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A Mormon fundamentalist group that practices polygamy has been encouraging girls as young as 15 to marry, including to their own cousins, a Utah newspaper investigation found.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports parents in the Kingston Group, also known as the Latter Day Church of Christ, have taken 15-year-olds to Missouri to marry, where it has been legal up until this year. They also take them to Colorado and, in at least once case, Nevada to legally marry cousins.
Reporter Nate Carlisle spoke with former members of the sect who say they felt pressure from the church to marry young to avoid being placed in a plural marriage. Current members, however, say they married for reasons of love like anyone else.
“There are a few thousand (group members), mostly in Utah and Idaho, but they do do some business in Nevada,” Carlisle said. “In Nevada they have some businesses listed, mostly looks like holding companies and some registered corporations.”
The mainstream Mormon church disavowed polygamy more than 125 years ago.
Nate Carlisle, polygamy reporter, Salt Lake Tribune