As many as 40,000 people live in polygamous families in Utah and parents are stepping up efforts to make plural marriages legal, reports the BBC. The lobbying organization Principle Voices is pressing for state law changes. Authorities rarely crack down on polygamous families unless they're linked to child brides or sex assaults because there are too many to prosecute, according to officials. The lifestyle has recently been popularized in the HBO series Big Love.
"I see myself as a free man in a free society," said one polygamist, who recently attended a conference to hear about the issue from state politicians. One lawmaker praised polygamists' values. "I'm not being soft on them," he said. "But I don't have the resources to throw them all in jail. I hope they now work through the process of changing the law if they disagree with it."