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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 04, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 07Jun00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Utah Will Never Rid Itself of Polygamy
Salt Lake Tribune 30May00 N6
By Charles Batchelor

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In a recent Salt Lake Tribune commentary, Charles Batchelor argues that polygamy will always be a part of Utah. He reported that recent letters to the Tribune have called the practice "horrible" and "despicable". Even LDS Senator Scott Howell is recorded as saying that Utah's polygamists are "drowning in sin"! There is a clamor by angry activists to call for the immediate imprisonment of those practicing polygamy and for the confiscation of their children.

Batchelor ask the question, "Are we requiring higher standards from those who live such a demanding life style?" He claims the task of reprogramming, incarcerating or exterminating 20,000 polygamists is formidable. With the upcoming Utah Olympics, many prominent people want to cleanse Utah's image.

"I am amused by recent vain attempts by a few provincial prosecutors to convict polygamists under laws which neither fit nor exist. I am fascinated by discussion about 'decriminalizing' polygamy, when from a strict legal perspective, polygamy has never been illegal in Utah," Batchelor said.

Batchelor sees the biggest problem as ignorance and misunderstanding. "Even after Utah asserted that polygamy would be banned, no legislature enacted any statutes to define or punish polygamists," Batchelor added.

Batchelor suggest that a review of the Bill of Rights along with Utah law would be of use to anti-polygamy hate groups. Charles Batchelor has a degree in modern languages from Brigham Young University. He and his wife live in Sandy, Utah with their six children.


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