We have noted that the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision, which held sodomy laws unconstitutional, as well as the growing movement arguing that homosexual marriage is constitutionally required, has led to claims that polygamy and other arrangements that have historically been regarded as deviant must also be permitted.
It now turns out that the civil liberties community, as personified by the ACLU, is supportive of the bigamists’ position:
[Brian] Barnard, a civil rights attorney, has brought a lawsuit challenging Utah’s ban on polygamy. And some legal experts say the case could have a fighting chance because of the Supreme Court’s gay-sex ruling.
The federal lawsuit, filed Jan. 12, involves a married couple, identified only as G. Lee Cook and D. Cook, and a woman, J. Bronson, who wanted to enter into a plural marriage but were denied a marriage license by Salt Lake County clerks.
Dani Eyer, executive director of the ACLU of Utah, which is not a party to the case, said the state will “have to step up to prove that a polygamous relationship is detrimental to society.”
“There’s no denying that thousands and thousands are doing that here and will maintain that it’s healthy,” she said. “The model of the nuclear family as we know it in the immediate past is unique, and may not be necessarily be the best model. Maybe it’s time to have this discussion.”