Reality TV Cast Sues To Legalize Polygamy



The latest episode in Sister Wives is playing out in the courtroom, not on cable. On Wednesday, the Brown family — the husband, four wives, and 16 children who star in the reality TV show— plans to file a lawsuit in federal court in Utah. The family members say the state's anti-bigamy law is unconstitutional and that Supreme Court precedent backs them up.

Kody Brown and his family made their television debut on Sept. 26, 2010. "I'm a polygamist," said Brown. "But we're not the polygamists you think you know."

Brown and his four wives knew they were taking a risk when they signed the deal with the network TLC. But Robyn Brown, wife No. 4, told viewers they wanted to make a point.

"It's OK for us to live this way, honestly," she said. "I'm sorry — but this is a nation of freedom of choice. We should have this choice, and I want my kids to know that."

... This isn't about personal rights, says Marci Hamilton. It's about a state's ability to regulate marital relationships. Hamilton, an expert on polygamy law and a professor at Cardozo School of Law, says there is a mountain of evidence that polygamy is bad for women and children.