The Tapestry of Polygamy organization has it both right and wrong. They are right to provide assistance to people who want to leave polygamist groups. They are wrong about the governor's remarks. Like most people who have been indoctrinated in the government school system, they simply do not understand the Bill of Rights or the proper role of government.
When Utah became a state, the federal government coerced the Territorial Legislature into accepting provisions in the Utah State Constitution contrary to the U.S. Constitution. One of them was the ban on plural marriages, which, as a tenet of the LDS religion, was a blatant violation of the First Amendment. But it was accepted and the church discontinued the principle of plural marriage. Some apostates and others have continued the practice, and some of them seem to be genuinely concerned with the welfare and free agency of their members. Others, such as the LeBaron and Kingston groups, appear to exercise unrighteous dominion and exhibit un-Christian practices. The answer, however, does not lie in prosecuting people who consensually practice polygamy. Turning to the government to take care of your problem is the worst way to solve it, as the government is sure to do it in the worst way. The government's War on Poverty has only increased poverty, the War on Drugs has expanded drug use, and a War on Polygamy can be relied upon to give us more of that in the worst way.There are prosecutable laws against child abuse, assault, statutory rape, unlawful imprisonment and theft by welfare fraud. I applaud the efforts of Tapestry of Polygamy and urge them to continue to support anyone who wants to get out of a polygamous situation, and, as a candidate for the Utah State Senate, I will support any constitutional measure to help them.
Richard L. (Dick) Partridge
Libertarian candidate, Utah Senate District 24