Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Utah Appeals Ruling In ‘Sister Wives’ Case

A federal appeals court will review a ruling that struck down parts of Utah's anti-polygamy law and was hailed as a landmark decision removing the threat of arrest for plural families in Utah. The Utah attorney general's office filed an appeal Thursday with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, two weeks after it said it would challenge the ruling.

The lawsuit was brought by the family on the TLC reality TV show "Sister Wives." In December, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in favor of Kody Brown and his four wives, saying a provision of the law forbidding cohabitation violated the family's freedom of religion.

Waddoups' ruling decriminalized polygamy, but bigamy — holding marriage licenses with multiple partners — is still illegal. If the ruling stands, Utah's law would be identical to most other states that prohibit people from having multiple marriage licenses. In most polygamous families in Utah, the man is legally married to one woman but only "spiritually married" to the others.

Sponsor Message

Parker Douglas, chief of staff for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, said the state is appealing to ensure prosecutors aren't hamstrung when they need to go after polygamous families where abuse may be occurring.
Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.

Jay Bartos joined Nevada Public Radio in 1993 to develop and manage the state’s first radio reading service for people unable to use standard printed material due to blindness or another disability. After the reading service was discontinued in 2011, he became the afternoon host on KNPR for ten years. Jay can now be heard on air on News 88.9 KNPR and Classical 89.7 KCNV throughout the week.