Polygamist Reality TV Stars Fight for the Right Not to Be Married

They'll seek protection under a Supreme Court ruling striking down anti-sodomy laws

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Tomorrow, the family starring in the reality TV series Sister Wives will file suit against Utah's anti-polygamy laws, reports The New York Times. Kody Brown and his four wives and 16 children and stepchildren, first appeared on TV in 2010, which sparked the announcement of an investigation by Utah law enforcement for violating the state's laws against polygamy. In an interesting legal tactic, the Browns' lawyers aren't pressuring the state to recognize polygamous marriage. Brown argues he's not in violation of seeking multiple marriage licenses because he's only legally married to one of his wives, with the rest being "sister wives," as their TLC show's title suggests. His lawyers are seeking protection for the "sister wives" arrangement under the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas ruling, which deemed the state's anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional because it intruded on the "intimate conduct" of consenting adults. The Browns' lawyers "will ask the federal courts to tell states that they cannot punish polygamists for their own 'intimate conduct' so long as they are not breaking other laws, like those regarding child abuse, incest or seeking multiple marriage licenses." And in case you've never seen or heard of this show before, here are some highlights from season two:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.