SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court restored Utah’s ban on polygamy Monday, handing a defeat to the family from TV’s “Sister Wives” and other polygamists who say the ruling could send plural families back into hiding out of fear of prosecution.
Others cheered the decision that they say will help authorities prosecute people for crimes tied to the practice, such as underage marriage and sexual assault.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a 2013 ruling that struck down key parts of Utah’s law against bigamy, or holding multiple marriage licenses. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups had found the state violated polygamists’ right to privacy and religious freedom.
The appeals court ruled that Waddoups should not have considered a lawsuit from Kody Brown and his four wives because they were never charged with a crime and there was little chance they would be.
The decision brings back a rule forbidding married people from living with a second purported “spouse,” making Utah’s law stricter than those in every other state and creating a threat of arrest for plural families. Like most polygamous families in Utah, Brown is legally married to one wife and “spiritually married” to the others…. read more here
Source: NBC News
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