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Thank you for the excellent write-up and analysis. The inclusion of the marraige vow is interesting and I think necessary to the argument; however, I can see that if this were a Mormon case, that many Saints would be offended by it (even though Orson published the entire ordinance in the Millennial Star).

I thought it kind of amusing how the court took up Babalu Aye for just long enough to say that in its decision in the Tom Green case it "concluded that Utah’s bigamy statute is a neutral law of general applicability and that any infringement upon the free exercise of religion occasioned by that law’s application is constitutionally permissible."

And yet, in response to Holm's state constitutional argument the court pointed out (without reference to Babalu or any hint of irony) that the state’s free exercise clause says, "No inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; but polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited."

Dave, did you notice Justice Nehring's concurring opinion mentions his speculation about the likely perception of Utah being the first state to overturn a bigamy statute and about current public opinion regarding Utah even without overturning the statute? I like that he could candidly talk about the reality of the situation; and he even speculates that his fellow justices were speculating thus as well!

Charley and Dave: If I remember correctly, the statute in Lukumi was at least facially neutral (just like this one). The court used the surrounding context to show that it wasn't neutral in its origin. The court (in Lukumi) did point out that the statute used the word 'ritual' and used that to bolster its argument that it was religiously motivated...but the decision mainly looked at what town officials were saying about the situation at the time, using that to get to the motivation in passing the statute. So, yeah, the similarities are many.

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