Polygamists Point to ‘Gay Marriage’ in Fight Against Utah’s Appeal of Polygamy Ruling

Sister WivesSALT LAKE CITY — An attorney representing a polygamist at the center of the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” is pointing to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage” in his fight against Utah’s appeal of a federal decision striking down the state’s ban on polygamous cohabitation.

“From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to coerce or punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions,” attorney Jonathan Turley wrote on behalf of plaintiff Kody Brown.

“This case is about criminalization of consensual relations and there are 21st century cases rather than 19th century cases that control,” he said.

“Homosexuals and polygamists do have a common interest: the right to be left alone as consenting adults,” Turley also told reporters in 2011. “There is no spectrum of private consensual relations—there is just a right of privacy that protects all people so long as they do not harm others.”

As previously reported, Brown of the TLC reality show Sister Wives, along with his four “wives,” Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, filed suit in 2011 to challenge parts of the law that they claimed violated their privacy rights.

The five had been under investigation by state officials for violating the statute, and moved to Nevada to escape punishment. Brown is married to one of the women, and considers his relationship with the other three women as being “spiritual unions.” He has fathered 17 children with his four lovers.

While all states prohibit bigamy–entering into multiple marriages–Utah also bans residents from living together in a polygamous relationship. Brown, a member of the Apostolic United Brethren Church, a fundamentalist Mormon sect, contended that such a prohibition violates his freedom of religion.

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In December 2013, Judge Clark Waddoups, nominated to the bench by then-president George W. Bush, sided with Brown in determining that Utah’s prohibition on polygamist cohabitation violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and interfered with the right to privacy. He pointed to the 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy in the nation, and differentiated unmarried sexual conduct from criminal bigamy.

“Consensual sexual privacy is the touchstone of the rational basis review analysis in this case, as in Lawrence,” he wrote. “The court believes that Plaintiffs are correct in their argument that, in prohibiting cohabitation under the statute, ‘it is, of course, the state that has equated private sexual conduct with marriage.’”

Therefore, because Brown does not claim to be married to all of the women–nor does the state ban cohabitation in premarital or adulterous relationships—Waddoups threw out the cohabitation section of the statute, while upholding the prohibition on bigamy.

Last August, Waddoups issued his final ruling in the matter, striking the law and ordering the state to pay Brown’s attorney’s fees surrounding the lawsuit. Officials in Utah then appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in May, asserting that polygamous relationships are harmful to women and children.

“Utah has an interest in regulating marriage because it is an important social unit, and this interest remains as this court has recently recognized regardless of how other state provisions regulating marriage are evaluated for their constitutional soundness or infirmity,” Utah Solicitor Parker Douglas wrote in his brief.

But Brown and his attorney are contending otherwise in their submission to the court this week.

“By only striking the cohabitation provision, the district court left Utah with the same law maintained by most states in the Union prohibiting bigamy,” Turley wrote. “What was lost to the state is precisely what is denied to all states: the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens.”

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  • Emmanuel

    I can see the left jumping on board with this one. They will raise money for this. As long as Jesus is not mentioned, they are for it.

    • Names_Stan

      You should put a prove-by date on that prediction. Since the story seems to have been released on July 13, and there have only been 15 tweets total, it looks like a complete lack of interest rather than fundraising.

      But regardless how small this group is, the issue is a perfect analogy of how unwise it is for government entities to sponsor religion of any kind.

      Airports like JFK reportedly already have chapels or churches or something. Airports that do will now have to build one of everytjing. And if you count different Christian denominations, they won’t have room for hundreds of “prayer rooms” to accommodate every branch belief.

      Therefore, it once again makes the early American leaders look wise indeed, and these entities should tell all groups they can locate their own places of worship.

    • Psygn

      Its a non-issue as long as all religions or beliefs interested in a worship room are treated and-or represented equally.

  • bowie1

    I thought perhaps these rooms would be multi-faith ones where each brings their own religious items (idols?).

  • Matilde Tavares

    Think best is all of them closed. God is a Spirit & those that worship Him. Will worship Him in Spirit & Truth!! No need for special anythings…

  • Leslie

    By all means bring in the false idols…cue the violins, we’re going down in flames, we’ll need some Roman music and more cowbell, of course. Hindus have the Golden Bull they worship as a main deity, does that sound familiar?

    • Rathish

      People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others… If you feel Hindu worship is odd, equally odd do Hindus feel when they see people kneel down before a man in loin clothes helplessly hung on a cross and worship him as god.

