Monday, July 25, 2011

'Gay Marriage' Enables Polygamy Court Challenge

The same legal arguments that gave America same-sex "marriage" were recently made in a federal court in Utah on behalf of the polygamous family from the reality show "Sister Wives" in an effort to legitimize plural "marriage."

For background, read Hollywood Mainstreams Polygamy in TV Series as well as Polygamist Dares Utah Authorities - He May Win

-- From "Attorney for ‘Sister Wives’ TV stars files federal challenge of Utah bigamy law" by The Associated Press 7/13/11

Attorney Jonathan Turley filed the lawsuit in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court . . . on behalf of Kody Brown and his four wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. Kody Brown is only legally married to Meri Brown.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare Utah’s bigamy statute, unconstitutional. Under the law, it is illegal for unmarried persons to cohabitate, or “purport” to be married. A person is also guilty of bigamy if they hold multiple legal marriage licenses.

Formerly, of Lehi, the Browns belong to the Apostolic United Bretheran, a fundamentalist church that practices polygamy as part of its faith.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay-marriage foes cite polygamy suit" by Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times 7/24/11

Mr. Brown [and wives] . . . want Utah’s anti-polygamy laws declared unconstitutional and unenforceable on their “plural family.”

The legal arguments their attorneys Jonathan Turley and Adam Alba are using are similar to those used in many gay-marriage lawsuits: The Browns are being illegally denied the rights to freedom of association, due process and equal protection, as well as the rights of adults to engage in “intimate conduct” without government intrusion.

Same-sex marriage advocates say that “a union between two men or two women is equal to that of one man and one woman,” Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, told the July 20 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “But these are the same arguments that could be used to promote marriage between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, or even polygamous relationships,” Mr. King said.

The legal arguments for gay marriage “clearly threaten to pave the way for polygamous and other polyamorous unions,” testified Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. If the male-female aspect of marriage can be “dismissed,” Mr. Whelan added, “surely the distinction between a marriage of two persons and a marriage of three or more is all the more arbitrary and irrational.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "US family cites gay ruling to challenge bigamy law" posted at The Christian Institute (UK) 7/25/11

The Browns’ lawyer claims the case is about privacy – following the principles of cases, like the 2003 Supreme Court case when judges ruled that homosexual acts in private were protected by the US constitution.

Attorney Jonathan Turley, who represents the Browns, claims: “What they are asking for is the right to structure their own lives, their own family, according to their faith and their beliefs”.

[Neil Addison, a prominent British barrister] . . . said: “Today in British Columbia, a fundamentalist Mormon polygamist is defending himself on bigamy charges by arguing that the bigamy law is discriminatory.

“It is quite possible that he will win, in which case Canada will have legalised same-sex marriage and polygamy.

“David Cameron has said that he regards marriage as fundamental to society but he and the Government need to recognise once they open the Pandora’s box of trying to redefine marriage they will end up destroying it.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "‘Sister Wives’ polygamy lawsuit tackles privacy in Utah" by Lindsay Whitehurst, The Salt Lake Tribune 7/13/11

"We can’t embrace privacy as a principle and pick and choose who can enjoy it,"said Jonathan Turley in a press conference outside Salt Lake City’s federal courthouse. "Now, this family doesn’t look like a lot of families in Utah, but it’s not your family. It’s their family."

The complaint is primarily based on the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the Texas law banning sodomy, which was celebrated by gay rights advocates.

Even though the suit will be primarily based on privacy, polygamy is also a deeply held religious belief for the Browns and tens of thousands of other fundamentalist Mormon families, Turley said. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled out religious freedom as justification for lawful polygamy more than a hundred years ago.

When asked whether polygamy necessarily leads to crimes like underage marriage, as critics say, Turley said that polygamous families should be judged individually. Despite child abuse and other crimes that occur in traditional families, "we don’t say we should ban monogamous marriages," he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Polygamy a Civil Right: Canadian Court Case