The Tapestry of Polygamy organization is right and wrong. They are right to provide assistance to people who want to leave polygamist groups. However, they are wrong about the governor's remarks.
When Utah became a state, the federal government blackmailed and coerced the Territorial Legislature into accepting provisions in the Utah State Constitution that are contrary to the U.S. Constitution. One of them was the ban on plural marriages, - which, as a then-tenet of the LDS religion, was a blatant violation of the First Amendment. Nevertheless, it was accepted, and the church discontinued the principle.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 family members. Others, such as the LeBaron and King-ston groups, appear to exercise unrighteous dominion and unchristian practices.
Some groups also prey on the public welfare system to support their families.
Back in the '40s, the state began a crackdown on polygamists and threw a bunch of them in prison. The state soon relented, however, when the families, who had been adequately provided for by the fathers, soon became an unbearable burden on the public welfare system. The men were quietly released, and prosecution on a significant scale was never resumed.
Turning to the government to take care of a problem is the worst way to solve it, as the government is sure to do it in the worst way. There are prosecutable laws against child abuse, assault, statutory rape, unlawful imprisonment and welfare fraud. I applaud the efforts of Tapestry of Polygamy and urge them to continue to support anyone who wants to escape a polygamous situation. As a candidate for the Utah Senate, I will support any constitutional measure to help them.
Richard L. (Dick) Partridge
Libertarian candidate, Utah Senate District 24