Bigamy, Orgies All Part Of Utah Legal Debate


AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

This Jan. 25, 2016, file photo, the Utah State Capitol is shown, in Salt Lake City.

Utah, it seems, is putting Las Vegas to shame.

At least when it comes to raciness.

During a committee debate this week by Utah state lawmakers over changes in its polygamy statute, the state's attorney general addressed the definition and legality of orgies.

At issue is a bill that would clarify Utah law, which currently states that someone can be prosecuted for bigamy if he cohabitates with someone that is not his spouse or when someone claims a woman is his wife but there is no legal document to prove it.

Critics of the law say it is unconstitutional because couples who are living together but are not legally married could fall into that category and the law does not include women.

The bill would change the law so that women are also included, but most importantly people can only be prosecuted for bigamy if they know the other person is married and marries or cohabitates with them, AND if the suspect says the other person is his or her wife, but doesn't have legal documentation.  

Polygamists are opposed to the bill. They argue that they're being prosecuted for acts unmarried people do all the time, which is where the discussion of orgies comes in. 

Nate Carlisle, reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, documented some of the discussion on Twitter during the committee hearing.

Support comes from

"One of the lawmakers pressed an assistant state attorney general about how we have two standards for sexual behavior in Utah. One if you're purporting to be a polygamist and another if you're a single person having multiple sexual partners," he said. 

Carlisle said the lawmaker pointed out that you're in compliance with the law if you're a single person, but not if you're a polygamist.

Polygamists in Utah agree and want polygamy to be decriminalized entirely. 




Nate Carlisle, reporter, Salt Lake Tribune

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