Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Friday, December 13, 2013 11:30 pm

'Sister Wives' family wins ruling in bigamy suit

The Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a polygamist family that stars in the TV reality show "Sister Wives," saying that key parts of Utah's polygamy laws are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups says in the Friday night ruling that the phrase in Utah law that references cohabitating with another person is a violation of the First Amendment.

Kody Brown and his four wives filed their lawsuit in July 2011. Washington D.C.-based attorney Jonathan Turley argued the case before Waddoups in January.

The Salt Lake Tribune ( reports Waddoups also took a narrow interpretation of the words "marry" and "purports to marry" in his ruling. That means that bigamy remains illegal in Utah only in the literal sense, such as when someone fraudulently acquires multiple marriage licenses.