Why Sister Wives Hasn't Resulted in a Polygamy ConvictionS

Sister Wives, that show on TLC (The Learning Channel — where America goes to gawk at weirdos) that features a constantly grinning blonde man and his four wives who live in Utah with there eleventeen kids, features a family blatantly breaking the law. On television. So why hasn't anyone had to pay a fine or go to jail?

Kody Brown and his quartet of spouses — Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — haven't completely escaped legal scrutiny since they began filming Sister Wives. In 2011, the entire 21-person clan moved from a county about 30 miles from Salt Lake City to an area outside of Las Vegas once a bigamy investigation against Brown was launched. In response, Brown filed a lawsuit against the county and the state of Utah, alleging that anti-bigamy laws violated his penis's right to free speech (actually, he said "his" freedom of speech, but he meant his penis). And yesterday, charges were dropped against the family, and the case closed.

Nothing changed in the case, but it seems that the investigation was closed because Utah County has an informal policy in place that compels authorities to ignore polygamy as long as no other crimes are being committed. Since Kody and Kompany were keeping to themselves and not causing a ruckus, and since Kody and Kompany had filed that lawsuit that could have ended up being a gigantic ass ache for the state of Utah and Utah County, authorities decided to just drop it and pretend all of this ugliness never happened — which may have been wise on the authorities' part. Unless Brown is legally married to all four of his wives, it would be difficult for the state to press charges against him for bigamy; "spiritual marriage" isn't something governed by the law, and it could easily be argued that interfering with that was interfering with Brown's right to freely practice his religion.

So no bigamy charges or fines or wrist slaps have arisen in response to Sister Wives because Utah authorities have decided that they're just not going to enforce the law — sort of like how California turns a blind eye to awesome prescription weed, and no one hauls you off to jail if you say "arr-KAN-sass" in Little Rock.

[AP]