Today in legal history...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Federal judge rejected challenge to Utah polygamy ban

On February 16, 2005, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Utah refused to strike down Utah's ban on polygamy, turning back a suit brought by a Utah man who wanted to add another wife to his marriage. The judge found that the state had an interest in protecting monogamous marriage and that the current law did not violate religious and privacy rights of individuals. The decision was a reassertion of legal authority going back to the 1878 case of Reynolds v. United States, where the US Supreme Court upheld the criminal conviction of a Mormon man in the state for polygamist practice. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially ended the practice of polygamy in 1890 and the Utah Constitution banned plural marriage as a condition for the state to join the Union.

Learn more about laws regulating marriage from the JURIST news archive.

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