(SALT LAKE CITY) — Kody Brown, 44, and his four sister wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — can now have a legal marriage in their home state of Utah.
“It is with a great pleasure this evening that I can announce the final decision of United States District Court Judge Clarke Waddoups on the last remaining count in the Sister Wives case,” Brown’s attorney, Jonathan Turley, said on his blog.
The Browns, stars of the show Sister Wives, had been embroiled in a polygamy law case that had forced them away from their home. Turley said Waddoups had previously struck down “key portions” of the Utah polygamy law as unconstitutional, but that one item, Section 1883, remained.
“He has now ruled for the Browns in what is now a clear sweep on all counts,” he wrote about the section “that state officials (notably prosecutor Jeffrey R. Buhman) violated the constitutional rights of the Brown family in years of criminal investigation and public accusations.”
“With the earlier decision, families like the Browns can now be both plural and legal in the state of Utah,” he added. “The court specifically struck down language criminalizing cohabitation — the provision that is used to prosecute polygamists. … Judge Waddoups reaffirmed the independence of our courts and stood against open prejudice and hostility toward plural families.”
After the win was announced, Brown gave his lawyer a statement to post that read, “While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our religious beliefs. Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes told ABC News via a statement his office is determining whether to appeal the ruling.
“The attorney general’s office is currently reviewing Judge Waddoups’ ruling of Brown v. Herbert and will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks,” the statement read. “It is important to legally assess the ruling’s scope and how it will impact future litigation.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Melissa Gray, CNN
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com