The stars of the reality television show “Sister Wives” used the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent same-sex marriage ruling to support their case against Utah’s polygamy ban, court records show.
The filing with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by Kody Brown and the four women he considers his wives — Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Sullivan — came in response the Utah Attorney General’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling in their favor.
The Wednesday (Aug. 26) filing referred to the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, saying that Utah’s position against plural families relies on outdated law.
“This case is about criminalization of consensual relations and there are 21st century cases rather than 19th century cases,” attorney Jonathan Turley said in the 79-page filing. “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.”
Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states. But Utah’s law is unique in that a person can be found guilty not just for having two legal marriage licenses but also for cohabiting with another adult in a marriage-like relationship when they are already legally married to someone else.
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