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.
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