Mormon Fail: Utah Judge Decriminalizes Polygamy

Religions often get a bad rep because of dimwits who claim the dogma but don’t live according to the principles. At all. The Mormon Church, for example, has long suffered in the public perception department due to some unfortunate practices.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a mired and misunderstood institution. From holy underwear to those cute kids riding bikes in my neighborhood clad in the latest in black-and-white wear from Walmart, Mormons often receive the “outsider” treatment via the same overly broad brush.

And then, there’s polygamy.

The practice of polygamy has been disavowed and shunned since something called the 1890 Manifesto, but some orthodox Mormons still do it and many more non-Mormons seem to think they all do it. But a recent move by a Utah judge might just set back the church more than a century…

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups issued a 91-page ruling to set forth a new precedent, which effectively decriminalizes polygamy. And get this — no joke — he was inspired by the family of Kody Brown, who found his 15 seconds of fame through TLC’s reality series Sister Wives.

Brown, the starling of Seasons 1-4, is using the reality show as his stump to take polygamy to court so he can shack with four women who adore being called this dude’s wife: Meri, Janelle, Robyn, and Christine.

Judge Waddoup ruled that the part of the law that made cohabitation illegal was a violation of the First and 14th amendments and wrote that the issue comes down to “religious cohabitation.” Simply living together does not amount to being legally “married,” wrote Waddoup.

Nice. And of course, Brown ‘s legal hack attorney had something to say as well:

“While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our beliefs,” Brown wrote. “Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”

Again, nice. LDS: Your move.

Publish date: December 17, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT