Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-16-02

Utah: Plural Wife is First Woman Charged in Polygamy Case

In the first case of its kind, a Utah woman is facing charges for aiding and abetting a polygamist relationship between her legal husband and her then 16-year-old sister. According to the prosecution, Suzie Stubbs Holm, coerced her younger sister Ruth Stubbs, threatening she would "burn in hell" if she refused to become Rodney Holmís third plural wife. As members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the "spiritual" marriage took place four years ago despite state laws that declare bigamy and sexual intercourse between someone aged 16 or 17 and an individual more than 10 years older as third-degree felonies. Rodney Holm has fathered 20 children with three women. He currently faces charges for bigamy as well as three counts of unlawful sex. His attorney Rodney Parker argues that the marriage to Ruth Stubbs was consensual, and all pending legal actions "represent a return to the religious persecution of the 1880s, where the government prosecuted women and children in order to gain leverage against their husbands."

There are an estimated 30,000 practicing polygamists in the western US. The Fundamentalist church branched from the Mormon Church in 1890 after polygamy was no longer accepted. Regional authorities rarely prosecute polygamists for fear of political implications. The last polygamy case involved Tom Green who married and impregnated a 13-year-old girl. He was found guilty last June for child rape.

Phoenix anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop told AP the Holm case is critical because, "People donít understand that this has nothing to do with religion. Itís a human rights violation, a civil rights violation."

Media Resources: Salt Lake Tribute 10/8/02, 10/9/02; Associated Press 10/14/02; KSL-TV 10/11/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/16/2014 Female Afghan Parliamentarian Injured in Shooting Attack - Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday. . . .
 
4/16/2014 10-Year Old Girl Banned from Boys Basketball Team Will Now Play - Ten-year old Albuquerque, New Mexico fourth-grader Jaelyn Bates plays on the Frey Academy Basketball team, and her coach, Kevin Frey, thinks she's pretty good. . . .
 
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency." Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .