ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended January 31, 1999 Posted 3 Feb 1999
Site Index Mormon Groups Local News Other Mormon Churches Internet People Business Sports Arts & Entertainment Politics Media Attention Service History & Scripture Finance & Legal Stake & Local CES/BYU/SVC Missions & Temples General Authorities Churchwide News Upcoming Events Home Site Index Archives



Mormon News By E-Mail!
About Mormon News by E-mail


List Rules

List Archives

About Mormon News

Reporting Bad Links

Finding Bad Links
Utah Politics: Issue of Polygamy Retreats Back Into the Shadows

Summarized by Denise Bodman

Utah Politics: Issue of Polygamy Retreats Back Into the Shadows
Salt Lake Tribune 31Jan99
By Robert Gehrke: Associated Press
Topic was in the world media spotlight six months ago. But Utah legislators appear unconcerned

Six months ago, polygamy in Utah was a hot topic, but the issue has all but disappeared as the Utah Legislature conducts another legislative session. Two current bills even remotely address polygamy, according to this article.

One bill relates to raising the age of consent for marriage to 16 (however, polygamous marriages are not entered into legally, so raising the age probably will have little-to-no affect on polygamy); the second provides $750,000 for training prosecutors and funding investigations of incest, sexual abuse of minors, welfare and tax fraud, and failure to pay child support. Again, the latter bill will probably have little to do with combating polygamy. While some polygamists are guilty of welfare fraud, incest, and sexual abuse, so are monogamists.

Owen Allred, the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, a group, supports a law banning polygamy, stating, "I'm really in favor of it being against the law because if it wasn't against the law there wouldn't be anything sacred about it at all. If you really believe in it you'll fight for it."

Many legislators believe that there are more important issues than polygamy and that the current laws adequately address it. According to Representative Marty Stephens, "Polygamy is against the law in the state of Utah. How much more clear can we make it? We could pass a law that says `We really mean it.' But what else are we supposed to do?"

Members of Tapestry of Polygamy, a group dedicated to helping women escape polygamous marriages, are familiar with the current "verbal shrugs." Tapestry members are interested the state providing a safety net, providing women leaving polygamous marriages support, including shelter space, and education. Carmen Thompson, a spokeswoman for Tapestry, states, "Law enforcement says the laws aren't clear. Legislators say the laws are in place. At some point we think the state of Utah ought to accept responsibility."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information