Decriminalize Polygamy 

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On July 13, Kody Brown and his wives, stars of the TLC television show Sister Wives, filed a lawsuit to challenge Utah’s ban on polygamy. Instead of requesting that the state recognize their marriage, the Brown family is seeking to have it decriminalized.

The Brown family has legitimate reasons to be concerned. Even though Kody Brown is only legally married to one of his wives, and all his wives are adults, Utah’s code identifies bigamy through cohabitation. Utah County prosecutors have admitted that they began an investigation shortly after the show began to air and the family has fled the state to avoid prosecution.

Freedom of association is an important right that has been recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights alongside the right to own private property, freedom of religion and the right to hold opinions. In NAACP v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court held that freedom of association is an integral part of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is the position of the Libertarian Party of Utah that government should not be in the business of defining, licensing or otherwise restricting personal relationships between consulting adults.

It doesn’t matter if they are straight, gay or polyamorous. Utah has no business discriminating between the relationships of consenting adults. Enforcing these laws wastes resources that could be used to investigate and prosecute crimes where individuals are being harmed.

The Libertarian Party of Utah advocates creating a system where private contractual agreements replace the definitions and conditions that have been imposed on us by the state.

Vincent Marcus
Libertarian Party of Utah secretary
Salt Lake City

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