In a case brought by "Sister Wives" TLC reality television star Kody Brown and his four wives, Meri, Christine, Robyn and Janelle, Judge Clark Waddoups released a 91-page decision that clears the way for cohabitation between multiple spouses. The Browns argued that a law banning religious cohabitation violated their privacy.
Waddoups’ ruling stopped short of striking down the state’s bigamy law, which makes it illegal to have multiple marriage licenses.
The decision was hailed by polygamists in the state. Utah resident Joe Darger, who has three wives and 25 children, told CBS News’s Crimesider last week that his children won’t grow up with “fear, shame and anger.”
Incoming Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes says he plans to fight the ruling, however, telling Fox 13, “When I am sworn in that again is my intention, to defend the laws that have been passed by the state of Utah.”
A spokesman for Reyes didn’t return a call and e-mail for comment from CBS News’ Crimesider.
The Brown family said in a statement released online through the website of their lawyer, Jonathan Turley, that they were “disappointed” by the ruling. The family is prepared to “defend the decision protecting our religious and privacy rights,” they wrote.
“While we regret the decision of the incoming Attorney General to try to strip our family of these rights, we look forward to arguing the case before the federal court of appeals and have absolute confidence in our cause and our counsel,” the family said.
Reyes is also expected to ask the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay on same-sex marriages in the state after same-sex marriage was legalized there this month.