Utah Polygamy Law Unconstitutional: Federal Judge

Judge basically decriminalizes bigamy

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 14, 2013 11:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Who would have thought the family from reality show Sister Wives would end up potentially making history? A US District Court judge "effectively decriminalized polygamy" in Utah yesterday when he ruled that key portions of the state's polygamy laws are unconstitutional, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The judge sided with Kody Brown, who, along with his wives, filed a lawsuit in 2011 arguing that the law violated their privacy rights.

The judge took issue with the part of the law making cohabitation with non-spouse adults illegal, saying that portion violates both the First and 14th amendments. He struck that part of the law, meaning that though the law technically survived, bigamy is now only illegal when a person fraudulently acquires more than one marriage license.

In this photo released by TLC on Nov. 22, 2010, Kody Brown, center, poses with his wives, from left,  Robyn, Christine, Meri and Janelle, in a promotional photo for the reality series Sister Wives.
In this photo released by TLC on Nov. 22, 2010, Kody Brown, center, poses with his wives, from left, Robyn, Christine, Meri and Janelle, in a promotional photo for the reality series "Sister Wives."   (AP Photo/TLC, George Lange)
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