Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sister Wives and Convicts?

It is disappointing, but not surprising that the Browns, featured in TLC's "Sister Wives," are facing harassment by law enforcement because these consenting adults have dared to consider themselves married. The possible charge is "bigamy," which shouldn't be a crime if everyone is consenting. Laws against consensual bigamy belong in the same dumpster in which we have dumped laws against interracial marriage.

"We looked into it, and we have detectives working on this case now," Lehi police Lt. Darren Paul told Reuters.

Lt. Paul, don't waste taxpayer money to persecute love.

The Brown family released a statement on Tuesday saying they were "disappointed" but were aware of the risks of doing the reality show.

"But for the sake of our family, and most importantly, our kids, we felt it was a risk worth taking," the statement said.

Some people think it is dangerous to show that poly people are just like other people.

Brown is legally married to just one of the women, but counts three others as "sister wives," a term in polygamist sects that refers to a husband's multiple marital partners.

Unless he is legally married to more than one woman, then the unjust laws haven't been broken, right? Well, Utah law says something else, according to this other story.

"If it really goes to a court situation, then our people are going to go right back into isolation," said Anne Wilde, co-founder of Principle Voices, a nonprofit that seeks to educate the public about polygamous families.

That's what the bigots want. They want everyone to stay in the closet.

Although it is rarely prosecuted, bigamy is a third-degree felony in Utah, punishable by a prison term of up to five years. Under the Utah law, a person can be found guilty of bigamy through cohabitation, not just legal marriage contracts.

So exactly how many unmarried poly people have been prosecuted under this law in the last twenty years? Probably none. But call yourself married, and the police will knock on your door. Sad.

"It has been our office's position not to pursue cases of bigamy between consenting adults," the attorney general's spokesman, Scott Troxel, said Tuesday. "We want to use our resources wisely."

That is setting a good example. Police should not waste their time investigating something that Attorney General isn't going to prosecute. Support the freedom to marry!
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