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
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.