Friday, August 28, 2015

Suit Challenges Montana's Ban on Polygamy

According to MTN News, a federal court lawsuit was filed yesterday challenging Montana's  ban on polygamous marriages.  Nathan and Vicki Collier were legally married in 2000.  Nathan is now seeking a marriage license to legally marry Christine Parkinson who has also been living as his wife in a polygamous relationship.  The family has a total of eight children.  In July, the Yellowstone County clerk's office denied Nathan a marriage license and asked the county attorney's office for legal advice.  In a letter, the Deputy County Attorney said that the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision does not extend to protect polygamous marriages.  Nathan, Vicki and Christine all filed the lawsuit, representing themselves, arguing that their consensual plural family association is protected by the equal protection, free exercise,  and establishment  clause as well as by the 1st Amendment's protection of speech and association. Montana's bigamy statute imposes a fine of $500 and imprisonment up to 6 months on those convicted.