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Polygamy Ban Is Unconstitutional, Says Utah Judge

Jillian Morabito |
December 15, 2013 | 12:49 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

The Brown family (via Twitter/@TopixPolitix)
The Brown family (via Twitter/@TopixPolitix)
U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups said that polygamy is “religious cohabitation” and it is, thus, unconstitutional to ban it. 

The case was brought by the Brown family, stars of the TLC reality show “Sister Wives.” The family was going to be arrested and had to move to Las Vegas. Thus, they filed a lawsuit in 2011 and citied freedom of religion in their claim. Kody, the husband, said that he is "humbled and grateful" for the judge's ruling. 

“It is a moment in which all Utahans should take pride and celebrate not in the name of polygamy but of privacy. So congratulations to the Browns and to the people of Utah on a truly momentous day,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer Jonathan Turley.

The ruling does not make polygamy legal by marriage, but allows people to be in a relationship with multiple people and living together. There will no longer be the threat of arrest for families choosing to live this lifestyle. 

There are an estimated 38,000 polygamists living in Utah and nearby Western residencies. Many fundamentalist Mormons still practice polygamy, though the church outlawed it in 1890. 

Reach Executive Producer Jillian Morabito here. 



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