As reported by The New York Times and National Public Radio, I will be traveling to Salt Lake City today to file (on Wednesday) a challenge to the Utah statute criminalizing bigamy and cohabitation. The lawsuit will be filed on behalf of my clients, the Brown family. The Browns are featured in the TLC program Sister Wives as an openly polygamous family.
The lawsuit will be filed in federal court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday and we will be available for questions at 1 p.m. outside of the courthouse.
The Plaintiffs are Kody Brown, Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, Meri Brown, and Robyn Sullivan.
As in past cases, I will have to be circumspect in what I say after the filing of this action. However, we are honored to represent the Brown family in this historic challenge,” said Professor Turley. “We believe that this case represents the strongest factual and legal basis for a challenge to the criminalization of polygamy ever filed in the federal courts. We are not demanding the recognition of polygamous marriage. We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs. This action seeks to protect one of the defining principles of this country, what Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the right to be left alone.’ In that sense, it is a challenge designed to benefit not just polygamists but all citizens who wish to live their lives according to their own values – even if those values run counter to those of the majority in the state.
The following is the statement from Kody Brown, which will be the only statement at this time on the filing:
Statement of Kody Brown:
“There are tens of thousands of plural families in Utah and other states. We are one of those families. We only wish to live our private lives according to our beliefs. While we understand that this may be a long struggle in court, it has already been a long struggle for my family and other plural families to end the stereotypes and unfair treatment given consensual polygamy. We are indebted to Professor Turley and his team for their work and dedication. Together we hope to secure equal treatment with other families in the United States.”
We will post the complaint as soon as it is docketed by the Clerk of Court.
156 thoughts on “Brown Family To File Challenge To The Criminalization of Polygamy In Utah”
then by all means carry on. It might help this reader if you would mention that Mike Spindell had said you were engaging in that with the Koch brothers or whomever. I believe he has accused me a few times as well.
Thank you for clarifying.
“The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature . . . . The law of identity does not permit you to have your cake and eat it, too. The law of causality does not permit you to eat your cake before you have it.”
“To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the law of identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved.”
“Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance.”
“Choice . . . is not chance. Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation.”
GeneH, I figured you wouldn’t be able to support your argument. if that’s your last word, you can have it.
Roco, I’m not calling Mike Spindell that, I’m just reminding him that that’s what he called me.
I think you do yourself a disservice by writing that about Mike Spindell. You could say he is exasperating or cantankerous or even cranky.
Just a thought and not a sermon.
“do realize that when you say “correlation is correlation” and not causation and “the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid” that you have contradicted yourself?”
There was no contradiction whatsoever as I then proceeded to demonstrate that von Mises assertion that business should not be regulated by government (the rule of law) was as a matter of basic logic (the rule of identity) creating a classist argument (the very thing he was being critical of). Also, if you’re going to quote me, I’d appreciate some greater accuracy than that slop above. The full quote was “That you think that the correlation is weak when the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid. Weakness is merely your opinion.” You think the correlation is weak, but that is merely your opinion unless you have some method for defeating the logic of the law of identity. Logic is still logic. Von Mises ideology creates a classist argument because it is dependent upon two distinct classes – those who are subject to the rule of law and those who are not. That he then proceeded to use the term polyloggism to criticize the logic of others based on their logic being classist is simply irony. That he didn’t understand basic logic comes as no surprise as he also rejected the scientific use of empirical data in economic analysis. Then again, one doesn’t need logic when one is promoting ideology, just dogma.
As for your love of Sheen-ster, me and my stable of Goddesses thank you, but you’re the one commenting on my winning. I’m perfectly content to let the audience decide. I didn’t say I won. What I said is that I don’t take what you say seriously. That would be because of the multitude of valid reasons you give to not take you seriously, such as your use of straw men, your inability to use basic yet lone advanced logic properly and your willingness to make up definitions to suit your ends (although that would partially explain why the law of identity poses such a problem for you). Also, I suggest you go re-read what I’ve previously said about you giving me orders.
Actually, Mike “anilingus “Spindell, that would have been GeneH derailing the conversation. But thanks for noticing
“I speak fluent sleepy poster.” -Gene H.
