Utah Polygamist Invokes Ruling on Gay Sex
Associated Press, December
By Mark Thiessen
SALT LAKE CITY—A lawyer for a
Utah man with five wives argued Monday that his bigamy convictions should be
thrown out following a Supreme Court decision decriminalizing gay sex.
The nation’s high court in June struck down a Texas
sodomy law, ruling that what gay men and women do in the privacy of their
homes is no business of government.
It’s no different for polygamists, argued Tom Green’s
attorney, John Bucher, to the Utah Supreme Court.
“It doesn’t bother anyone, (and with) no compelling
state interest in what you do in your own home with consenting adults, you
should be allowed to do so,” Bucher said.
The state said the court should reject the appeal because
Green failed to raise the issue during his trial more than two years ago or
anywhere else along the judicial path since then.
Green, who is not affiliated with any church, was
convicted of four counts of bigamy and one count of criminal nonsupport of his
30 children in August 2001.
Besides his five-year sentence, he faces up to life in
prison after being convicted of child rape for having sex with one of his five
wives when she was 13.
“He preys on young girls,” assistant Utah Attorney
General Laura Dupaix said. “This case is about a man who marries young girls
and calls it religion.”
Polygamy was renounced by the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints in 1890 as part of a deal to grant Utah statehood, and the
church now excommunicates those members who practice or advocate it. Polygamy
has an estimated 30,000 practitioners in the West.
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