Kody Brown and “Sister Wives” Family Challenge Utah Law
Kody Brown and his family are expected to file a lawsuit in Utah on Wednesday that will challenge the state’s polygamy law. While Brown considers himself married to four wives, he is legally married only to his first wife Meri. The family, including wives Janelle, Christine and Robin plus16 children, stars in TLC’s “Sister Wives” reality television series.
The Brown family belongs to a fundamentalist sect of the Mormon faith. They lived in Lehi, Utah, until concerns about prosecution under the state’s polygamy laws caused them to move to Nevada. Charges against Kody Brown for bigamy, a third-degree felony, were never filed in Utah.
Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional law professor based in Washington, D.C., will file the suit on behalf of the Brown family, according to the Washington Post. Turley’s case does not rest on the legality of bigamy but on the right of consenting adults to handle their private interpersonal relationships without interference.
In a press release quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, Turley said, “We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs.”