Polygamist Sect Men Break Silence
Members 'have been made very aware' of state marriage laws
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2008 1:52 PM CDT
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints walks past sheriffs deputies as they leave the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas, Thursday, April 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Male members of the Texas polygamist sect say they weren’t aware that state law prohibits people under 18 from marrying until after the raid on their compound, CBS News reports. Three men from the Yearning for Zion ranch said on the Early Show that they'll cooperate with court-ordered DNA testing, and one argued that the sect members are misunderstood "because we're closed mouthed."

Refuting allegations of abuse but dodging a question about whether adult sect members marry teenage girls, the man said, "I think that people have a false concept of what our religion is all about." Said another: "We are not a people of force. We do not teach our children to have sexual conduct before they are of age."