. To those who are not happy about this, complain all you want. What you don't realize is the constitution is protecting you so that your religion is safe. This decision proves that the constitution is still alive. That federal law prohibiting polygamy will soon be removed and people will be able to treat each married partner within the law and be respected being in a family protected by the law. It's about time this happened. This isn't about the lds church or any religion against polygamy. People will follow their church leaders. For others in religion where polygamy is encouraged, so be it. To each their own. If you don't like it, then don't do it yourself and let those who do, let them be respected. It's not about who sleeps with who. Its about families such as this one who have this desire with good intentions be allowed. Simple as that.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @Contrariusier
    "it is true that most US states have no serious laws against cohabitating anyway."

    I'm pretty sure none do. I feel like (I could be wrong) what this judge was doing though was saying that you can act like you're married to multiple people, it's just against the law to have multiple marriage licenses at the same time.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic --

    "Seriously? You believe in redistribution of women/wives for equality reasons?"

    Charlemagne is correct. It's not "redistribution" per se, though. But polygamy does tend to create an underclass of poor unmarried men, many of whom are thrown out of their homes and even communities as teenagers. Look up articles about the "Lost Boys" of Utah and Arizona.

    "Not sure what your even trying to say here, but it's not based in any real science."

    Actually, it is. Look up "Founder Effect" and "genetic bottlenecks". Minimizing the number of males contributing to a population decreases genetic variability within that population, especially in isolated groups -- which polygamous communities usually are.

    And now I've gotta leave. It'll be interesting to see what develops on this thread by the time I get back!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    "...Federal judge overturns part of Utah's law against polygamy...".

    Oh the irony of that headline.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Charlemagne said: Polygamy is even worse for society than gay "marriage"!
    "1. If one man like this Kody Brown has four wives that means that three will have none. Why should other men live a life of pain and loneliness because of the narcissistic greed and arrogance of these polygamists?"

    Seriously? You believe in redistribution of women/wives for equality reasons?

    "2. Allowing one man to have multiple wives can create genetic problems when too many individuals ahve the same father." Not sure what your even trying to say here, but it's not based in any real science.

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    Polygamy is even worse for society than gay "marriage"!
    1. If one man like this Kody Brown has four wives that means that three will have none. Why should other men live a life of pain and loneliness because of the narcissistic greed and arrogance of these polygamists?

    2. Allowing one man to have multiple wives can create genetic problems when too many individuals ahve the same father.

    3. What about the so called "lost boys"? I(n order to maintain this lifestyle the "excess" sons are going to ahve to be turned out. As a i said before, Why should other men live a life of pain and loneliness because of the narcissistic greed and arrogance of these polygamists?

  • BlueEyesBrittany Paris, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    (continuation from previous post)

    Women should be well advised to never join a religious system that allows such male privileged and health dangeroous practices and they should also be well advised to never marry any men that belongs to them.

    And since women are becoming more and more relectant to marry because of the health hazards associated with dating and marrying someone who has multiple partners whether official or non official, it is even less likely that anyone will want to marry those whose religions support plural marriages and therefore put each of the women party to such lustufl practice at risk of contracting sexual diseases including the lethal HIV.

    I think all women should go and demonstrate in the streets for allowing a practice that is so damaging to them, to their health, their emotional fulfillment, their financial survival and their equal right to have a fulfilling safe and monogamous marital life.

  • BlueEyesBrittany Paris, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Since most women do not want to marry because of the sexual health hazards related to multiple partners, this is the most unwise and dumbest decision that was ever taken. In addition, it is fair to assume that the law will only allow men to enter into plural marriages and that women will be denied the same right, another evidence that men and religions have always been privileging men over women and are, of course, only made and ruled by men. Of course, this very selfish self-serving attitude towards women are only going to hurt women more and children as well not just emotionally, but also,physically, healthwise and financially and we are not mentioning the inbreeding problems of future generation. No wonder that most women prefer to be single and are increasingly becoming atheists. After all, this is one additional proof that God does not have women's best interest at heart (also,)

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    In countries where polygamy is currently legal, it is still banned by the LDS Church. I don't believe the Church will ever reinstitute polygamy. It served its purpose and is over.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    The difference in this alternative lifestyle and in gay marriage is that gay marriage has only one other partner. The problem that comes from this lifestyle is an increase in abuse (monogamous relationships are not guiltless in this) But we have seen over and over that polygamous relationships cause more problems (and financial is obvious) These types of people normally abuse the welfare system to survive. I'm glad they mentioned that bigamy is still against the law (and always should be) Can you imagine many women being satisfied with a "spiritual" marriage (not legal)? No there are not many that will be and the polygamy groups have many leaving them when they find out how brainwashed they've been. (Those people and probably these people in this story think they have to do it to get to heaven). How sad....

