Letter to the Editor: Vote ‘yes’ on 3 and protect the sanctity of polygamist marriage


Amid all of the controversy surrounding Amendment No. 3, I’ve heard no mention of the amendment’s potential effect on polygamy.

If this amendment is passed, Tom Green’s brand of polygamy will essentially be legalized. The second sentence of the amendment’s text prohibits any domestic union, where a couple fails to obtain a marriage license by the state, as being recognized as a marriage. However, in the highly publicized recent Utah Supreme Court case State of Utah v. Thomas Green, the court recognized that Tom Green “avoided being in more than one licensed marriage at a time by terminating each licensed marriage by divorce prior to obtaining a license for a new marriage.”

The court held that Tom Green was committing polygamy by living with multiple women as if they were married.

Amendment No. 3, however, does not recognize such civil arrangements as marriage. Therefore, for those practicing polygamy without necessarily obtaining multiple, simultaneous marriage licenses, the marriages would no longer be “solemnized” by the state according to Utah Code 30-1-4.5.

While it is true that Tom Green violated the bigamy statute merely by being legally married to one person and cohabitating with others, all he would have to do to circumvent that is have no legal marriage license and cohabitate with as many women as he wants.

Amendment No. 3 does not recognize these relationships. It is interesting to me that, knowing how opposed most Utahans are to polygamy, a vote for Amendment No. 3 would effectively be legalizing certain types.

So, please keep in mind the solemnity of our most sacred union and vote no on Amendment No. 3.

Josh Davis

Junior, Medical Lab Science