A Utah Law Prohibiting Polygamy Is Weakened

Eassurvey's Weblog

A Utah Law Prohibiting Polygamy Is Weakened
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: December 14, 2013

A federal judge has struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional in a case brought by a polygamous star of a reality television series. Months after the Supreme Court bolstered rights of same-sex couples, the Utah case could open a new frontier in the nation’s recognition of once-prohibited relationships.

Judge Clark Waddoups of United States District Court in Utah ruled late Friday that part of the state’s law prohibiting “cohabitation” — the language used in the law to restrict polygamous relationships — violates the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion, as well as constitutional due process. He left standing the state’s ability to prohibit multiple marriages “in the literal sense” of having two or more valid marriage licenses.

Judge Waddoups, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote a 91-page decision…

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