  • attyguy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    Regardless of how government "defines" marriage what makes marriage truly meaninful is our own personal definition of marriage. Traditional marriages only bat about .500. Those marriages don't fail because gay or plural marriage but because of a individual failure to commit and sacrifice. My marriage cannot lessened or weakened because someone else has a governmentally sanctioned right to form a union. The Constitution gives all that right even if it makes others uncomfortable. Those that say marriage means nothing or means less now need to look to themselves and realize only they can make their own marriage special.

    I support all mutually consenting adults be they gay, straight, polygamous, or some other union I cannot think of, in their individual quests to create, satisfying, loving, supportive unions and pray that I might continue to be sucessful with my own.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Oh, additionally --

    I don't have time to look it up this morning -- and, unfortunately, I'll be gone for most of the day -- but I **believe** it is true that most US states have no serious laws against cohabitating anyway. Does anyone else know for sure?

    If this is correct, then Utah is merely coming into better accord with the rest of the country.

    If nobody knows, then I'll try to look it up tonight or tomorrow.

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Diligent Dave, did you read the rest of Jacob 2:23f? Jacob makes clear that monogamy is the standard, unless there are conditions which require the Lord to "raise up" seed unto Him. That appears to have been the case in Abraham's time, when even his own father was practicing idolatry, and also in the fledgling days of the LDS Church, when faithful women were few in number. (Note the word "appears"; I can't assume the Lord's prerogative to speak for Himself, which he does in part in D&C section 132.) IMHO, the groups currently practicing polygamy are on tenuous ground because the normal standard IS monogamy, as the LDS Church now accepts and practices.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    I think this is a fair judgment. It's difficult to prove in criminal terms whether someone is "living in sin" together or merely "roommates", so it's kind of pointless to have laws against the "living in sin" idea.

    This does NOT make polygamy legal -- IOW, polygamy is not legally recognized. And Utah was ignoring most cases of informal polygamy already. People like Warren Jeffs have mostly been jailed for rape and similar charges, not for living with multiple women.

    @Kevin --

    "Why is polygamy illegal? "

    @Thid --

    " If a man can marry another man and a woman can marry another woman, who can say what else people can't marry?"

    The difference is harm. Polygamy, incest, etc. carry a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage. Gay marriage does not.

    As long as polygamy is not officially sanctioned -- as long as there are no legal ties between husbands and wives -- then it is still relatively easy for the wives to break away if needed (notice I said "relatively"), compared to having officially sanctioned ties. That fact, combined with both privacy rights and the difficulties in prosecution that I mentioned above, explain the court's decision here.

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    I am not a fan on gay marriage or polygamous marriage. However, to make one legal and not the other seems unfair. Neither falls within the traditional definition of marriage. Gay folks say that they should be able to marry anybody they like of any sex they like. I don't see a lot of difference between this and the concept of being able to marry as many people as you like. If all parties agree, then whose business is it? Gender, quantity, who cares? When you try to redefine marriage, you open the door for anything and everything. Next thing you know, people will be marrying their pets or their televisions. And why not? If the definition is not "between a man and a woman", why have a definition at all?

    I don't hear about government removing children from adults involved in extramarital affairs. So why would they be taking away children from polygamous families? Seems hypocritical. If the government wants to take away kids from a reasonably stable, albeit untraditional, home, then they ought to also confiscate any child with unwed parents. DNA test every baby to see if it has married parents. It's only fair.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    So how does Health insurance work in the case of so many wives and children? So does a 54 year old man get to marry a 13 year old girl next, because they are in love? This will be the next case in the news paper.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    The federal government forced Utah to prohibit polygamy in the state constitution in order to become a state. They further prohibited changing that part of the constitution without congressional approval. Now a federal judge opens a huge loop hole effectively nullifying the intent of the federal governments micromanaging of the state constitution.

    Adultery and fornication are so destructive to society that they should be prohibited. Having children out of wedlock usually condemns the mother and her children to life long poverty, and government social programs. The cost is so high that every reasonable society prohibits adultery and fornication.

  • Dan Taylor Keyser, WV
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    just another example of the way the world is going. (Messed UP!) Satan is at work harder than ever! It's just a comforting thought to know that he looses in the end but a shame for those he captures in the process.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    On the one hand, if sexual preference cannot be discriminated against, polygamy is just another choice.

    On the other hand, if this handsome guy, with 4 wives, takes an interst in your daughter, she is fair game (if she is over 16 or whatever age applies).

