Why is it that the Government Federal, State or Local – wants to know about what goes on between consenting adults? Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown are Polygamist, what does that matter to the state of Utah (UT)?
Yes, there should be protective measure in the case of children, but this is an invasion into the affairs of consenting adults. If the Browns are as they seem on TLC, then what is the issue with their family structure? Is there any factual reason or statical reason as to why Polygamy is prohibited. Unlike other previous high profile Polygamy case (see below), this relationship is between adults, does not seem to be committing any form of financial fraud or have some form of child abuse going on. If there was abuse, to a wife or the children, why hasn’t the state of UT step in sooner? If anything the state of UT is guilty of child abuse. The state of UT has the children in this family with their parents going to jail, being forced in to foster care and split up.
As of 7-12-2011 – UT Prosecutors have yet to bring charges against the browns. UT actually has “Fornication” listed in Utah Code – Offenses Against the Family (see below). It is a class B misdemeanor. When was the last time it was enforced?
The Browns and their lawyer, Jonathan Turley, says the state is persecuting model citizens for living out their religious values. Turley is basing the case on the US Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas. It its 6-3 decision the Court found that States may not prohibit private homosexual activity between consenting adults. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority wrote “The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.” Referring to the Texas law of “deviate sexual intercourse, namely anal sex, with a member of the same sex (man).”
The Browns court case hinges on the rights of adults to make certain fundamental decisions affecting their destiny. The right to privacy is the right of the individual, married, single or polygamist is protected under the US Constitutions Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. If the Browns and their attorney are successful in proving and supporting that their conduct was in private and consensual then the United States District Court for the District of Utah should rule in favor of the Browns.
It is my personal belief and opinion that right to privacy is the right of the individual, outweighs the governments attempts to control and dictate the conduct of consenting adults. If the Browns as represented in TLC’s Sister Wives is a true representation of their life, then they are with in their rights to practice Polygamy and the state of UT has no right or claim to legislate their private conduct.
I would hope that the federal court of Utah would find as the US Supreme Court did.
- Lawrence v. Texas – http://bit.ly/qNqjsR – Cornell University Law School
- Utah Code – Offenses Against the Family http://1.usa.gov/rpDTBm
- US Marriage Laws – http://bit.ly/n1s9by
- UT Attorney Tries Again to Erase Fornication Laws (1991) – http://bit.ly/nbNTXH
- Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, declared unconstitutional a Texas law that prohibited sexual acts between same sex couples. – http://bit.ly/pIQrOz
High Profile Polygamy cases
- http://bit.ly/qyarKu – Tom Green – Mormon fundamentalist – Child Brides, failure to pay child support, Utah’s first high-profile bigamy case in 50 years.
- http://bit.ly/o3G9qq – Warren Jeffs – Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Abuse, imprisonment, child brides, neglect
- http://bit.ly/n2jKe5 – Winston Blackmore – The self-styled “Bishop of Bountiful” – Canada’s most high-profile polygamist leader – accused of having over 25 wives, 120 children and for having sold girls as young as 12 to the United States to other Polygamist men. http://natpo.st/qd2bIv (National Post Article)
- http://bit.ly/nndVaG – Landmark B.C. polygamy case in judge’s hands – CBCNews