If it were up to Kody Brown, polygamy would be legal in all 50 states. The Sister Wives star filed a lawsuit challenging Utah's criminal polygamy law in 2011 alongside wives Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, and Robyn Sullivan. The family belongs to Apostolic United Brethren faith where they believe in the validity of plural families. Keep scrolling to learn more about the Kody Brown lawsuit!
Who is Kody Brown?
The patriarch of the reality show, Sister Wives, is an advertising salesman who previously lived in Lehi, UT, but has since moved to Las Vegas, NV. Kody is part of a polygamist family — he has four wives and 18 children.
"We chose to be married," Kody previously told The Clicker. "Nobody forced us to do this and we choose to stay in it out of love and commitment. Just like any marriage."
What is polygamy?
If you're unfamiliar with this practice — it's simple. Polygamy is the act of marrying multiple spouses. Most people engage in monogamy which is the act of being married to one other person. While polygamy is currently illegal in the US, it is still practiced in certain religious sects.
Kody legally married Robyn in 2014. She is technically his fourth "spiritual" wife meaning a wife in the eyes of God, not the law. But, the couple later legally married in order for Kody to be able to adopt her three children from a previous marriage. This meant that he had to divorce his first wife Meri after 24 years together.
What is Brown v. Buhman?
The Brown family filed the suit in the US federal courts. They prevailed in the district court in a 2013 ruling, but a unanimous three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ordered for the case to be dismissed in 2016.
"There are tens of thousands of plural families in Utah and other states," the family argued 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."
What was the final outcome?
The case was recently rejected by the Supreme Court. The court rejected the family's petition to have their case heard. Despite the family's efforts, the case will not be heard by the Supreme Court meaning Utah's anti-polygamy law will remain intact.