      • Leslie

        Maybe it’s odd to you, I can accept that. More of a Catholic thing the Jesus on a Cross statue so I don’t worship that image although ISIS seems to be bringing back that old Roman tradition. I’m not sure that worshiping Jesus who did many miracles can compared to a man made statue. I manufacture in India so I have the utmost respect for the Indian people in kindness, intelligence and ingenuity but I do get worried about the souls of my friends there even though I do well wishes for the Diwali Festival of Lights, every year.

        But our country was founded on Judaic- Christian principles. Washington entered a covenant with God on the founding day when he laid a hand on the Bible. He also said to the effect that should God ever be removed, God has every right to take us down. So as God is removed are we “going down”? Morally, financially, ethically and morally? Yes. What did God say…worship no false Gods before me and what did the Jews do in the desert, created the statue of Baal and started worshipping the Golden Bull. And God was pissed, I think it was snakes after that until they turned back with Moses help. Kind of weird and prophetic that now the Golden Bull will show up again, right? All the Bible prophecy are coming to pass you should read the Book first, see what you think.

        Know why we had public schools started, the reason was so everyone could learn to read the Bible, not only clergy like the Catholics did but everyone. They issued a Bible to all military members for a while as well. This is a Christian country. So no offense but no false idols either.

        • Rathish

          The US is as much Christian as India is Hindu. However both nation states have pledged to remain Secular. So if there are Prayer rooms for Christians an Muslims, there should be Hindu Pooja rooms with idols of our Gods of our choice. That is the right of Hindus who are the Citizens of the US. If the US government cannot provide it, they should stop lecturing India about the religious equality.

          I have been hearing in this forum about false God / false idol etc. Who gave you the rights to define what is true and what is false? Every scripture declare their respective God as true and others as false. I am sure it hurts you if I post Sri Krishna or Sri Rama or any of numerous manifestations of Hindu Gods as truth and Jesus as fake or false God. It all depends on whom you are following. The least I expect from you guys is to respect other religions.

          • Leslie

            No, incorrect. It’s a Christian nation, the only one founded on Judaic-Christian principles. That’s a fact. They will establish no religion that they mandate everyone following like the UK the founder left. That was because every time a new king overthrew the throne they would switch Catholic to Protestant and back again. Persecuting the left out religion. The story has been fabulously twisted to suit an atheist secular agenda.

            When the Gokden Bull heals someone instantaneously I would like to know. I have been healed instantaneously using the power of Christ and hospital test to prove it. Lots of hospital tests because the scientists ( mostly atheists) freaked out, it was another “mystery” to them but I knew who I called on and who did it. I have looked at and studied the texts of most religions, fascinating, I suggest with an open mind you try it. I have come to my conclusions but you would have to read a Bible to be fair before formulating an opinion.

          • Avinash Tyagi

            I was saved from drowning by Praying to Lord Krishna

            I was caught in a powerful rip tide while in the ocean and was going to drown for certain (fighting the current was quickly exhausting me), until I prayed to Krishna, and immediately the water calmed, even the waves died out.

            The real god (Vishnu/Krishna) saved my life.

            Also I’ve read the bible, there is no divine truth there, it covers a lot of topics, but gives nothing of insight, any of its “truths” are mundane, the stuff you can find anywhere.

            Now the Gita, that has real divine truth, true insight.

          • Leslie

            I’m very glad to hear that you are fine that must have been terrifying. I do however believe in Karma, I have never read the Gita, maybe I will look into that but it would not change my mind yet many religions have wisdom that is universal to humans.

            The Tao, Zen and the Art of Archery was helpful In focusing and meditation. I would never discount it yet the Quran left me cold.

            Still I know many Hindus in India are not so accepting of Christians there in the Hindu country of India. The USA is a Christian country, the only one founded on those principles so majority rules same as India.

            Did you read the KJV Bible? I’m not sure how miracles are mundane to you but each to their own. God gave everyone free choice to do as they will, who am I to say you can’t?

          • Avinash Tyagi

            Tao, Zen and martial arts have their roots in Hinduism (Yoga and Meditation)

            Every religion has it’s miracles.

            The reason Christians aren’t very well liked is for three reasons

            one is that many do forced or tricked conversions of the poor and uneducated, they tell them that they’ll give them money and food if they convert or even threaten them.

            two is that many of the Christians join violent groups such as the Maoists that have killed Hindu spiritual leaders.

            third is that many don’t look kindly upon Christians due to the British occupation.

            Now if you had a situation where say Muslims were forcing Christians to convert and were killing Christian leaders, you’d probably not look very kindly on them, especially in the wake of some previous occupation or attack (such as 9/11).

            So there is a reason Christians aren’t very welcome in India, and it’s a justified reason.

