Idaho Bans “Five Wives Vodka” As Insulting To Mormons

As we put the finishing touches on the summary judgment motion and brief in the Sister Wives case, a friend sent me this story out of Idaho. Five Wives Vodka has been told by the state of Idaho that it will ban the booze as insulting to the large Mormon population.

The vodka is produced by Ogden’s Own Distillery in Utah. However, Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson said the brand is offensive to Mormons. The decision limits the speech rights of the distillery to satisfy a powerful group in the state — Mormons make up more than a quarter of Idaho’s population. What is striking is not just the first amendment violation but the question of equal protection and due process. There is a Utah beer named Polygamy Porter that is available in Idaho.

Source: Spokesman

42 thoughts on “Idaho Bans “Five Wives Vodka” As Insulting To Mormons

  1. I had no idea the state would have the power to do this. It is a market decision – does it sell or does it fail.
    But wait I guess my naivity is showing, more and more, from the posts here and the news elsewhere, the state is taking upon itself to make many decisions that used to ours, as individual citizens, to make.

  2. So, of course, they also banned the sale of Crazy Horse malt liquor since that was extremely offensive, right? Funny how sensitive some of these boys can be when it is their ox being gored.

  3. “…Idaho … will ban the booze as insulting to the large Mormon population.”

    Of course, truly faithful Mormons do not drink alcohol of any type as it is in violation of their beliefs.

    So which Mormons would be offended? (The vodka is sold in Utah’s own state operated liquor stores.)

  4. Unconstitutional, no question.

    I think one of the methods used to promote Obama’s re-election will be attacks on Mormonism itself. We should see that tick up in the coming months now that Romney has presumably secured the nomination.

    Your religion was founded by an alcoholic criminal named Joseph Smith who committed bank fraud and claimed God told him polygamy was cool after his first wife caught him having an affair with the maid and who then went on to have 33 wives, and you really believe every word that he said and wrote? Do you really believe that the American Indian is genetically descended from Israelites? Would it shake your belief if DNA testing showed no such relationship between Indian tribes and Jews? Do you really believe that Jesus Christ came to America? Do you really believe that your possible general election opponent, Barack Obama, is black because his people turned away from God? Are you in favor of big increases in federal funding for Missouri or turning the site of the Garden of Eden into a national park?

    … I used to agree with a lot of Romney’s policies before he flip-flopped on all the ones I agreed with. Flip flopping for political convenience is a Mormon tradition.

    – Lawrence O’Donnell 2007, Huffington Post

  5. Puzzling, I sure h ope you are wrong, come after onoe religion then all are fair game, uinless you are a “christian” in the mold of what mostly is the conservative right wing, come after someone else’s religion, then how are we different from other theocracies? (Although JFK had to jump thru hoops to prove being a catholic did not mean he would be a pope pimp.)

  6. As a secular Christian, I would be insulted if it was “One Wife” NOT

    They should market a booze named “Five Inbred Bureaucrats.”

  7. The constitutional argument might be a little more difficult that it seems at first blush. The state of Idaho has simply declined to stock the vodka in the liquor stores that it operates. It is not banning the sale of the product. The story also seems to indicate that the state has also given the alternate rationale that they already stock many similarly priced vodkas in its stores, and doesn’t need another.

  8. puzzling, O’Donnell’s statement was from 2007. No one should expect that he or she can run for office and not have their religious beliefs examined. Romney was a bishop in the Mormon Church and is a huge contributor. It is not as if he is loosely affiliated. The republicans are getting ready to drudge up Rev. Wright again.

  9. I am an Idaho resident. All liquor stores in the state are state-run, so it’s not really just an issue of the state deciding not to stock the shelves.

  10. SM they already did and got to it for free when they ‘floated’ the idea of wright. Obama was not , if I recall, more then a congregant, a lot different then standing next to Trump.
    Romney’s position in Mormon church should not be an issue, It is his religion and a ‘legitimate’ one, he is not a scientologist or member of a rattlesnake handling faith.
    Question his faith then all are fair game. How can you be a Jew and not believe in Christ? You are not fit for office as a starter.

  11. 1. Since Mormons do not practice polygamy, how can the label possibly be offensive?
    2. Does Jeff Anderson permit the sale of Blue Nun in Utah? How about Fat Friar’s Mead?
    3. Perhaps the distillery can satisfy Mr. Anderson’s discerning sensibility by renaming its product “Rush Babes.”
    4. The best solution: file suit and enjoin this nonsense.

  12. We know that the campaign is likely to see many questions relating to religious background.

    But as reasonable individuals, doesn’t it seem that most questions related to religious background are irrelevant to the office? What is the criteria, or the dividing line, that separates a reasonable concern related to religious background from bigotry?

    Can reasonable questions related to religious background always be reformulated as questions related to policy?

    For example, do I really care if a candidate is fundamentalist Christian or is my real concern with how the candidate plans to deal with their belief in evolutions and the Department of Health Education and Welfare?

    Am I really afraid that a Catholic is subservient to the Pope or is my concerned related to how their faith informs their political actions toward birth control?

    Is there a clear principle to identify reasonable concern or do we have to take each question and issue separately?

