U.S. Supreme Court Declines Polygamy Case

The husband of three wives claimed the court's landmark ruling on gays applies to polygamists reports
Warren Richey, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor in an article today Supreme Court declines polygamy case. Some quotes:

At issue in his case was whether state prosecutors violated his constitutional right to practice his religion and maintain an intimate family relationship without intrusive government interference.

In Lawrence v. Texas, the high court declared that a state sodomy law treated gay Texans as second-class citizens. Holm's lawyers told the high court that Utah's polygamy statute does the same for certain religious fundamentalists.

In urging the high court not to take the case, Assistant Attorney General Laura Dupaix said the protections established in Lawrence v. Texas only apply to relationships between consenting adults.

"This case does not involve consenting adults," she wrote. "It involves an arranged polygamous and sexual relationship between a 32-year-old adult and his 16-year-old sister-in-law, who conceived two of his children before her 18th birthday."

In contrast, Mr. Parker said Utah's bigamy law applies a double standard that targets and punishes religious fundamentalists but allows others to engage in the same conduct and escape criminal punishment.

"Widespread popular departure from traditional marriage practices has made the anti-polygamy laws, like laws against cohabitation, adultery, and fornication, anachronistic," Parker wrote. "These laws are not enforced against those practicing contemporary lifestyles, but are asserted as weapons, as in this case, against those living a traditional, family-grounded, religious-based life."

He added, "In gross absurdity..., one can behave in the same way in two circumstances but in one (polygamy) the action is illegal, and in the other (promiscuity) the action is ignored by the law. One can do legally the same act with immoral or amoral intent and have it be legal. Yet the same act with religious intent is deemed illegal."

Hat tip to Howard Basham at How Appealing.