Monday, December 16, 2013

Utah (federal) ruling on polygamy reflects on Lawrence v. Texas, even gay marriage; a personal trip to the Tarheel State

On Sunday, the New York Times reported, on p A19, the federal judge Clark Waddoups in Utah had invalidated part of a Utah law banning polygamy, specifically language regarding “cohabitation” on due process and First Amendment grounds.  He left in place the parts banning legal recognition of polygamous marriage. The story is by John Schwartz.
The ruling (link) referred to the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy law decision in 2003, particularly Kennedy’s reported language on personal autonomy or self-ownership.  The ruling would seem to discredit the idea that accepting gay marriage would lead to legal recognition of polygamy. The ruling seemed also to answer Scalia’s dissent in the 2003 opinion.
The New York Times article is here

On Anderson Cooper's AC360, a spokesperson for young women who were victimized by Warren Jeffs and the FLDS said that this decision doesn't recognize the deliberate abuse of women and mockery of their ability to "consent". 
On a personal note, I visited the club “Legends” in Raleigh, NC Sunday night (Dec. 15) while traveling.  The crowd as moderate, but there were some very attractive dancers, and some contact seemed to be allowed.  (It is not allowed in Washington DC but was in Minnesota when I lived there; however photography of dancing models was not allowed in Minnesota). 
I also drove past the St. Johns Metropolitan Community Church, between downtown and Fletcher Park in Raleigh. I had attended a service there in July 1994 after a very personal soliloquy in the park.  I still remember that particular Sunday morning, about the time of my 51st birthday.

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