Skip to comments.Judge Cites Same-Sex Marriage in Declaring Polygamy Ban Unconstitutional
Posted on 12/14/2013 11:53:21 AM PST by NKP_Vet
In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents slippery slope arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional.
In his 91-page opinion in Brown v. Buhman, on Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down Utahs law making polygamy a crime. In so doing, he may have opened Pandoras Box.
As a condition for becoming a state in 1896, Congress required Utah to outlaw polygamy, which is marriage between three or more persons. This case involved a family of fundamentalist offshoots of nineteenth-century Mormonism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints disavowed polygamy in 1890, and again in 1904, but some splinter groups continue the practice.
Waddoups opinion would not only cover such groups, however, but also Muslims or anyone else who claims a rightreligious or otherwiseto have multiple-person marriages. He notes that the Supreme Court ruled against polygamy in its 1896 case Reynolds v. U.S., but said he cannot simply rest upon that decision without seriously addressing the much developed constitutional jurisprudence that now protects individuals from the criminal consequences intended by legislatures to apply to certain personal choices.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
Next they will need to come up with a label to stigmatize anyone who objects to polygamy (along the lines of "homophobia" and other coinages).
Next up, marry your goat.
More like a water slide to Hell.
” This liberal activist judge could care less what the Supreme Court ruled in 1896, when it said Polygamy was illegal”
A later SCOTUS ruled abortion is hunky dory. A previous one ruled that slavery was ok. SCOTUS is frequently wrong.
Not bloody likely.
The Federal government (including the U.S. Supreme Court) has no jurisdiction in state marriage laws. In 1896 it no jurisdiction, either. The Supreme Court ruling from 1896 was based on the legal argument that the U.S. law requiring Utah to outlaw polygamy as a condition of statehood was valid on constitutional grounds because Utah was a Federal territory (not a state) at the time the law was passed.
The Utah legislature could have passed a state marriage law allowing polygamy and told the U.S. Supreme Court to "#*%& off!" immediately after statehood had been granted, but they didn't. It took 117 years, but it looks like someone finally did.
Utahs anti-bigamy ordinance has a normal provision, and an unusual provision: 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. Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-101(1) (2013).
Judge Waddoups upholds the first part, about marrying a second person, as a straightforward application of Reynolds. If X has a marriage license to A, then X cant obtain a marriage license to B. If X tricks a county clerk into issuing him a marriage license for B, then X are guilty of bigamy. This is the same in Utah as everywhere else in the United States. Thus, the State of Utah has no obligation to treat X+A+B as all being married. The plaintiffs in Brown sought no legal recognition for plural marriage.
Rather, the case involved the unique part of the Utah statute, which defined bigamy to also include when X cohabits with another person. This criminalizes quite a lot of conduct which, these days, is pretty common. For example, X and A are civilly married. With As knowledge and consent, X spends some weekends at the home of his mistress, B, with whom he has sexual relations. Under the common law, this is the crime of adultery, and adultery is still a crime in some states. But as far as I know, no state other than Utah would describe such conduct as bigamy.
It is important to remember Brown v. Burnham in no way establishes a constitutional right to plural marriage. Nor does the Brown decision challenge ordinary state laws against adultery. Rather, the decision simply strikes down an unique state law which defined cohabitation as bigamy. Even then, the statute might have been upheld but for the governments policy of reserving prosecutions solely for cohabitators who for religious reasons considered themselves to be married to each other under Gods laws, and who fully conceded that they were not married under the civil law of the state.
I disagree with this assessment. The U.S. Supreme Court opened Pandora's Box. Judge Clark Waddoups simply removed the hinges on the lid. There's no point in even having a box after Pandora's fled the scene, right?
Sorry, but his reasoning is sound, and no justification for calling him a liberal.
This is exactly what conservatives have warned of all along. When you permit a behavior to have the same legal status as a biological characteristic, you have no philosophical basis for restricting ANY behavior, and you certainly have no basis for actually punishing a behavior
You watch... Anyone want to take bets on how long before marriage to minors comes up? Bestiality? Necrophilia? Hey, if you're going to be "fair" and not discriminate against one demographic, you can't discriminate against another. A slippery slope indeed.
If Two Dudes can get "married" than why I can't I get hitched to the Victoria Secret Fashion line up?
We all should be Members of the NFL then it would almost be encouraged!
Given the degeneracy of American manners and morals this decision was a “no brainer!”
