Polygamy bill headed to Governor’s desk
A bill that will turn polygamy between consenting adults in Utah into a non-criminal offense is headed for Governor Herbert's desk.
Valerie Darger is a member of a polygamist family and was in the gallery as the state House passed Senate Bill 102 yesterday.
The bill reduces the penalties for those found to be practicing polygamy from a criminal charge to a citation.
However, anyone found to be practicing polygamy as part of a fraud, through abuse or by forcing a child to marry will be subject to a second-degree felony charge.
Because the bill does not legalize polygamy, it does not violate the state constitution.
Supporters of the bill, like state Representative Lowry Snow, say the decriminalization of polygamy may encourage more families to step forward and report abuse.