Polygamy: Court Disagrees Utah’s Ban on Plural Marriage Violates Rights

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polygamy101.jpgFrom The Salt Lake Tribune
By Brooke Adams

A lawsuit filed by a couple who were refused a marriage license when they sought to legally add a second wife to their family should have been dismissed by a Utah district court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, in a 29-page opinion, said the trio lacked standing to challenge the decision by the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office through an attack on the constitutionality of Utah's criminal ban on polygamy.
The judges ordered that a ruling in favor of Salt Lake County be vacated and the original lawsuit dismissed.
The trio, identified as J. Bronson, G. Lee Cook and D. Cook, sued the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in 2004 after being denied a second marriage license. A lower court rejected their claim that the denial violated their constitutional rights.
Their appeal targeted Utah's constitutional ban on polygamy, criminal sanctions for the practice and an 1878 U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibiting the practice.

 

Tango’s Take
Weird that the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on another polygamy trial. Polygamy is so hot right now. Big Love finished another season and managed to take a gentle swipe at Mitt Romney. There’s polygamy news in states outside of Utah, namely the Southeast. It feels like it should be a bigger issue, politically. Is it just too radioactive? Would a politician risk alienating too many people by saying anything about it? Sure, marrying more than one woman (or man) would be tricky. And a number of these families are not really able to provide for themselves. And that sweet 2 on 1 (or 3 on 1) sack time probably loses some of its appeal after a while. But is this really the government’s business? Can’t three consenting adults enter into a legally binding relationship? This sort of throws the ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’ argument against gay marriage under the bus, but don’t we have better things to worry about? Forget it, we’ll just go back to having a family in different parts of the city and hope no one notices.

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