A lawyer for polygamous former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm urged the Utah Supreme Court on Thursday to lift a ban on plural marriage, and justices responded with sharp questions about whether the ban is constitutional.
Attorney Rodney Parker argued his client has a right not only to believe in a religious tenet of polygamy but also to practice his belief in a meaningful way.
"The ban on plural marriage affects so many fundamental rights," he said, contending that tens of thousands of Utahns are forced to hide their relationships for fear of prosecution.
Parker asked the high court to decriminalize polygamy, allowing its adherents to have a legal marriage with a first wife, then enter into religious unions with other women as a way to reach the highest degree of heaven. [Source]
Remember the outcry over when Sen. Rick Santorum said:
And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society?
One thing interesting here is that polygamists have learned from same-sex marriage proponents in the language they use. They almost describe bigamists as having to be in a closet and that society is forcing them to hide their relationships. The next tactic is to not to ask that polygamy be legally recognized, but instead that it be decriminalized and additional wives allowed as religious unions. Same-sex marriage advocates did the same thing by first promoting same-sex unions as a stepping stone to publicly endorsed same-sex marriage.
One of my favorite puns as a child is the one that describes a bigamist as someone who wants to have their Kate and Edith too.