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Lawmakers In Utah Approve Bill Decriminalizing Polygamy: Report

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah lawmakers unanimously voted for a bill that decriminalizes polygamy in the state.

Prior to the vote, the Utah legislature heard testimony from Shirlee Draper, who said she feared outsiders growing up in a polygamous community.

“All of them were kidnappers,” Draper said, “because we knew that was a fate we could suffer.”

“She testified alongside the bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Deidre Henderson, who argued to her Senate colleagues that the state’s current law classifying polygamy as a felony is unenforceable absent other crimes,” the newspaper reported.

“The people that I have spoken with long to feel part of society,” Henderson argued. “They are tired of being treated like second-class citizens. They feel like Utah has legalized prejudice against them. They want to be honest people, but feel like they have to lie or teach their children to lie about their families in order to stay safe.”

The newspaper noted that the new penalty for polygamy would not include jail time, only fines up to $750 and community service.

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