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Petition argues polygamy should remain a crime

Published January 15, 2013 11:36 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

UPDATE: Kristyn Decker will meet with her group, called the Sound Choices Coalition, 3 p.m. Thursday at the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City. That's 30 minutes before the Browns' hearing. Decker is a former polygamist wife who is now a polygamy opponent. Decker's press release does not say whether this will be a protest, but Decker has criticized the Browns' attempts to decriminalize polygamy.

Original post:

A group of activists has organized a petition to oppose the decriminalization of polygamy.

Called "Stand Against Legalizing the Subjugation of Women Through Polygamy," the petition is hosted by Change.org and as of Tuesday morning had been signed by 54 supporters.

It's a response to the lawsuit filed by Kody Brown and his family, who star in the TV show "Sister Wives." The petition calls the show entertainment that "does not reflect the reality of thousands of residents of Utah and beyond who have suffered agonizing abuses, monumental losses, and even a violation of human rights due to the lack of enforcement of the state's mandatory prohibition on polygamy."

Brown's lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Utah's polygamy laws.

The petition began with a proposal by Kristyn Decker, an ex-polygamist who writes and blogs about her former lifestyle. Decker said she was concerned about "pro-polygamy media coverage" and wanted to create something that would send a message that polygamy "is damaging and harmful."

Christine Marie, a human rights blogger and self-described victim of a "pseudo polygamist," created the petition at Decker's behest. Marie argued that most women in polygamy cannot consent to the lifestyle because they believe they will suffer "eternal consequences" for leaving it. The petition, she added, is a "mostly symbolic" effort to emphasize the victimization women and children experience in polygamy.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @ @jimmycdii