This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A proposal to make polygamy a felony crime in Utah again has failed.
State lawmakers adjourned for the year Thursday night without taking final vote on the measure in the state Senate.
Utah's polygamy ban was struck down by a judge in 2013, after the stars of TV's "Sister Wives" sued.
The sponsor of the proposal before legislators this year said HB281 would narrow the definition of the crime and could halt the case now before an appeals court.
Polygamy advocates said it would force families like theirs into the shadows. They argue it is unconstitutional to bar consenting adults from marrying who they choose.
Kristyn Decker, executive director of Sound Choices Coalition which opposes polygamy, issued a statement expressing disappointment at the bill's failure.
"Since the harms of polygamy far outweigh any perceived 'rights' to engage in its practice, Sound Choices Coalition is disappointed in Utah's decision to keep polygamy decriminalized," wrote Decker, who is a former polygamist wife. "In over two years, since decriminalization in Utah, criminal acts within polygamist communities have continued unabated. Furthermore, there has been no sign of the promised increased reporting of abuses by polygamists themselves.
"Our organization will continue to move forward in advocating for victims of polygamy. We will continue to work with judiciary systems, state and federal law enforcement, health providers, and other organizations wherever possible, to help address these ongoing abuses, and the countless needs of those who are trying to leave."