U.S. Federal Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah's Polygamy Ban

bradl

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Very interesting, this case.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/28/343953743/federal-judge-strikes-down-part-of-utahs-polygamy-ban

Federal Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah's Polygamy Ban
by Eyder Peralta
August 28, 2014 9:30 AM ET

A federal judge on Wednesday finalized a ruling that strikes down part of Utah's ban on polygamy.

The case is high profile partly because the suit was brought forth by the Brown family, the stars of the TLC show Sister Wives. It's also important because as it works its way through the appeals process, it has the potential to become a landmark.

As the Salt Lake Tribune reads the decision, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups says the part of the law that prohibits cohabitation between adults to whom they are not legally married violates both the First and 14th Amendments.

The paper adds:
"Utah law made such a union a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Waddoups said the ban violated the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution.

"Waddoups let stand the portion of the statute that prevents someone from having more than one active marriage license.

"In the final portion of his ruling Wednesday, Waddoups found the Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman violated the Browns' constitutional rights when he oversaw a 2010 investigation into whether the Brown family was committing bigamy. At the time the Browns lived in Lehi. They have since moved to Nevada. Buhman eventually decided not to file criminal charges, but Waddoups said the investigation stifled the Browns' rights to free speech, religion and equal protection."
The AP reports that the Utah attorney general is weighing whether to appeal the judge's decision.

In a blog post, the Brown family's lawyer, Jonathan Turley, said he hopes that the AG will not appeal the case. He said that Americans should not fear prosecution solely because of the structure of their family.

"Neither the Attorney General nor the state of Utah should fight a ruling that reaffirmed freedom of religion and equal protection," Turley wrote. "Utah is a state that was founded by citizens seeking those very rights against government abuse. Utah is a better place because of the courageous decision of Judge Waddoups and the commitment of the Brown family in defense of our Constitution."
I can agree with this decision. When I moved to where I am at now, I was living with my wife, her best friend, and the roommate's 5-year old daughter. If this were Utah, I would have been arrested and thrown in jail for living in such a situation; so would Jack Tripper, if Three's Company was in Utah.

The actual polygamy ban is still there, but Utah's law did go too far, especially if there is nothing further than an amicable relationship between someone outside your intended lover/wife.

BL.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
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Good move Utah. Just a matter of time until people will want to be marrying their pet goats.
 

iBlazed

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That law goes wayyy too far. Utah has absolutely no constitutional right to tell people who they can and cannot live with. That's completely absurd. Why is it so difficult for some states to keep government out of people's personal lives until courts force them to?
 

Southern Dad

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Good move Utah. Just a matter of time until people will want to be marrying their pet goats.
Why do you stretch from polygamy to marrying of goats? Polygamy involves consenting adults getting married to multiple people. Goats are livestock and cannot consent to a marriage.

This door was opened when DOMA was struck down. I can't see how anyone can argue in favor of homosexual marriage but against polygamous marriage.
 

iBlazed

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Why do you stretch from polygamy to marrying of goats? Polygamy involves consenting adults getting married to multiple people. Goats are livestock and cannot consent to a marriage.

This door was opened when DOMA was struck down. I can't see how anyone can argue in favor of homosexual marriage but against polygamous marriage.
Oh you silly conservatives and your lack of sarcasm detection. :p
 

jkcerda

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Why do you stretch from polygamy to marrying of goats? Polygamy involves consenting adults getting married to multiple people. Goats are livestock and cannot consent to a marriage.

This door was opened when DOMA was struck down. I can't see how anyone can argue in favor of homosexual marriage but against polygamous marriage.
adjust your sarcasm meter.
 

Meister

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That law goes wayyy too far. Utah has absolutely no constitutional right to tell people who they can and cannot live with. That's completely absurd. Why is it so difficult for some states to keep government out of people's personal lives until courts force them to?
I wholeheartedly agree. Let's hope the courts stay independent and sane!

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Good move Utah. Just a matter of time until people will want to be marrying their pet goats.
What's wrong with pet goats? :eek:
 

Eraserhead

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I see no problems with polygamy.
No issue with polygamy, I'm not sure about legal polygamous marriage. How do you handle people joining/leaving the marriage? And how do you handle hospital decisions? And how do you stop people using it as a tax dodge?
 

jkcerda

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No issue with polygamy, I'm not sure about legal polygamous marriage. 1.How do you handle people joining/leaving the marriage? 2.And how do you handle hospital decisions?
3. And how do you stop people using it as a tax dodge?
1. pay per view divorce court :D

2 no idea

3 we should all be in the same code, not fair for the single people to pay into some taxes that benefit the education of children if they dont have any, make everyone pay the same taxes single/married.
 

edk99

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No issue with polygamy, I'm not sure about legal polygamous marriage. How do you handle people joining/leaving the marriage? And how do you handle hospital decisions? And how do you stop people using it as a tax dodge?
Tax dodge? In most cases being married you pay more in taxes then single especially when both people work.
 

bradl

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Tax dodge? In most cases being married you pay more in taxes then single especially when both people work.
True, but think about it this way: All of them could claim a child as a dependent, as they all would be the guardian of the child.

