Utah-based Kody Brown and his four wives – Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn – had filed a legal brief contending that because the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a constitutional right for same-sex couples, it should also recognise polygamous families, especially noting that fact that they are Mormons and their religious belief system does not forbid one man to marry 2 and more women.
Mr Brown had alleged that state marriage laws – which make polygamy a felony punishable by up to five years in prison – are discriminatory and unconstitutional, after a humiliating police investigation against him and hid wives. The family had had some success in a district court battle in 2013, when Utah’s laws were found to be unconstitutional. However, after a 2016 challenge from Utah’s Attorney General, the decision was overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in a unanimous ruling. The brief listing from the Supreme Court today confirmed: “CERTIORARI DENIED 16-333 BROWN, KODY, ET AL. V. BUHMAN, JEFFREY R. The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied.”