          • Leslie

            They are forcing conversions though aren’t they of Christians throughout the Middle East where’s your outrage? Never have a heard that, they do hand them Bibles though, oh the outrage of doing what God asked, give them a chance to see the Bible, and decide for themselves. Heaven forbid India admit that the huge amount of trade they have now and prosperity is because of the British occupation. English was very helpful in doing business with the countries with the resources to buy your products. Same as the myriad of countries they settled including the USA. They did some things wrong of course but they did a lot right.

            The food for conversion would do what? You can get the food and still not be converted, if someone does that they aren’t Christians and Christians from the USA. will feed anyone who shows up no matter, it’s a good thing they help feed your poor and pay for dental work and ophthalmologists, right? I give to some of those charities so I’m glad to hear you’re grateful. When will Indian Hindu charities be coming here to feed our poor? Anytime soon? I can pass on the fact you don’t want Christians to help your poor and the blind and see if they’ll stop if you want. Smh

          • Avinash Tyagi

            India was the richest country in the world before the brits my ignorant friend, largest GDP before the British occupation. Larger than all of Europe combined in 1700.

            India was one of the largest traders of textiles before the bits occupied, the British were unable to compete with Indian textiles.

            It was made poor thanks to the brits, was one of the poorest when the brits left.

            Wow you’re ignorant.

            Although what can I expect from a Christian.

            Also they arent giving these people a bible, these poor people are illiterate my ignorant friend. They’re saying convert and we’ll give you money and food, or we’ll hurt you if you don’t convert.

            Largest vegan charity in the world is Hindu my ignorant friend.

            Like I said you really are ignorant.

            Typical low information Christian

          • Leslie

            Wow what a load of crap. We were catching hell here for manufacturing in a country where children were still forced labor and not being educated. 1990s. I liked the leather work there more than 3 other countries and I told these people here, the faster their parents make money the more of those working children will be freed to go to school with their parents employed, so I was helping. That’s why so many were buying in Rwanda after their wars, to lift them up out of poverty, not because it’s easier in other countries because it’s actually a pain in the neck. Corruption is rampant in India.

            Slandering Christians trying to help your poor is bad karma, enjoy the hatred you sow this is what you will reap, none of you have read a Bible so why try to speak on it?

            Perhaps you should work to remove your caste system which keeps people in poverty rather than slandering the people trying to help. So when will the Hindus descend to help our poor? I’ll pencil you in.

          • Avinash Tyagi

            The christians aren’t trying to help, they are trying to convert through deception.

            They aren’t convincing people their religion is better, they are bribing them with food and money. If it takes bribery to get converts to your religion, then it’s not much of a religion.

            Yes there is poverty in India, thanks to the Christian British.

            Hindus are now in charge and are working hard to fix the mess the British left. Modi is making huge strides.

            Truth is never bad karma.

            As I said, biggest vegan charity is Hindu, Hindus already do a lot of charity. Go to most Hindu temples, they hand out free vegetarian and vegan meals every day, and unlike Christians they don’t try to get you to convert first.

          • Leslie

            Your lies aren’t truth. No Christians force conversion, we are expressly forbidden from doing that, you offer to give them the info, it is on them. Now if I was Hindu and I wanted food and maybe I did or did not convert but if I did would I tell you? No I would say I was forced because of the great kindness shown to Christains by Hindus, you think they would admit it? No one and I can’t enforce this thought enough, can do a fake conversion. You take the vow and you decide, you must do it body, mind and soul if you don’t you aren’t converted, again, free will. So that’s just a blatant lie. Bad karma. In fact I’ll wait for that undercover video where you try to replicate that lie. I’ve seen hundreds of hours of video and I see no unhappy faces, no one forcing anyone. so who would I believe our videos or you?

            We know what India was like in the 80s and 90s and frankly there were many hungry children with their hands in the cab begging and it smelled like an open sewer system, starving dogs everywhere so unlike other white apologists I will not apologize for pulling you out of your old caste system into capitalism which is bringing many of your previous lower caste citizens into a better way of life. They purchase houses for their families when previously they couldn’t, their children get to go to school. If America stopped doing business today with India, you would suffer economic hardship and you know it. Notice whose been throwing the insults here? The Hindu not the Christian. PS No Golden Bull here thanks.

          • Avinash Tyagi

            ROFL, clearly you have no knowledge of Christian history, they’ve always forced conversions throughout their history, either through violence or through deception.

            If you were convinced to convert through bribery or threat of violence, I would say that you were bribed or forced into converting.

            The reason is they aren’t converting because they think Christianity is better, they are converting either for Money or food, or because they are cared of being hurt

            That’s not because of “christian kindness”, that’s because of christian deception or violence.