:-), again… Good to know. Happy that others are enjoyed the vid…
Note “it” trying to derail the topic once again. As Lennon/McCarthy once wrote “Let “it” Be.”
I got your context perfectly well. I speak fluent sleepy poster. 😉 It was still a really cute video. It has been a great hit around here today.
GeneH, Give me a quote/cite for your premise that Von Mises was for 1. “unregulated lasisez faire” economics and 2. that only capitalists should be unregulated and not subject to goverment authority. They look like more of your strawmen.
Also, you do realize that when you say “correlation is correlation” and not causation and “the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid” that you have contradicted yourself? Did you mean potential causal connection? But then how could that be vaild if you only have a correlation? And, if all you have is a potential casual connection, then the rest of that argument falls apart. Must be part of your polyogistic logic.
Also, you would appear more confident in your arguments if you didn’t have to remind the audience in every paragraph of how you thinking you are “winning.” You are kind of like Charlie Sheen in that respect.
“He’d play with our dog, but the cats were having none of it despite Oreo’s efforts.” -Gene H.
🙂 (Regarding the “Cat and puppy so in love” vid, I might have added a note about the cross-species angle that arose in this thread somewhere… I was tired, but not just randomly posting OT vids… Sure, I may have been looking for an excuse to post it…)
“The idea that a 3rd party (government) should decree what type of mutually voluntary relationship can exist between adults is ludicrous on the very face of it.”
Come on now, Kitty. This happens all the time. Try marrying your brother. Also, would you really deny the government some say in protection of the elderly from manipulative children, predatory lending practices against the poor, inheritance, price gouging, and on and on. Should the court’s approve any manner of relationship so long as it’s “voluntary”? The law works at the extremes. This Brown case is about as extreme as I could imagine. There is a place for government here to do what all governments are supposed to do: Protect those who cannot protect themselves.
To the topic at hand,
What mespo said. I can think of many personal perils of polygamy, but no valid legal reason for prohibiting the practice. Regulating it so the practice is not abusive to the weak or disadvantaged is another matter and open for debate.
Instead of trying to once again use a straw man to say that I was saying correlation is causation (your premise) when what I clearly said was correlation is correlation, why don’t you try not using straw men altogether?
“Also, I don’t see how von Mises’ calling out of other groups for engaging in polylogism makes him a polylogist, unless you can shoe that he was many logics, each valid for some men and invalid for the others. I also don’t see how capitalism ’causes’ a polyogistic system based on class.”
Von Mises logic is valid only for some – capitalists who desire not to be regulated or subject to governmental authority. It is not valid logic to all who consider “all men are created equal” as valid logic as a self-evident fact and a sound precept in formulating the rule of law. Your inability to understand that inequality of opportunity created by putting von Mises laissez-faire ideology into action was the result of the data you pointed to on that other thread is your problem. It is not as if you don’t have a history of shooting yourself in the foot with your own evidence.
By designating a group that is exempt from the law, you create a class whether that class distinction is based on their profit motive or their skin color. Von Mises accuses others of ascribing to different forms of logic based upon their group affiliation when that is in fact what he himself did. His preferred group was unregulated capitalists. That you think that the correlation is weak when the logic of “exemption by definition creates classes” is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid. Weakness is merely your opinion. That exemption from the rule of law by definition will create distinct classes (in the most general terms, the lawful and the lawless), is indisputable and valid logic. Why? I’m glad you asked, because it comports with the mother of all logic, mathematics and symbolic logic. Once a distinction is made for special treatment purposes, a distinct class has been created. To suggest otherwise violates the law of identity.
A is A or A is not A, however if A is not A then A must be X.
A is subject to equal treatment under the law or A is not subject to equal treatment under the law, however if A is not subject to equal treatment under the law, then A is no longer A, but is rather X.
If von Mises suggestions that capitalists deserve to be treated in a hands off manner concerning the law and regulation doesn’t create a special class of people that is based upon economic classism, then prove it. As a matter of logic, it most certainly does create a special class who is exempt from governmental oversight.
