Are Kody Brown and his four wives breaking the law with polygamist lifestyle?

Everyone is in America is really curious about the Morman polygymist lifestyle. We lap up fictional accounts of it in the form of HBO’s Big Love and Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist.

We’ve also been rapt at news coverage of sects that get busted, marveling at the grizzled men and their wide array of women sporting homemade prairie-style clothing accented by signature hair poofs that give Snooki a run for her money.

A woman from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) walks out with her child as they leave the Kidz Harbor facility shortly after reuniting with their children in Liverpool, Texas on June 3, 2008. More than 400 children, taken from the polygamist sect's ranch two months ago, began returning to their parents after a judge bowed to a state Supreme Court ruling that the state seizure was not justified. (UPI Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher) Photo via Newscom Photo via NewscomThe Browns seek to show a different side. They have more mainstream tastes and a laid-back, jolly attitude. They’re also hoping to squash stereotypes of child brides, incest, and patriarchal rule.

But is what they’re doing illegal? Short answer: definitely. The Utah constitution state: “Polygamous and plural marriages are forever prohibited.”

But are they going to be put in jail for admitting to their lifestyle and even documenting it on television? Probably not.

As long as polygamists don’t break the law in other ways, especially with things like marrying children, Utah is content to look the other way. Utah’s attorney general Mark Shurtleff had this to say at a recent polygamist political rally that Kody Brown attended (via BBC):

“I’m not being soft on them. But I don’t have the resources to throw them all in jail. I hope they now work through the process of changing the law if they disagree with it.”

UPDATE: They are now reportedly being investigated by a county attorney general for felony bigamy. No word yet if actual charges will be made.

The Browns responded to news of the investigation with this statement:

“We are disappointed in the announcement of an investigation, but when we decided to do this show, we knew there would be risks. But for the sake of our family, and most importantly, our

UPDATE 2: The Browns won a lawsuit they filed against the stat of Nevada. It is no longer illegal in Utah for polygamist to cohabitate, as long as they all do not legally marry each other.

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