As the hearing proceeded, Waddoups zeroed in on the definition of a polygamous relationship. Posing a hypothetical question he asked what the difference was between a polygamous relationship and an unmarried man who chooses to have intimate relationships with three women.
After a series of increasingly heated exchanges, Assistant Utah Attorney General Jerrold Jensen replied that a polygamous relationship is different. He said it was defined by people representing themselves as married.
“I think it’s the representation that they make to the world,” Jensen said.
Waddoups questioned whether the state had created an arbitrary standard for prosecuting relationships.
“The law has to draw a line somewhere,” Jensen argued.
“They have to be rational lines,” Waddoups shot back.The rational line is consenting adults. Adults should be free to share love, sex, residence and marriage with ANY consenting adults.
Waddoups said he wondered if Utah’s bigamy statute was created to “stamp out a religious practice.”Jensen said that religion clearly was a part of past anti-polygamy laws, but also argued that every state has laws that ban polygamy.
Waddoups questioned Jensen for about 40 minutes. Waddoups questioned Turley for about half that.
Turley criticized the states’ reliance on stories and anecdotal evidence to say polygamy fostered abuse.
“I can give stories in the tens of thousands in monogamous marriages where abuse has occurred,” Turley said.There is no good reason to deny adults the right to love who and how they want. The law in Utah needs to go, but it will be just one step along the way. Nationwide, we need to allow freedom of religion, freedom of association, and full marriage equality. Abusers will be easier to find and prosecute if the stigma and criminalizations against plural marriages, polygamy, and polyamory are eliminated. There more at the website's blog.