Sound Choices Coalition – Press Release

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ST. GEORGE – Members of the Sound Choice Coalition, a grassroots organization dedicated to retaining the state’s bigamy/polygamy laws and educating and enlightening the community about the dangers of polygamy, will visit the Utah Capitol the morning of February 13th.

 The purpose of this visit to elected officials is to ask them to resist any loosening of Utah’s existing polygamy laws—to not decriminalize polygamy in the face of a lawsuit filed against the state by an active polygamist. Newly elected Utah Attorney General, John Swallow, has said he will continue his predecessor Mark Shurtleff’s policy of not prosecuting polygamy.

            “If Utah decriminalizes polygamy then Utah will become even more of a haven for polygamy and the abuses inherent within that practice,” Kristyn Decker, founder of Sound Choices Coalition and a former plural wife, said. “When you are brought up in fundamentalism you are blinded from truth and reality.” Sound Choices Coalition hopes Utah will make a sound choice to protect women and children from the abuses of patriarchal polygamy, such as unequal distribution of power within marriage, being manipulated to live polygamy under religious duress, and the practice of having more children than parents can provide and nurture and so on. She underscored the mission statement of the Sound Choices Coalition.

“We stand for freedom from generational and patriarchal abuses that coerce and rob free-will choice,” she said.  “Our goal is to educate and encourage everyone to claim this freedom, and request others to do the same.”

“The Browns and a few others in the Principle Rights Coalition are asking that polygamy be decriminalized. Therefore we are asking that ‘polygamy,’ as is it known, lived, and professed, is studied and defined in depth before decriminalization is even considered. Polygamy does not compare to the sexual liberty of consenting adults. It is not about adult consensual ‘choice.’ It is the aftermath of arduous programming.”

“For a large percentage of polygamous children, their only choice is do or die… a girl will kindly and sweetly give her husbands other ‘wives,’ will have as many babies as her body will produce, (whether or not her health suffers or she is capable of nurturing them, and whether her husband will, won’t, or can’t provide for them), because if she does not, she knows she has failed to demonstrate her ‘worthiness’ and will be ‘destroyed’. Under such extreme coercion, this can hardly be considered a choice.”

Members of the Sound Choices Coalition will distribute personal stories from previous polygamists, a brochure detailing scholarly research and legal findings concerning the inherent abuses of polygamy of any kind, and a letter expressing the need for continuation of the existing polygamy laws. The coalition hopes to persuade Utah representatives to act in the best interests of society, and to protect the women, children, and men suffering from the abuses of the polygamous lifestyle.

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