Kody Brown and his four “wives,” Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, who star on the TLC reality series Sister Wives, are tired of being discriminated against and they’re not going to take it anymore. According to northjersey.com, the family’s attorney, Jonathan Turley, is filing a lawsuit in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court on Wednesday to challenge the Utah bigamy law that makes their polygamous lifestyle illegal.
Originally from Lehi, Utah, the Browns, who are Mormon fundamentalists, practice polygamy as part of their religious beliefs. They relocated to Nevada with their 16 children in January, after police and Utah County prosecutors launched a bigamy investigation.
A third-degree felony in Utah, a person can be found guilty of bigamy through cohabitation, not just legal marriage. Although no charges were filed against the Browns, they were riled by the investigation into their personal lives.
“There are tens of thousands of plural families in Utah and other states,” Kody Brown said in a statement. “We are one of those families. We only wish to live our private lives according to our beliefs. While we understand that this may be a long struggle in court, it has already been a long struggle for my family and other plural families to end the stereotypes and unfair treatment given consensual polygamy.”
Via a statement of his own, Turley added that he and his clients “are not demanding the recognition of polygamous marriage. We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs.”
Turley believes the Brown’s lawsuit is “a challenge designed to benefit not just polygamists, but all citizens who wish to live their lives according to their own values – even if those values run counter to those of the majority in the state.”