BL.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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Why do you stretch from polygamy to marrying of goats? Polygamy involves consenting adults getting married to multiple people. Goats are livestock and cannot consent to a marriage.

This door was opened when DOMA was struck down. I can't see how anyone can argue in favor of homosexual marriage but against polygamous marriage.

It's a slippery slope Southern Dad. Should we make incest legal too?
 

Technarchy

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Interesting considering the feds pressured Utah to ban polygamy for admission to the union.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

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I just don't see any man wanting more than one wife, unless he is completely dominate over the wives. And complete dominance usually comes in the form of a cult like culture.
 

iBlazed

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Interesting considering the feds pressured Utah to ban polygamy for admission to the union.
This isn't going after the actual polygamy ban. Only a section of the law that prohibited married people from living with someone they're not married to was declared null and void by the court. Good thing we have federal courts to bring states back down to earth when they overstep their boundaries huh?
 

SLC Flyfishing

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The law hasn't been enforced in Utah for years, decades most likely. I've lived with people I've not been married to many times while I lived in Utah, and have never made an attempt to hide that fact. I've never been hassled by the law at all.

The law is one of those "illegal to ride a horse backward down main street in july" type of laws. Sure, it was on the books, but nobody was going to be prosecuted, much less do any time, for violating it.

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This isn't going after the actual polygamy ban. Only a section of the law that prohibited married people from living with someone they're not married to was declared null and void by the court. Good thing we have federal courts to bring states back down to earth when they overstep their boundaries huh?
Perhaps they should go after the ban on polygamy. After all, who are we to tell someone he/she shouldn't marry the person(s) he/she loves?
 

APlotdevice

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If they can work out the legal complexities of a multi-spousal relationship, then I'm all for it.
 

dec.

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Why do you stretch from polygamy to marrying of goats? Polygamy involves consenting adults getting married to multiple people. Goats are livestock and cannot consent to a marriage.

This door was opened when DOMA was struck down. I can't see how anyone can argue in favor of homosexual marriage but against polygamous marriage.
Then we have computers, they aren't livestock...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/06/newser-man-wants-to-marry-porn-filled-laptop/8761997/

...but when I asked Siri to marry me, this happened (ignore the fact that she calls me "God", that's irrelevant here...)



(had I asked Google Now I probably would have been told that I'm already married ;) )
 

iBlazed

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Perhaps they should go after the ban on polygamy. After all, who are we to tell someone he/she shouldn't marry the person(s) he/she loves?
I'd be all for it if they could work out all the legal issues. Like for example, which spouse would have the rights to make medical decisions for whom and how would they file joint taxes? I would also be curious to see a study about the well being of children in polygamous families.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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I'd be all for it if they could work out all the legal issues. Like for example, which spouse would have the rights to make medical decisions for whom and how would they file joint taxes? I would also be curious to see a study about the well being of children in polygamous families.
Rights are rights, especially when they are guaranteed by the constitution, as marriage is being interpreted to be.

So the issue of logistics shouldn't prevent someone from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Do you disagree?
 

Southern Dad

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No issue with polygamy, I'm not sure about legal polygamous marriage. How do you handle people joining/leaving the marriage? And how do you handle hospital decisions? And how do you stop people using it as a tax dodge?
Just like we handle any other marriage. They issue a marriage license and they grant a divorce. Hospital decision are just like they are now when two children argue over dad's treatment (after mom is gone). If the parties can't work it out lawyers make money.


It's a slippery slope Southern Dad. Should we make incest legal too?
Really? Incest involves someone who cannot legally give consent. Hopefully, you are able to understand that. Please give any reason that polygamy should be illegal? Why should anyone be able to tell some man, glutton for punishment that he can't have five nags, I mean wives on his butt at all times, as his wives?
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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Really? Incest involves someone who cannot legally give consent. Hopefully, you are able to understand that. Please give any reason that polygamy should be illegal? Why should anyone be able to tell some man, glutton for punishment that he can't have five nags, I mean wives on his butt at all times, as his wives?

As several people have already pointed out to you, your sarcasm detector is faulty.

Oh, I think you might want to look up what incest is? Hint, it has nothing to due with not being able to give legal consent. :rolleyes: