Kody Brown — who is legally married to one woman, but spiritually married to three others — is asking the high court to review and appeal a provision of Utah’s polygamy law that does not allow cohabitation with all partners despite being legally married to just one woman.
News of the request comes just after the Brown family had a victory in court, where a judge ruled the law violated polygamists’ privacy and right to religious freedom as fundamentalist Mormons.
The Browns believe the Utah law forces “plural” families into hiding out of fear of prosecution. The family now lives in Las Vegas due to the law.
While the law seems to attack mostly law-abiding polygamists, Utah prosecutors maintain the law serves as a way to prosecute polygamists for other crimes, such as underage marriage and sexual assault.
An attorney for the family, Jonathan Turley, said the Browns have never wavered in their commitment to stand up for religious freedoms in the case.
“Utah is a state that was founded by courageous citizens seeking these very protections from government abuse and religious inequality. This lawsuit is true to the original dream of those seeking freedom in Utah,” he explained.
Roughly 38,000 fundamentalist Mormons practice or believe in polygamy in Utah and other Western states. However, the mainstream Mormon Church abandoned the practice in 1890.