State AG wants Sister Wives’ challenge of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws dismissed
So now that Kody Brown and his four wives have retained well-known liberal and civil rights attorney Jonathan Turley to sue the State of Utah, challenging the anti-polygamy laws here, state attorneys want the case dismissed because they suddenly aren’t prosecuting Kody Brown. They feel that since they are not currently prosecuting the Brown’s, the Brown’s should not be challenging Utah’s laws against plural relationships (and bringing national attention to Utah on a subject that Utah doesn’t want to be in the spotlight for).
Well that is their argument at least. I think the fly in the ointment is that they haven’t pressed charges “yet”, the Lehi Police Department have not ceased their investigation of the Brown’s and the Utah County Attorney’s office has not said that they will not prosecute.
Now I have to hand it to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and his crew for leaving polygamists alone unless there are cases of child abuse, welfare fraud, domestic abuse, etc. But, Lehi City’s investigation and promise of pending charges against Cody and his family have driven them from a comfortable, custom-built home where they were all under one roof to Las Vegas, NV where they are living in three separate homes.
Also, the issue of the laws used to prosecute polygamists – bigamy, adultery, fornication and sodomy – are still on the books and can be used to prosecute a lot of people, including polyamorists, swingers, gays (which the sodomy law between consenting adults is really about), single heterosexual people and couples that have a threesomes, etc.
Here’s what I think should be stricken from Utah Code:
Utah Code 76-7-101. Bigamy – Defense.
(1) A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife,
the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.(2) Bigamy is a felony of the third degree.
I’d like to see the whole of section 101 stricken, but I doubt it will. The least they can do is change the law to someone is guilty of bigamy if they actually marry more than one person, and get rid of that whole “purports” and “cohabits” part. This law right here puts any household with more than two non-family adults in jeopardy of being prosecuted if the State so wishes.
Utah Code 76-7-103. Adultery. (1) A married person commits adultery when he voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person other than his spouse.
(2) Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.
Adultery needs to be stricken from the law completely. Not only are polyamorists and swingers guilty of this and could be prosecuted if the State wished to (I’ll lump couple’s who have the occasional threesome with swingers), but cheating happens in around 6 out of 10 marriages, whether discovered or not (and statistically probably around 40% of our lawmakers cheat on their spouse). It’s a law that is just plain outdated and unneeded. The AG says: “We never prosecute for adultery anyway.” Well than good. Get it off the books. Save some paper.
Utah Code 76-7-104. Fornication. (1) Any unmarried person who shall voluntarily engage in sexual intercourse with another is guilty of fornication.
(2) Fornication is a class B misdemeanor.
Yes, in Utah, sex between people who are not married, and married to each other at that, is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine and/or up to 6 months in jail,or both. That seems a bit harsh and outdated doesn’t it? With 7 out of 10 teenagers having sex before they graduate high school, and almost all college kids and single adults having sex without being married, this law seems just plain silly.
76-5-403. Sodomy — Forcible sodomy.
(1) A person commits sodomy when the actor engages in any sexual act with a person who is 14 years of age or older involving the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant.
(2) A person commits forcible sodomy when the actor commits sodomy upon another without the other’s consent.
(3) Sodomy is a class B misdemeanor.
(4) Forcible sodomy is a felony of the first degree
How about we drop the consensual oral and anal sex thing and stick with just the Forcible sodomy part? Look, almost everyone does oral on their partner and many have consensual anal sex. People should not fear prosecution if the Attorney General’s office got a bug up their butt (in which case the bug would also be charged with sodomy). Besides, I’m sure every member of the Utah Legislature love’s their lover going down on them. But, when it happens our lawmakers are breaking the very laws they make. Every cop whose partner goes down on them is breaking the very laws they are sworn to uphold. This is a covert law particularly for gays, also.
So lets get these stupid sex laws aimed at polygamists and gays off the books and let consenting adults structure their relationships in any way they see fit without the fear of prosecution or having their children taken away from them. Then if the State wants to go after polygamists than let them do so for real crimes wherein people are harmed physically, emotionally and financially, such as: sex with minors, domestic abuse, welfare fraud, etc.