“If marriage is not legally defined as one man and one woman and nothing else, it means nothing anymore. Nothing at all.”
I reckon my faith is still going to look at it as a Sacrament no matter what the state says about it. Nothing the state does can devalue a Sacrament. That’s why certain faiths don’t accept remarriage after civil divorce or ‘gay marriage’ even though the state does.
Marriage to minors, bestiality, necrophilia,incest.....it's not a question of "if"....just "when"!
And the punchline is conservatives are supporting this by getting state issued licenses to marry. Its not required for the religious ceremony, yet conservatives line up to get them anyway.
Does Utah even use it’s cohabitation law? I thought that most of the time they end up prosecuting them for things like benefit fraud or some sort of abuse.
Yeah, no surprise.
America continues its headlong dive into the sewer. With such deviancy as fag marriage getting a foothold, the reverberations continue, and the rot continues. A “state” that sees no difference between a true marriage and these perverted arrangements is no longer a country worth even trying to salvage.
A man with two women is more natural that a man sticking his crank in another man.
If they allow the one they have to allow the other.
Am I a proponent of it?? No,but how many mn have mistresses or a little something on the side. How many women have the same.
Fornicating man and woman is how God intended sex to be.
If numerous men or women of course it’s against Church law but not natural law.
Bung holing is against natural law.
Pandora isn’t real. Fire and brimstone judgment, however . . .
That is a great cartoon. Right on the money. The only thing missing is a can of worms. We’ve got a lot of fools living in this country these days. Most of them are Federal “judges”.
I agree with you, but If you don’t get a marriage license you’d better have a lot of legal documents in order with all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed. If you get married in a religious ceremony and there’s no civil record of it, you may be running some serious risks down the road when it comes to tax law, inheritance, etc.
Yep. I knew this was coming.
The real danger is in striking down laws of sex or same sex with minors, in other words legalizing some degree of pedophilia.
I have elderly friends man and women who just had a commitment ceremony at a church. They did not want the legal financial laws to come into effect. ???? They now live together. What will happen to them?????
My goat is already spoken for, but you can bid on the sheep
No, that box has long since been opened. See Romer v. Evans (1990), Lawrence v. Texas (2003), and United States v. Windsor (2013).
Except the Constitution of the State of Utah outlaws polygamy and says that the polygamy prohibition cannot be changed without the consent of the federal government.
Most true cartoon, ever.
All law is based on someone’s moral system. In the US, we’ve rejected judeo-Christian morality. So what’s next?
Democracy (iow - mob-rule)
I’ve found one wife more than sufficient, I can’t imagine two or more in the house.
Interesting. I would guess that any Utah judge could easily point to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on “gay marriage” and accept that as the explicit consent of the Federal government for anything that anyone decides constitutes a marriage.
Without a marriage license, the disposition of assets after one or both of them dies will be done under the terms of any contracts they have, or under court oversight (if they have none).
Goat, horses, dogs, sheep, camels, the dead, your kid. Western Civ is done. Better order your prayer rug today.
Even the Utah Attorney General's website states: "Polygamy is illegal in Utah and forbidden by the Arizona constitution. However, law enforcement agencies in both states have decided to focus on crimes within polygamous communities that involve child abuse, domestic violence and fraud."
There are an estimated 40,000 polygamists in the intermountain west.
Polygamy is not in the Constitution, therefore there can be no Federal law banning it.
Healthcare is not in the Constitution either, but it is the law of the land.
Ladies and gentleman.... I give you a government separated from religion......
“Sorry, but his reasoning is sound, and no justification for calling him a liberal”
Does the same go for Anthony Kennedy for legalizing sodomy?
A seventh-grader discovered that the US is at the mercy of nine cloaked wizards — in plain signt in Washingont DC! Scary. http://dandygoat.com/seventh-grader-reveals-u-s-at-the-mercy-of-nine-wizards
Because marriage has been seized in some states by forces who are hostile to God’s definition of that institution, it is time to reduce the State’s role in marriage and to return marriage to the private sphere from where it originated.
“Polygamy is illegal in Utah and forbidden by the Arizona constitution. However, law enforcement agencies in both states have decided to focus on crimes within polygamous communities that involve child abuse, domestic violence and fraud.”
Yeah, I thought that they don’t even enforce their cohabitation/bigamy law, I seem to recall them always prosecuting on abuse cases or benefit fraud.
It has actually always been about Islam.
I think it was Mark Steyn who pointed out that polygamy has a larger constituency than gay marriage.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.