Exempting one classification of people from the the rule of law, no matter what that distinction is based upon, is just as much a classist system as von Mises accused Communism or any other system he was critical of of being. An equitable system means no one gets special treatment although the very data you pointed to shows that the bigger the business the more special consideration they received. Since you so strongly endorse von Mises unregulated laissez-faire ideology and by your own evidence it acts to create an unlevel playing field in business, it becomes readily apparent that for all your talk of respecting equality in opportunity, respecting the ideals of Jefferson is merely lip service. The creation of monopolies and oligarchies are two of the traditional criticisms of capitalism but they apply even more so to unregulated capitalism. Unregulated capitalism leads to unequal and anti-democratic politics and markets in practice such as the oligarchy that allows big business to pay a lesser regulatory burden than small business thus putting greater economic burden on small business and restraining competition from the bottom up. You say you don’t want any cake, but the evidence points to you wanting your cake and to eat it too. Be for von Mises or be for Jefferson, but you cannot be for both without being hypocritical.
It all adds up to more reasons not to take anything you say seriously.
“My interest in this issue is not academic; I am in a loving and long term poly relationship and could be prosecuted under Utah’s law if I were to ever travel there.”
I think that it is so brave of you to share that.
“I like to think I’m not the horrible person that has been described in some of the other posts on this thread.”
If you are the type of person who can get two or more others to fully love you and share your lives together, I can’t believe that you’re anything but
a good person. The range of human behavior is in the direction of being infinite and yet we mostly have so much in common in the way we feel. Other than in instances of exploitation, force or coercion, we should all be free to explore our heart’s desires, in all their possible complexities. Those who dare to go against the opprobrium of so-called moralists who preach their own rules of conformity, are indeed brave and enjoy my respect. It is more than high time that these hypocrites of morality are shown for the tyrants they are. As I’ve quoted here many times from the minds of Confucius, The Buddha, Jesus and Rabbi Hillel:
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah [insert Gospels, Koran and or most other religious works and philosophies]; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”
There are more poly family groups out there than people realize. And most don’t fit into a neat stereotype regarding living arrangements or relationship dynamics.
Wow! That is convenient.
Mike S. you’ve always been one of my favorite commentators, my apologies if my reply was accusatory. After some soul searching I’ve also realized that you’re correct about the need for poly individuals to speak up.
My interest in this issue is not academic; I am in a loving and long term poly relationship and could be prosecuted under Utah’s law if I were to ever travel there. I like to think I’m not the horrible person that has been described in some of the other posts on this thread.
The idea that a 3rd party (government) should decree what type of mutually voluntary relationship can exist between adults is ludicrous on the very face of it. The fact that so very many people have for so very long accepted the “authority” of the State in the area of “marriage” is equally ridiculous. All the problems occurring and/or envisioned stem from the so-called “rights” (privileges/status) that government awards those who are “married” per its definition.
Government is the root of the problem, not the parties seeking contractual arrangements of their polyamorous (polygamous/polyandrous) relationships.
Now for those who disagree – as did Scott Greenfield in his response to my comment at his blog http://blog.simplejustice.us/2011/07/12/turleys-many-wives.aspx#comment-11180379 :
Those who “disagree” with “polyamorous (polygamous/polyandrous) relationships” will obviously not enter into them. In a society of full freedom (available actions) and maximum liberty (definitely not the current society), disagree-ers would simply Socially Preference against those in such relationships rather than have the option of seeking the “services” of others who are ready and willing to initiate physical force (government enforcers).
A society of self-responsible individuals voluntarily interacting for the maximization of the lifetime happiness of each, all at the same time is not “utopia” – an impossibility based on facts of reality. Instead it is a very real possibility once fully understood and embraced by even a relatively small number but used as the basis of their interactions with *all* others, who will gradually come to appreciate, understand and reciprocate – or be shunned. (See selfsip.org for details of social order without rulers and their enforcers.)
——— end of twice submitted reply at SHG’s blog not published —
While links are not permitted in comments to ScottGreenfield’s blog, here is the one I would have included above, “Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction” – http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/socialmetaneeds.html
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