The fresh Chapel selected then to ignore what the law states

The Court performed take notice about although Reynolds may use his religion because a protection, given that Reynolds got debated you to, due to the fact a great Mormon, it actually was their religious responsibility to apply polygamy

Even though it y is a common habit throughout the Mormon religion, which new Mormon faith provides served polyandry through the background, the stark reality is that Mormon consumers don’t habit polygamy, however, think it over to get a critical offense contrary to the guidelines of one’s residential property, also resistant to the rules of the gospel.

Polyandry Example you to Lay Legal Precedent

George Reynolds belonged into the Church off God Christ out-of Second-Day New orleans saints (the newest “Mormon” Church) as he is actually charged with bigamy from inside the 1874. The fresh new LDS Chapel considered during the time that Morrill Anti-Bigamy Work away from 1862 is actually unconstitutional, since it refused the fresh Church’s participants the legal right to behavior the religion easily by permitting them to features numerous spouses, which was section of its religion. New Morrill Anti-Bigamy Work is actually a laws, finalized because of the President Abraham Lincoln, you to prohibited polygamy, and minimal the degree of chapel- and you may low-profit-had regions so you’re able to a maximum worth of $fifty,100.

Since the Utah is actually a much-flung nest, and you can Lincoln got their hand complete on the strong Civil Combat, legislation wasn’t implemented. The explanation for brand new charges facing Reynolds was that he elia Jane Schofield as he was still .

Reynolds was being employed as an assistant to your president of one’s LDS Church at that time. Meanwhile, the newest Church’s ruling body agreed to assist the U.S. Ultimate Court that have a test instance who would let influence the new constitutionality of your own anti-bigamy legislation by giving the newest Legal having good accused. Reynolds wanted to act as you to accused, to test whether or not the law violated the man’s Basic Modification legal rights. He then offered to the You.S. Lawyer multiple witnesses which could attest to the fact that Reynolds performed in fact features one or two spouses, and that he was indicted to own bigamy by the a huge Jury from inside the October regarding 1874.

Reynolds made an effort to feel the demonstration judge teach new jury one to whenever they considered he had the amount of time bigamy with the only objective off following their faith, then have to be receive not guilty. But not, the brand new legal denied his demand and you may as an alternative coached new jury one once they found that Reynolds, intoxicated by their faith:

“… purposely married an extra date, that have a first girlfriend life style, new require of awareness of evil purpose-the fresh new want of insights into the their area that he was committing crime-didn’t excuse him, nevertheless laws inexorably, in these instances, indicates criminal purpose.”

  • That it was his duty, as per his religion, so you can endment secure their religious means
  • You to their grand jury was not lawfully constituted (legitimate under the rules)
  • One to demands that have been lifted by particular jurors was indeed defectively overruled of the court
  • You to definitely people testimony provided try inadmissible because it had been offered right up lower than several other indictment

The brand new Utah Territorial Finest Court disagreed, but not, and you may upheld Reynolds’ phrase into the 1876. On Court’s unanimous decision, it had been reported that:

“Everyone else with a husband or wife traditions, whom marries other, if partnered or single, inside the a territory, or other put more than that your You has actually personal legislation, is guilty of bigamy, and you will are punished from the a fine away from only $five hundred, and by imprisonment getting an expression out-of not more than four years.”

The latest Court did understand that Congress never admission a laws one prohibits some body from easily practicing the faith. Yet not, new it stored that the laws one to forbids bigamy will not satisfy you to fundamental, and that the concept that someone need one lover is traced entirely to English legislation not as much as King James We out of England, where You.S. legislation try centered.

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