Legal Experts: Polygamy Challenges Get Boost From SSM


The Washington Times reports:

[Polygamy is] getting a legal boost from a strange bedfellow: the success of same-sex marriage.

Gay-rights advocates cringe whenever the connection is made between same-sex and plural marriage, but more than a few legal analysts say the recent gains posted by gay marriage in the courts and state legislatures cannot help but bolster the case for legalized polygamy.

... "Unlike same-sex marriage, which has no historical roots and is a new frontier — you can't say the same thing about polygamy," said Austin Nimocks, attorney for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes same-sex marriage. "There's a cultural underpinning and support for plural marriage, so one could say the case is actually stronger for plural marriage."

... If U.S. courts do eventually legalize plural marriage, there's an excellent chance that the attorney for the plaintiffs will be Brian Barnard. A Utah-based religious-freedom lawyer, Mr. Barnard has been challenging anti-polygamy laws for decades.

"We haven't been successful, but we think the times are a-coming," said Mr. Barnard, who serves as legal director for the Utah Civil Rights and Liberties Foundation.