            If that is how your religion has to get converts, then it is a pathetic religion indeed (No wonder people are abandoning it all around the world)

            Hindus give out food without threats of violence or bribery to convert, we give it out because its right.

            Nope, India was already a very capitalistic economy before the Brits came, we were one of the biggest textile makers before the Brits and were the largest GDP, larger than all of Europe, until the Brits came along.

            India is poor because of the christian brits, no doubt about that, people in India are still poor, since it takes time to recover, but its rising, and not because of the Christians, but because of the Hindus in charge.

            The British did nothing but make India poor, the Hindus are making it rich again.

            India would be fine without the US, why? Because US is not the largest trading partner with India, UAE and China are bigger. It would be a hit, just as it would be for any country to lose a trading partner, but it wouldn’t be anything that India couldn’t survive.

          • Leslie

            Aahh, Hindu derision, good times. Are you talking about Catholics hundreds of years ago? I’m not a Catholic not sure what they do. You can’t force a conversion, fact. So give that up, that’s silly. If a Hindu says to me convert to Hinduism and I’ll give you food and I say sure and listen and repeat words but I don’t believe am I converted? No but I’m fed. That’s simplistic, they made me do it. Wonder why so many Hindus want to immigrate to the USA to be so persecuted by Christians? I wonder why since we force conversions that there are even any Hindus here shouldn’t they all by your logic be converted to Christians? Pretty much everything you said from there is a lie. Violence really? That’s why Christians face violence in India from devout Hindus because….I think you’re projecting your own behavior on to Christians. We are talking about the present. If you like your Golden Bull you can keep your Golden Bull in your Hindu country. ROFL is rude so We’re done here, I’ve given my opinion on a statue at an airport I do believe I have less respect for Indians after talking with you. Good job.

          • Avinash Tyagi

            I’m talking about Christians throughout history, they still do it, and not just Catholics. Yes Christians are silly.

            I’m not saying most of them truly convert, we know this because Christians are a tiny fraction of the Indian population, about 2%. If the conversions were actually taking hold, their population would be much larger considering they’ve been doing it for centuries.

            But even though these actions don’t actually convert many, the threats of violence especially are enough to anger (the bribery would be annoying, but not enough to result in attacks, but when the Christians threaten violence, then it causes great anger). Add in the fact that Christians have also killed Hindu Religious leaders, and you get the reason why they have faced counterattacks from Hindus.

            I mean hey, if Christians are going to be violent, Hindus will respond in kind. And nope, no projection, just facts.

            As for why Hindus come to US, why to get more money of course, Hindus in US are highest earning demographic.

            As for your respect, why do you think we actually need or want your respect? Just saying, what value does your respect actually have? From what I’ve seen, your respect and a paper bag would be worth the paper bag.

          • Leslie

            PS India is very Hindu you know that. Although the Muslims are really getting on my manufacturers nerves, he’s in Kanpur.

  • Psygn

    I suppose The Satanic Temple will probably want a prayer room too.

    • BarkingDawg

      Sure, why not?

  • BarkingDawg

    It’s an interesting issue/ Since most airports are quasi-publicly funded institutions, they may very well be required to adhere to the first amendment and allow those prayer rooms.

    What’s the big deal? Most airports have plenty of space.

  • FoJC_Forever

    If Catholicism is going to be honored, then it’s a bit unfair not to honor other pagan religions. At least Hinduism doesn’t claim to be Christianity. Catholicism is more of a danger to the Truth than Hinduism. Many people who reject Catholicism also automatically believe that Protestantism is Truth, but this is a misguided belief, not Faith.

    Those who know Jesus (the) Christ have His seal in them. While pagan religions, humanism, and varying forms of fake Christianity flourish in the world, God is saving people by the power of His Holy Spirit and transforming us with His Word.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

  • Josey

    One great thing about knowing the true God and His Son Jesus is I don’t need a prayer room, I can talk and commune with Him all day long as I go about my daily duties. There are times I set aside where I make my own prayer room at home and go into it to keep all distractions out so I can solely focus on Him alone but I don’t need a specific place designated for prayer in order to commune with my Lord and Saviour. I didn’t even know airports had prayer rooms and I’ve been to many airports but I only went there to get on a plane to get somewhere.

  • Betty Mccain

    I understand that Hindus worship rats in India, so perhaps eventually rats will be added to the fray at international airports. It’s all just so ridiculous, why don’t they just stay in thier own countries and then they wouldn’t have a problem, afterall, they are not being dragged here against thier will. But alas, this is all the work of satan coming to the forefront in a desperate attempt to wipe out the one true God from society. Satan knows that he only have a short time before The Lords return, so he’s very busy, along with the satanic statue to be erected in Detroit today by a group of satanists from New York. .