Brown considers “Sister Wives” as his avenue to normalize polygamy in the public eye and to combat what he believes is stigma against having multiple relationships.
“When I talked with my children about doing the show, I said we have an opportunity to not only change our world, but to change the world for everyone else,” he told reporters.
While all states prohibit bigamy–entering into multiple marriages–Utah also bans residents from living together in a polygamous relationship. Brown, a member of the Apostolic United Brethren Church, a fundamentalist Mormon sect, contended that such a prohibition violates his freedom of religion.
In December 2013, Judge Clark Waddoups, nominated to the bench by then-president George W. Bush, sided with Brown in determining that Utah’s prohibition on polygamist cohabitation violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and interfered with the right to privacy. He pointed to the 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy in the nation, and differentiated unmarried sexual conduct from criminal bigamy.
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