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    I live in Saudi Arabia and I think that the practice of polygamy has hurt them. And they have more restrictions on its practice than one would expect in the US. The husbands seem to take a hands off approach and that translates into a general permissiveness in all sorts of things outside of their family life.

    One friend of mine has 50 children and he complains that the younger generation doesn't have his work ethic. I think, "Well, geez, maybe you should have more one on one time with each of your children." Or, "Hey why not get your family together one night a week and talk about values, and good behavior. You could do it somewhere . . . in an auditorium."

    Their situation is an example of the multitude of problems that can arise when we change the formula of marriage from one man, one wife in a committed lifelong relationship so that they can properly raise the children which will arise out of their union.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Dec. 14, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    Well then, how about making same-sex marriage legal in Utah?? It's legal now in 16 other states and other countries are letting their citizens marry who they love. This has no effect whatsoever on traditional marriage and same-sex couples are raising adopted children in loving, nurturing homes. It's time. Legalize love.

  • macnkat BEAUMONT, CA
    Dec. 14, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    Plural relationships must be looked at in the same way we look at same sex marriages. If we are going to accept one, we must accept the other. And while I do not support same sex marriage, I can support plural marriages much easier.

  • rondonaghe Mesilla/USA, NM
    Dec. 14, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    The Mormons of Utah were extremely active in the passage of Prop 8 in California, which fought to prohibit same sex marriage, and the proponents of Prop 8 and other people arguing for such restrictive laws across the US argued in part that gay marriage would destroy the traditional meaning of marriage, some going so far as to say that same sex marriage would make it possible for people to engage in group marriage. Traditionally, in Mormon history, one man could have many wives. And here we are again with a polygamous marriage in this story. It was NOT same sex marriage that caused this group marriage nor which made this marriage of one man and four wives possible or desirable. I only wanted to point this out so that next time when a person argues against same sex marriage, let them remember this one and others like it all across Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, where polygamy is alive and well.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    So, should this 2013 ruling result in a major long due apology on behalf of the Federal government, indeed, the nation at large, of initially foisting the requirement for this provision on Utah around 120 years ago as a stipulation for Utah being admitted as a state to the 'Union'? And, for the severe persecution of it's members, and those who practiced this among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?

    Of course, for members of the current LDS Church, the ruling should not be problematic. Though it was the greatl and intense and punishing pressure brought on by this nation in the 19th century that resulted in the 'Manifesto' issued by President Wilford Woodruff, banning polygamy, The Book of Mormon made clear that permission to practive polygamy, at least until indicated otherwise by God, through the president of this Church, remains in effect—

    "For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife...For if I will, saith the Lord .... raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    —Book of Mormon / Jacob 2:27,30

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    I knew this day was coming. If a man can marry another man and a woman can marry another woman, who can say what else people can't marry? The term "marriage" mean nothing now! After all, we wouldn't want to discriminate would we?

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Dec. 14, 2013 3:31 a.m.

    If polygamy becomes legal, could the LDS church reinstitute plural marriage again, since it would then be legal?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 2:06 a.m.

    The judge made the correct decision. However kicking male teens out of a house and community to make room for polygamy ought to be severely punished by law.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    The slippery slope has been slipped and we're into the slop. If co-habitation is cool, and gay marriage is the rage, tough to argue against polygamy. None of it makes sense to me so I can now be the shouted down, politically incorrect person. It all comes down to the idea that if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:59 p.m.

    This is good news. Why is polygamy illegal? They aren't asking to have more than 1 legal marriage. Why is it illegal for them to do what they do, but it's legal for a married couple to bring in 3 other women for then man to sleep with...as long as he doesn't call them "wives"? This is a victory for freedom of religion and common sense. I think it didn't go far enough. It should have made it legal for all of the wives to be legally married to him.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    So if I read the article correctly, it's OK to cohabitate with several women but illegal to live with those same women as "wives."

    Adultery is very fashionable, isn't it? (And legal, apparently, too.)

  • StaciLynn Richfield, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    Although I am not a fan of this lifestyle in general it seems that these are grown adults who made a decision to enter into this group relationship after they were considered adults, not young teens. I've seen more disgust in reaction to this & similar "marriages" than to those who cheat on their spouses where the partner is often completely unaware of the cheating spouse's actions. These people at least know the history of each individual & have some say in who is involved with their spouse. They also have the support of the other partners when it comes to the raising of their children, help when one is sick or otherwise unable to function at their normal level. Hopefully overturning this part of our law will make it easier for those who are in abusive situations to come out & seek help without the fear of being investigated themselves & the fear of loosing their children based on this one action in their lives. Honestly there are far worse situations children in our state are exposed to in all types of family dynamics than plural marriage that is entered into with grown adults who have chosen this lifestyle.