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

9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries, including a delegation from the United States. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Civil Rights Lawsuit for Transgender Workers Is First of its Kind - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has brought two lawsuits on behalf of transgender workers. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Advocates and Legislators Say NFL Corrections Go Wide But Not Deep Enough - Women's rights activists and anti-violence advocates are continuing to put pressure on the National Football League (NFL), calling for a more inclusive and robust institutional response to domestic violence and sexual assault as well as an independent investigation into the League. This summer, NFL executive leadership came under fire after the League failed to take action when video evidence of Ravens' running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee surfaced. . . .