Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Will Sister Wives Go to Washington?

Reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a challenge to Utah's anti-polygamy laws.
Good for them. The law in Utah is even more discriminatory than the laws in the rest of the states, unconstutionally criminalizing polyfidelity.
Brown and his four wives, Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn, plan to file a petition for certiorari with the nation's top court, challenging the state's ban on polygamy. The petition, filed Monday, basically focuses on whether the Browns really faced a threat of prosecution from Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman.
Brown family attorney Jonathan Turley argued they do.
"Mr. Buhman and his colleagues appear to value the law precisely because it can be used pre-prosecution for investigations and corresponding searches, which may only last hours or days," Turley wrote. "However, plural families and cohabitating adults must live under the constant threat of being subject to a different and easier threshold for searches since their very family structure is all that is needed to justify investigations."
Someone may try to defend keeping a bad, unconstitutional law on the books by saying that it isn't enforced often, or is only enforced against people who are doing other crimes. It's not true. All it takes is a power-hungry person with prejudice to use a bad law to harass people, drag them into court, split up their family, and other discriminatory actions.

If someone is involved in domestic violence or child abuse, they should be prosecuted on those bases, and it will be easier to get victims and witnesses to work with law enforcement if consensual adult relationships aren't criminalized.

Reality TV polygamists (left to right) Meri, Janelle, Robyn, Kody and Christine Brown.
Reality TV polygamists (left to right) Meri, Janelle, Robyn, Kody and Christine Brown.
"It needs to change. It's beyond time for it to change," said Vicki Darger, a polygamous wife living in Utah with her husband and two sister-wives.

Since the 10th Circuit Court ruling, the Dargers have been effectively reclassified as "felons." Joe Darger said he cannot legally purport to call Vicki as his "wife," even though he lives with her and has children with her.
"If we're going to prosecute it? Arrest us!" Joe Darger told FOX 13. "If not, treat us like every other citizen."
It's ridiculous and harmful to criminalize consensual adult relationships.

Polygamists Alina, Valerie, Joe and Vicki Darger. (Image courtesy the Darger Family)
Polygamists Alina, Valerie, Joe and Vicki Darger. (Image courtesy the Darger Family)

You can read the Brown family's petition to the Supreme Court here.

It's very simple: 1) Are they adults? 2) Do they consent to this relationship? If the answers are yes, let them be! There is no good reason to deny consenting adults their rights to be in a relationship or to marry.

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