The fresh Judge did take notice concerning though Reynolds could use their faith just like the a protection, because Reynolds got argued one to, given that a great Mormon, it had been his spiritual responsibility to train polygamy
Whilst it y is a common habit about Mormon religion, and therefore this new Mormon religion features served polyandry throughout records, the fact remains that Mormon people do not behavior polygamy, but consider it are a life threatening offense against the laws of residential property, along with contrary to the guidelines of gospel.
Polyandry Example one Put Legal Precedent
George Reynolds belonged towards the Chapel away from Goodness Christ of Second-Date New orleans saints (the latest “Mormon” Church) as he are faced with bigamy in 1874. The LDS Church believed during the time that the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Work of 1862 try unconstitutional, since it denied the brand new Church’s users the right to behavior its religion freely by permitting these to enjoys numerous partners, that was part of the religion. The fresh Morrill Anti-Bigamy Work are a rules, signed because of the President Abraham Lincoln, you to definitely prohibited polygamy, and you can limited the degree of church- and you can low-profit-owned areas in order to a maximum worth of $fifty,100.
As the Utah was a far-flung colony, and Lincoln had their hand full into the burgeoning Municipal Conflict, legislation was not implemented. The reason behind new charge against Reynolds is which he elia Jane Schofield as he had been .
Reynolds is actually being employed as a receptionist with the president of your own LDS Chapel at the time. Meanwhile, brand new Church’s governing muscles provided to help the You.S. Finest Courtroom which have a test situation that would assist influence the constitutionality of one’s anti-bigamy legislation by providing the fresh new Legal which have an excellent accused. Reynolds wanted to serve as one offender, to test if the rules violated the fresh new people’s Earliest Amendment rights. He then agreed to the latest U.S. Attorneys numerous witnesses which you will definitely testify that Reynolds performed in fact has actually two spouses, hence he was indicted to own bigamy of the a huge Jury for the October from 1874.
Reynolds attempted to have the demonstration legal instruct new jury you to definitely when they felt he’d the amount of time bigamy to the only mission away from adopting the their faith, he then need to be receive not guilty. not, the latest court refuted his request and you can as an alternative coached new jury you to when they found that Reynolds, intoxicated by their faith:
“… on purpose married an additional big date, with an initial spouse life style, new wanted out of consciousness from evil purpose-the require away from wisdom toward their area he is committing crime-don’t excuse your, although laws inexorably, in such cases, means violent intent.”
- It was their obligations, depending on their faith, to endment secure their religious strategies
- That their huge jury had not been legally constituted (legitimate beneath the rules)
- That challenges that have been elevated by specific jurors had been badly overruled by the judge
- You to definitely any testimony offered try inadmissible due to the fact that it had been provided upwards significantly less than some other indictment
New Utah Territorial Best Judge disagreed, not, and you may kept Reynolds’ sentence inside the 1876. On Court’s unanimous choice, it absolutely was stated that:
“Folks which have a loved one way of life, exactly who marries another, whether partnered otherwise single, inside a region, or any other put more that your Us features exclusive legislation, is actually responsible for bigamy, and is punished by the an excellent regarding only $five-hundred, by imprisonment to possess an hookup ads site Dubbo expression regarding only five ages.”
Brand new Courtroom performed understand that Congress don’t admission a legislation that forbids people from freely doing its religion. not, the it kept that laws you to definitely forbids bigamy cannot fulfill that important, and therefore the theory that a person must have just one mate might be traced entirely back once again to English rules lower than King James I regarding England, where U.S. rules is oriented.