Appeals Conviction Using Sodomy Ruling Defense
365Gay.com, August 19,
365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Lake City, Utah—A convicted
bigamist is appealing claiming the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the
Texas sodomy law allows him legally to have more than one wife.
filed with the Utah Supreme Court, lawyer John Bucher argues that Tom Green
should not have been found guilty because laws banning bigamy are
unconstitutional based on the sodomy ruling.
convicted in 2002 on four counts of bigamy, and one of criminal nonsupport.
points to the majority decision of the Supreme Court which held that it was
illegal to single out any one group on the basis of perceived immorality. He
argues that Utah’s laws against bigamy create “a prosecution based on the
moral disapproval of the practice.”
In an amicus
brief to the state high court, the Utah Civil Liberties Union agrees. It says
Utah’s bigamy law violates the First Amendment as applied to plural
marriages based on religious beliefs.
The state of
Utah is defending the law, saying it does not single out any one group of
people, but rather it applies to all bigamous relationships.
serving up to 5 years in prison for the convictions. In a separate case he was
convicted of child rape. One of the women he “married” was 13.
The court is
expected to hear the case in the fall.
When the US
Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the sodomy case, conservative
Christians said it would lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage and
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