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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Attorney general deciding whether to appeal 'Sister Wives' ruling

By McKenzie Romero, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Wed, Aug. 27 8:30 p.m. MDT

 As the 10th District court finalized a ruling in favor of the polygamous Brown family, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes may be stepping back from his previous assertion he would appeal the decision.

As the 10th District court finalized a ruling in favor of the polygamous Brown family, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes may be stepping back from his previous assertion he would appeal the decision.

(TLC, George Lange, File, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — With a U.S. District Court ruling finalized in favor of the polygamous Brown family, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes may be stepping back from his previous assertion he would appeal the decision.

"The attorney general's office is currently reviewing Judge (Clark) Waddoups' ruling of Brown v Herbert and will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks. It is important to legally assess the ruling's scope and how it will impact future litigation," a spokeswoman for the office said in a statement Wednesday.

Reyes had said in February he intended to appeal the ruling.

Waddoups deemed Utah's ban on polygamous cohabitation to be unconstitutional last December. Bigamy — acquiring multiple marriage licenses — remains a felony in Utah.

The U.S. District judge ordered the state to pay the Browns' legal fees and ruled in the final count of the case Wednesday that the state's attorney, Jeffrey R. Buhman, violated the Browns' constitutional rights when he pursued an investigation against them, ultimately opting not to file charges.

The ruling had yet to be finalized as the court ironed out procedural questions, including whether the family would seek damages for their move to Nevada, fleeing criminal charges.

Earlier this year, the Browns, stars of the TLC reality series "Sister Wives," opted not to seek restitution for the estimated $200,000 in moving costs and lost wages they say they suffered when they left Lehi in 2010.

The Browns' lawyer, Jonathan Turley, has said the family is prepared to challenge the state's appeal. Turley said on this blog Wednesday that he hopes Reyes will choose not to appeal the case.

"Neither the attorney general nor the state of Utah should fight a ruling that reaffirmed freedom of religion and equal protection," Turley said. "Utah is a state that was founded by citizens seeking those very rights against government abuse. Utah is better place because of the courageous decision of Judge Waddoups and the commitment of the Brown family in defense of our Constitution."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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1. firstamendment
Lehi, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

It's all about marriage equality....right? :) Most gay marriage propagandists argue that polygamy is morally inferior to homosexuality and thus they don't deserve "marriage equality"...I don't get it. The Big Bang etc. obviously disagrees, the Bang only allows heterosexuals the right to have children.

2. firstamendment
Lehi, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

I FEEL that polygamy is wrong for us, however, I don't know of any evidence showing that adult polygamy is harmful for children (it has been argued, even in the NY Times, that polygamy IS traditional marriage and I know that past polygamist families produced some of the world's finest, and Utah's past polygamy helped wonderful mothers to also become some of Americas first female Lawyers, Doctors, and such).

There is a lot of evidence that promoting homosexuality is harmful for our children (most of that evidence is suppressed) and there is no real reason for homosexuality to be legally and lawfully promoted or enforced by our governments. So, it is so very odd that polygamy is still a felony, and homosexual marriage is promoted almost everywhere...... strange world.

3. UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

Let it be already. They moved, they are no longer in Utah. And I have watched the show, although I don't agree with their life style. They seem like good people. Why when the courts already decided something do we have to go back and make someones life miserable just because we didn't win the first time. You know, I don't like the Yankees, but I don't petition to the courts to go back and have every world series they won replayed until they lose. Let it go already, the Brown's are good people and live a life that is just uncommon to many others. So be it! People don't like me because I am Mormon, and people don't like the Brown's because he lives a polygamist life style. Any man that can handle more than one wife, my hats off to him. Let it go, they are good people not harming anyone. When their children start to become abused, let me know and we can revisit this.

4. Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

@firstamendment
If you want to explain how to handle a situation in the law and tax code where a man marries three women one of whom is married to three men (you definitely can't legalize polygamy without legalizing polyandry)... go right ahead and explain it. Otherwise, many just support decriminalizing polygamy.

"There is a lot of evidence that promoting homosexuality is harmful for our children (most of that evidence is suppressed)"

In other words, there isn't evidence, and an excuse is needed to explain that.

5. Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

Polygamy has far more biological, religious, and sociological precedent than gay marriage - therefore those who advocate gay marriage but not polygamy are disingenuous because they are drawing an arbitrary line for less valid reasons. Marriage as a secular institution was designed to protect women and children. If the gender and reproduction elements are removed - then there are NO valid reasons to oppose any adult sexual relationship (even incest which was practiced by European royalty for decades) Gay marriage busts marriage, leaving no reason to legitimately oppose polygamy or adult incest

Marriage should be left as it is: one man one woman