Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published August 28, 2014 at 6:05 AM | Page modified August 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments
  • Print

Judge rules for TV polygamists, strikes down part of Utah ban

A federal judge in Utah has issued a final ruling that strikes down parts of the state's anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show "Sister Wives."


Associated Press

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
So much for the thin-skinned religious right opining about how religious freedom is under attack by the courts. This... MORE
Yeah, and like, we didn't see this coming. MORE
@Benjamin Ghazi 21 (like bringing in under aged wives). You mean like Brigham Young?? MORE

advertising

SALT LAKE CITY —

A federal judge in Utah has issued a final ruling that strikes down parts of the state's anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show "Sister Wives."

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in favor of the stars of the TLC reality show in December, but he held back on a final ruling as he weighed whether Kody Brown and his four wives could collect attorneys' fees.

Waddoups ruled in their favor on that issue Wednesday, capping a landmark decision for the family that sued Utah in 2011 after a county prosecutor threatened to charge them following the premiere of the TV show. It wasn't immediately clear how much the Browns could collect in attorneys' fees.

Waddoups had ruled that a provision of Utah's law forbidding cohabitation violated the Browns' freedom of religion.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in February he intended to appeal the ruling once it was made final. On Wednesday, his office said in a written statement that it was reviewing the ruling and "will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks."

The Brown family was overwhelmed and thankful for the ruling, said their attorney, Jonathan Turley.

"This was a historic ruling that I believe will stand the test of time," Turley said. He said the family would continue the legal battle to an appeals court or even the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

The Browns said they were forced to leave Utah for Las Vegas in 2011 in fear of prosecution. Turley said Wednesday he didn't know if the Brown family would return in the wake of the ruling.

"The important thing is that they now can move back to Utah," Turley said, adding that the family has missed the state. "They now have the choice."

Fundamentalist Mormon polygamists believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. The mainstream Mormon church strictly prohibits the practice.

___

Associated Press writer Michelle Price in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Bad email habits to break today


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►