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www.wmfd.com - Kody Brown and his family, known for their reality show "Sister Wives" on TLC, won a major legal victory in Utah last month, as a federal judge threw out the section of the state's ban on polygamy that prohibits co-habitation. }}" />

   
 
 
Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah Polygamy Ban

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 1/13/2014

Kody Brown and his family, known for their reality show "Sister Wives" on TLC, won a major legal victory in Utah last month. A federal judge threw out the section of the state's ban on polygamy that prohibits co-habitation. But now that ruling is under siege. Chris Cuomo has a look at their story and their legal battle. "We wouldn't be here if we weren't committed. We know the committed is already there." Millions have watched Kody Brown and his super-sized polygamist family on TLC's reality show "Sister Wives." One husband, four wives and 17 children, living in as one family. In 2011, the family fled from Utah to Nevada, fearing prosecution, after they say an investigation into their lifestyle was launched. "Here in Las Vegas our family culture really has been crumbling," says Brown. No charges were ever brought against the, but Brown sued the state of Utah, claiming his family's privacy rights were violated by a law banning co-habitation. Then in December, a major victory for the Browns. a federal judge overturned part of a decades-old anti-polygamy statute, saying it did violate First Amendment rights. "The idea here is that co-habitation between as many people as want to live together is beyond sort of the purview of the government," says Danny Cevallos, CNN legal analyst. "They can't outlaw that." The ruling did keep some limitations on polygamy. Multiple adults can now live together without fear of prosecution but husbands or wives still cannot seek more than one marriage license. But the Browns may not yet be totally free to live the lifestyle they've chosen. Incoming Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes says he intends to appeal the judge's decision, which could mean more legal battles for Kody and his big family. "At minimum, if this opinion is overturned on appeal, then any co-habitation can potentially be unlawful and potentially can be prosecuted under Utah law as it exists," says Cevallos.

   
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