In response to an inquiry from Approaching Justice, author and polygamy researcher Brian C. Hales responded to Friday’s ruling by the United States District Court for Utah which ruled that Utah’s polygamy laws are unconstitutional.
"Theologically, the LDS Church’s support of proposition 8 in California was a firm declaration against both polygamy and same-sex marriage," Hales told Approaching Justice. "So I expect such rulings will have no impact on Church teachings or practices."
Hales, board-certified anesthesiologist in Layton, Utah, is the author of three volumed book series titled Joseph Smith’s Polygamy.
Hales views polygamy as practiced by Kody Brown as being out of line with Joseph Smith’s teachings about polygamy.
"As a researcher into plural marriage as Joseph Smith taught it, I see little or no resemblance to what the Browns are practicing," Hales said. "I believe if he were here, Joseph would condemn their self-authorized efforts."
Kody Brown does not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he does belong to the Apostolic United Brethren, a Mormon fundamentalist group which does claim to have divine authorization to practice polygamy.
The Browns have talked about Joseph Smith and their Mormon heritage on the TLC reality show Sister Wives.
Hales sees the move toward legalized polygamy possibly causing problems in the area of immigration since immigration laws give preference to those married to people currently residing in the United States. Certain regions of the world practice polygamy at much higher rates than is the case in industrialized nations.