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Man and Wife and Wife and Wife

Federal judge effectively decriminalizes polygamy in Utah

Sister Wives 1, Utah 0. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down a key part of Utah's bigamy law, prohibiting the prosecution of someone who "cohabits with another person" he or she isn't married to. Utah's treatment of such domestic situations as a felony violates the First and 14th Amendments, Waddoups ruled. He let stand the part of the law that bars people from having more than one active marriage license, but his ruling effectively decriminalized polygamy in the state.

At least for now. Utah's attorney general said he will appeal the ruling to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was brought by Kody Brown and his four wives, the protagonists of the TLC show Sister Wives, who fled Utah to Nevada when a Utah prosecutor explored charging them with bigamy in 2010. Waddoups ordered Utah to compensate the Browns for the legal fees and related costs. You can read the full five-page ruling here. --Peter Weber