“My cousin has two moms (and a dad)”

We live in the house we bought six years ago from Kody Brown. He lived in this house with 3 wives: Christine, Janelle, and Meri. (He married Robyn while the Brown family was living here.)

The house has 3 distinct apartments, which means three kitchens, three laundry rooms, many entrances, a single driveway (with many parking spots), and one huge utility bill, ha ha. Our dream house would also have a large communal area, but all in all, this house is awesome for a plural family.

Our family has only 2 wives. We have courted a potential third wife once or twice, but obviously it’s never worked out; you might be surprised how difficult it is to find a good fit for a well-established family, but those are stories for another time. I hope Joshua will have the opportunity to love 3 wives someday.

When referring to sections of the house, we freely use the word “house” for what might more accurately be called an apartment. But since that can get a little confusing I’ll just call them apartments. I live in the “apartment” formerly occupied by Meri Brown, and my sisterwife Melissa lives where Janelle Brown used to live. In the 3rd apartment (Christine Brown’s) lives some members of our extended family, including two of my nieces. (By the way, the family isn’t polygamous.)

Today, my nieces had a friend over whom I had never met. The 3 little girls were sitting on my porch steps, and I went past them on my way to the driveway. “Hello, girls!” I said. “Eating fudgsicles, eh? Yum!”

The older niece told her friend, “That’s my cousin’s mom.”

She was corrected by my younger niece: “One of her moms.”

Older niece: “Her husband is a polygamist!”

I didn’t hear what their young friend said in response. I just kept walking.

I was charmed by the innocence of the children freely sharing a fact about their aunt with no embarrassment or hesitation.

Later that day we were out in public, and we happened to see that same girl. Once again I thought about how we polygamists often just fit right in: You probably don’t even realize when you’re sharing the children’s museum or the swimming pool with polygamists.

Being introduced as one of my daughter’s moms is something that definitely wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t a polygamist.

Lobbying for SB102 at the Utah State Capitol

Wasn’t it only 3 years ago that rabid lawmakers passed HB99, making life even worse for polygamists in Utah?

HB99 was so strict, it made it a felony to cohabitate OR purport to be married to someone you didn’t even live with. I figured with Utah getting even stricter, the law was here to stay, and the only way to get it to change would be to get the Supreme Court involved, which process would be helped along if someone was actually arrested.

Cuff me: I’m a polygamist.

Then, last year, adultery was decriminalized, and the world felt like it was upside-down. Why is it okay to be married and to sleep around with people who are already married (against the wishes of the respective spouses), but actually marrying, committing, providing for, and otherwise taking care of multiple consenting spouses is a crime?

Then an amazing thing happened! Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in the Utah State Senate which would lower the criminality from a felony to an infraction (which means no jail time).

I thought changing the law would require a polygamist actually getting prosecuted, and then challenging the law (which kind of, sort of, almost happened with Kody Brown — long story). I’ve been pleasantly surprised to watch the progress of SB102 and realize it was probably going to pass. It feels so easy compared to what I was expecting.

A few weeks ago, I hung out with some other polygamists at the Utah State Capitol building while we lobbied the State Legislature to pass SB102.

Among others, Enoch Foster (of Three Wives, One Husband) was there with two of his wives, and Joe Darger (a famous polygamist who’s been on TV and in the news many times) was there with one of his wives. Colton Winder (of Seeking Sister Wife) was there with one of his wives, and he wrote a blog post about it. (Check out those awesome photos of Tami and Colton in the State Capitol building! I took those photos, tee-hee!)

My sisterwife’s schedule and mine conflicted so she ended up going on Tuesday and I was there on the Wednesday before the Utah State Senate unanimously passed the bill, which is really amazing!

The Utah House of Representatives also passed it, and yesterday the governor signed it into law! Read the news reports here and here.

Is this really when and how the law is changing?

How have things changed so much in such a short time?