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“Sister Wives” hubby Kody Brown and his band of brides joined hundreds in a march to Utah’s Capitol in Salt Lake City Friday in protest of a bill that would keep polygamy a felony.
“In Las Vegas, I can say ‘This is my wife, this is my wife, this is my wife.’ In Utah, once I reach that it’s an infraction of the law,” the TLC reality star told FOX 13 News. “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.”
Brown and his wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, sued the state in 2011 over its criminal polygamy law, which was dismissed five years later, with the U.S. Court of Appeals concluding that Utah prosecutors weren’t in the policy of pursuing polygamy cases and, therefore, the Browns were in no credible fear of future prosecution.
At Friday’s protest rally, polygamists spoke of the bill as “religious bigotry,” with Brown saying, “Government loves power and so does religion,” adding when questioned, “I think polygamy is a blight on the face of the Mormon church.”
He went on to speak out against Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, saying that abuses within polygamy could be combated if plural marriage was decriminalized.
“We see and know there is abuse in the polygamous community, but there is abuse in all communities,” he said. “What happens is when you criminalize, essentially, consenting adults, you create a dark place, a petri dish to grow abuse.”