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Federal court decision decriminalizes polygamy in Utah

August 28, 2014

For the 2nd time in less than a year, a federal judge in Utah has struck down a key portion of the state’s law banning polygamy.

Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that a portion of the marriage law that refers to someone who “cohabits with another person” is “without a rational basis under the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment.” His decision effectively decriminalizes the practice of polygamy in Utah.

Last December, the same judge had overturned a different section of the anti-polygamy law, ruling that the state had no proper authority to take action against polygamous groups whose members live together without contracting multiple marriages.


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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 28, 2014 9:12 PM ET USA

    Now we go down another slippery slope as had been predicted.

  • Posted by: filioque - Aug. 28, 2014 7:06 PM ET USA

    A state's authority to regulate marriage at all is rapidly disappearing. Marriage is becoming a free-for-all, anything you like. The only rational response is for the state to get out of the business altogether, which would also mean not recognizing marriage and not conferring any benefits.