In February, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart rejected the argument that the prohibition on polygamy is an unconstitutional violation of religious and privacy rights and ruled that the state has an interest in protecting monogamous marriage.
also ruled that even the 2003 opinion in Lawrence v. Texas over the sodomy law did not grant a right to plural marriage, noting that the laws against bigamy and polygamy do not preclude private sexual conduct.
Under Utah law, Barnard says, married people living in a sexual relationship with someone who is not their spouse is guilty of bigamy, and deceit or a second marriage ceremony are not required elements of the crime. But although that provision makes it illegal for a married man to live with a girlfriend before his divorce is final, the law has been used to target polygamists, he contends.
There is no compelling governmental interest that makes the prohibition against religious polygamy constitutional, he argues in the brief.
But the best argument is the dodge to protect the government ban on polygamy.
Utah also officially abandoned plural marriage, in part, lawyers for the state say, because of social problems associated with polygamy; the exploitation of women and girls; and the encouragement of responsible procreation.
Barnard counters that the state does not regulate exploitative relationships between other couples, and if there were a compelling reason to promote responsible procreation, Utah would step into all family situations. Yet, there are no sanctions against an unwed mother who rears children alone, and there is no statute barring parents from divorcing and raising their children in separate households.
"The state does not restrict nor ban 'serial polygamists,' individuals who repeatedly marry, conceive children and divorce a series of spouses."
IF you can't regulate homosexuality as it is a matter of private conduct, you start to lose any ability to regulate sexual activity you deem improper or harmful to society.
You can ( and many do) get into explotive marriages and you can ( and many do) have children irresponsibly.
Unless you prosecute all of them with draconian codes attacking polygamists isn't constitutional