Bigamy Ban Challenged
Focus on the Family, August 20, 2003
By Terry Phillips, correspondent
SUMMARY: Convicted bigamist argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s
legalization of sodomy should make having multiple wives legal, too.
Utah’s ban on bigamy has been challenged on the grounds that a recent
court ruling legalizing homosexual sodomy means all variations of sexual
activity should be allowable under law.
A man convicted of having four too many wives, and who is in prison for up
to five years because of it, has asked the Utah Supreme Court to turn him
loose. His argument is based on the recent landmark Lawrence v. Texas sodomy
case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws against sodomy are a
violation of privacy.
Such an argument was bound to be made sooner or later, according to Brad
Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a religious-rights law firm
headquartered in Citrus Heights, Calif.
“The Supreme Court, in ruling on the issue of privacy, just blew the door
wide open,” Dacus explained. “This alleged bigamist may actually be
correct. Not only will he possibly be protected as a bigamist, but
polygamists, adult incest and even those engaging in voluntary child incest”
might be protected.
That’s what John Bucher is relying on. He’s the attorney for the Utah
“I see a light at the end of the tunnel for permitting people to do what
they want to in their own house—and that may be cohabiting with three women
at once, four women at once.”
Not everyone, though, agrees that the sodomy ruling will necessarily lead
to an anything-goes sexual free-for-all, according to Glen Lavy, an attorney
with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based religious freedom
“It was not saying that there is a right to force the state to recognize
other behavior as legal,” Lavy said, calling the bigamist’s case “a
He added that conservatives might even be wrong to speculate that the high
court’s ruling will one day lead to the legalization of gay “marriage.”
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