#SisterWives Nightmare! Polygamy Bill Passes Increasing Penalties For Bigamy Prosecution

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The Supreme Court refused to hear the family made famous by the TLC show, Sister Wives — but that didn’t silence the reality clan. On February 10th, the Browns joined hundreds of members of Utah’s polygamous communities, marching to the Utah State Capitol to protest a bill they say makes them targets for prosecution.

Despite the hyped effort, House Bill 99 passed in a vote Thursday, on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives.

TLC cameras were reportedly rolling during the march — scoring the Browns bonus exposure. 

Kody Brown spoke to Salt Lake City’s Fox 13 — grabbing every chance to broadcast his position.

“In Las Vegas, I can say ‘This is my wife, this is my wife, this is my wife,'” Brown said in the interview. “In Utah, once I reach that it’s an infraction of the law.”

“We’re safe in Nevada. It’s essentially a beautiful exile,” Brown said. “We’re coming here so the plural families in Utah can survive and thrive.”

The polygamist speakers labeled themselves targets, and the bill “religious bigotry.” The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, was backed by women who have escaped allegedly abusive polygamist homes. The women said  that the bill is needed to fight against abuse, fraud and child-bride marriages. Brown disagreed.

“We see and know there is abuse in the polygamous community, but there is abuse in all communities,” Brown commented. “What happens is when you criminalize, essentially, consenting adults, you create a dark place, a petri dish to grow abuse.”

Brown also said that “government loves power and so does religion,” and that “polygamy is a blight on the face of the Mormon church.”

On Thursday, HB99 passed — 48 to 25 in a vote that crossed party lines. The bill will now move forward to the Utah Senate. Rep. Mike Noel described polygamist sects as “organized crime,” on the floor of the House, also calling foul on polygamist groups such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, identifying with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The fact that individuals come up there and testify they are FLDS Mormons insults me and bothers me,” Noel said. “They are an apostate group and they are no part of my religion.”

The bill adds criteria for bigamy prosecution — the offender must live with the extra spouse and “purport” to be married. Only one or the other is currently required by Utah state law.


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