Sister Wives Stars Use Gay Ruling in Polygamy Case

Hope to use legalized same-sex marriage to protect plural marriages
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2015 8:04 AM CDT
Sister Wives Stars Use Gay Ruling in Polygamy Case
Kody Brown and his wives, stars of the TLC show "Sister Wives," hope to use to Supreme Court's recent ruling on same-sex marriage to gain legal protections for polygamy.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jerry Henkel, File)

The stars of the reality TV show Sister Wives are attempting to use the landmark Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage to protect the polygamous relationships of themselves and others. Kody Brown and his four wives say laws against consensual adult relationships are outdated, even if those relationships are unpopular. "The Browns were investigated and no crimes or harm was found in their plural family," attorney Jonathan Turley wrote in court documents filed this week in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He says the Browns are prepared to go to the Supreme Court to show polygamous marriages can be as healthy as monogamous ones.

In 2013, a federal judge struck down parts of Utah's law banning polygamy, a ruling Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes appealed. The Browns are currently fighting that appeal. However, they aren't looking for full legal recognition like that received by same-sex marriages; they just don't want to be arrested for living together, a part of the Utah law stuck down by the federal judge because it violated the family's freedom of religion. The state still bans multiple marriage licenses, but most polygamous men are only legally married to one woman and "spiritually married" to the rest. (This polygamous trio is considering a lawsuit to make their marriage legal.)

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