    What is the boundary for reasonable concern and bigotry?

    But when it comes to vodka, I just want to know what the wives are really drinking.

  13. Ask Mitt Romney what he thinks of that. If it isn’t offensive to Utah, why is it insulting to Idaho? I doubt if Arizona has a problem with it.

  14. Dredd,

    Idaho State Motto: “We have the widest public restroom stalls.”
    ==================================================
    It’s unfortunate the restroom stalls at the Minneapolis airport aren’t as wide.

  15. Puzzling – its interesting you would conflate some stale BS from some TV talking . . . well lets say ‘head’ with the effort to re-elect President Obama. Would you grant the same power to the . . . appendages on FAUX News? Mush Lamebrain? Glen Beck? Any of the 100 morans that can be found on radio every day pimping for the GOP?

    I wouldn’t – unless, say, the leader of the GOP itself and the Speaker of the House had to appear on the radio show and apologize for dismissing the blovating bag of gas that is Rush Limbaugh. Short of the stupid statement from LO’D (which may have been intended as caricature or irony given the rights attacks on BHOs Christianity – I’ll concede nothing until I hear the whole quote given how fond the right is of making up crap) the left and the center(BHO) have been hands off about the Mormon cult. It has been the wingnuts on the right that have claimed Willard is not a Christan.

  16. Matt Johnson 1, May 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Dredd,

    Idaho State Motto: “We have the widest public restroom stalls.”
    ==================================================
    It’s unfortunate the restroom stalls at the Minneapolis airport aren’t as wide.
    ***************************************************************
    Bingo.

    Some, like Gene H, picked up on the link to Idaho Senator Larry “Wide Stance” Craig.

    BTW, I imbibe in Arrogant Bastard Ale, not simply because it has also been denigrated by Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson, although that would be reason enough.

  17. But I wonder how the federal trademark law can prohibit the trademarking of offensive words/names? Is it that the first amendment permits the product name, but doesn’t require the federal government to give it a trademark?

  18. We had a nice lady working the dog bar called Ida Hoe. She was married and divorced five times. The last husband was a mormon and he had five wives, Ida was the fifth. The mormon used to come into the bar, in fact that is how he met Ida. He only came in when he said he was “lapsed”. He usually left pretty lapsed too, and when he divorced Ida she took back her maiden name which is Hoe. We dogs asked her about this article and she says that despite her ex husband’s abuse of vodka and women, it was not her idea and that she is not a state of mind to object. We think that the article might be some sort of prank on Ida.

  19. matt 1, May 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    But I wonder how the federal trademark law can prohibit the trademarking of offensive words/names? Is it that the first amendment permits the product name, but doesn’t require the federal government to give it a trademark?
    ===========================
    I’m diggin’ that. Sorta like the head taking a look at the tail, but can’t recognize it is an extension of the head.

    It’s all body baby!

  20. leejcaroll: “Although JFK had to jump thru hoops to prove being a catholic did not mean he would be a pope pimp.”

    I remember:

    Save your bowling balls, so Kennedy can build a rosary for the Statue of Liberty.

    The Statue of Liberty will become Our Lady of the Harbor.

    Build more bird houses – the Cardinals are coming.

  21. i’m going to begin marketing my “southern baptists suck ass” pale ale.

    (i sold some in the 70’s under the name “billy beer”)

  22. I bought a bottle of wine once that was named “Fat Bastard.”
    I can’t remember whether it was red or white.

  23. Dennis: I also recall the joke that JFK had prepared a one-word telegram to be sent to the Pope only in the event Nixon won the election. It read, “Unpack.”

  24. matt 1, May 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    But I wonder how the federal trademark law can prohibit the trademarking of offensive words/names? Is it that the first amendment permits the product name, but doesn’t require the federal government to give it a trademark?
    ==========================================================
    Is that you, Anonymous?

  25. There seems to be a lot of stepping on citizen’s toes and rights being done by states and the Federal Government.

    Here is an example. I get my insulin at a 80% cost reduction from Canada. Same Insulin, same manufacturer. And now this… will I have to move to Canada to keep living?

    “Don’t let the government destroy imported meds!
    posted Wed, 30 May 2012

    Our ability to import prescription drugs is under attack yet again. Recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved H.R.5651, the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act. What most people don’t realize, is that a provision buried in this bill’s 294 pages would jeopardize the right of Americans to import affordable medicine from international online pharmacies.

    Section 805 authorizes Customs and Border Protection to destroy shipments of prescription drugs valued at $2,000 or less. Clearly, this provision protects the interests of big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the tens of thousands of Americans who rely on importation to for access to their needed medicines.

    We expect that the bill will be up for a full House vote sometime very soon. House rules don’t allow floor amendments and so ultimately, the good fight is going to have to be fought in conference committee.

    In the meantime, we’re calling on you to educate your representatives. Tell them Section 805 should be thrown out. It is an unnecessary and damaging provision that puts American lives at risk!”

  26. If i were a Mormon, I would save my anger for “Five Twelve-Year-Old Wives With The Same Child Molesting Mormon Husband” Brand Vodka and its companion brand “You Catholic Priests Need Not Look So Smug About This” Brand Vodka.

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