Sister Wives — starring Kody Brown, his wives (yes, for anyone who hasn’t seen the show, that’s a plural), and all their children — has raised awareness of the practice of polygamy.
Initially, Kody faced criticism for his way of life. However, now that polygamy is legal in Utah, will Brown and his flock flee from Flagstaff, Arizona to Utah?
Sister Wives star Kody Brown: Why he once sued Utah over polygamy
Kody faces an intriguing dilemma about potentially moving to Utah now that polygamy is legal in that state. If he goes there, Brown faces a challenge: He and his wives once sued the state because the group was being investigated for their plural marriages, according to Fox News.
Utah has gone back and forth about whether or not polygamy should be viewed as a crime.
In 2012, a federal judge removed the criminal charge for bigamy as long as the relationship concerned consenting adults.
However, a federal appeals court overturned the judge’s ruling after Utah State Legislature in 2017 once again criminalized the practice of polygamy.
However, over the past weekend, the Utah governor inked Senate Bill 202 to decriminalize polygamy. Being involved in this practice now amounts to the same result that receiving a traffic ticket does. The practice has been reduced to an infraction as long as those involved are consenting adults and not involved in any other crimes, such as underage marriage, abuse, or fraud.
Will Sisters Wives move to Utah now that polygamy is legal?
Given the change regarding the risks of practicing polygamy in Utah, fans wonder: Is Kody tempted to order his Sister Wives cast members to pack up and move to the state?
Brown answered the question on Twitter.
Too late. Utah lost us. We miss all of you. We will continue to miss you. Now we have a new home in the Free State of Arizona. https://t.co/xYdWwozzRk
— Kody Brown (@realkodybrown) March 29, 2020
In his response, Kody seemed to be scolding Utah for waiting too long to decriminalize polygamy. He stated that the new bill is “too late” while claiming that Utah “lost” the opportunity to become home to his wives and kids.
Although Brown admitted that he and his family “miss all of you” in Utah and will continue to do so, he insisted that Sisters Wives has “a new home in the Free State of Arizona.”
In response to the Sister Wives star’s twitter announcement about not moving to Utah, some fans applauded Kody’s accomplishments for showing what polygamy is really like.
For example, Twitter user @Jenlmason1 praised the Sister Wives cast for making “a huge contribution in getting that law done just by sharing your lives for all of these years and showing just how absolutely harmless and ‘normal’ that your family is….basically just as harmlessly dysfunctional as nonpolygamist families.”
Some Utahns said they regretted Brown’s decision not to move to the state.
Actually Utah does miss the @realkodybrown and his family. I am a member of the LDS mainstream Church. It is a dang shame that the Brown's 1st amendment rights to "freedom of religion" have been violated by Utah. @LuvgvsUwngs @JanelleBrown117
— Cory Green (@CoryGreen14) March 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Twitter user Cory Green noted that Utah “does miss” the Sister Wives family. He said it is a “dang shame” that Cody and the Brown family had their “first amendment rights to freedom of religion…violated by Utah.”
An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Utahns follow the practices of Mormon fundamentalism, which includes plural marriage. Legislators tend to agree that allowing plural families such as the Sister Wives cast to become part of society rather than being isolated from society would be a positive move.