TIME justice

FLDS Successfully Cites Hobby Lobby Decision in Child Labor Suit

Hobby Lobby
Ed Andrieski—AP

A member of the Mormon offshoot argued that divulging the names of church leadership would infringe upon his religion

A judge ruled that a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is exempted from testifying in a child labor investigation, citing the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision in his ruling.

Judge David Sam ruled last week that forcing FLDS member Vergel Steed to reveal the identity of FLDS church leaders, the organizational structure of the church or information about its internal affairs would be a “substantial burden” on his free exercise of religious beliefs. The decision came down last week, but emerged in widespread public circulation Tuesday.

The decision stems from an investigation into possible labor violations during a harvest at an FLDS pecan ranch in Utah in which children and adults may have worked without pay.

In his ruling, Sam cited the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., in which the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation can be exempt from a law—in that case, the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers pay for contraception—that its owners sincerely object to on religious grounds if there is any less restrictive means of achieving the law’s ends. Sam found that prosecutors had other means of getting the information they sought from Steed and thus that he was exempt from testifying.

FLDS, a radical offshoot sect from the mainstream Mormon church, has been under the scrutiny of authorities for years on issues including alleged child labor violations and forced marriages of grown men to underage girls. The church’s former president Warren Jeff’s is serving a life sentence in prison for numerous sex crimes including incest and pedophilia.

TIME Kenya

Kenyan President Signs Polygamy Law

BELGIUM-EU-AFRICA-SUMMIT
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives for the 4th EU-Africa summit on April 2, 2014 AFP/Getty Images

The bill, which allows men to marry a second or third woman without their first wife's consent, has received backlash from various women's groups

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta signed a bill into law Tuesday that makes it legal for men to marry multiple women, even if it is without their wife’s consent.

“Marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman, whether in a monogamous or polygamous union,” Kenyatta said in a statement, the AFP reports.

The bill, which amended previous marriage legislation, was passed by the Kenyan parliament in late March following heated late-night debates that inspired female members of parliament to storm out of the room. While the original bill allowed women to have veto power over their husband’s additional spouses, male members of parliament moved to have that clause removed.

“When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife,” MP Junet Mohammed told the house during the debates, adding, “This is Africa.”

Capital FM reported that female MP Sopian Tuya responded, “We know that men are afraid of women’s tongues more than anything else, but at the end of the day if you are the man of the house, and you choose to bring on another party (and they may be two or three) I think it behooves you to be man enough to agree that your wife and family should know.”

Although proponents of the bill say that this formalizes an already common practice throughout Kenya, many women’s groups have objected to the bill and Kenya’s Federation of Women Lawyers says that it will challenge the law.

Women can not marry more than one man.

[AFP]

 

TIME feminism

This Polygamous Family Says They’re Feminists

Apparently you can have relationship equality with five different people at once

The stars of an upcoming reality show My Five Wives, says they identify as feminist.

How that is possible is questionable, considering the Williams family is made up of 24 children, five wives, and one husband–Brady. The women get Brady to themselves every fifth night, and must share him with the other women for the rest of the week. If Brady is busy that night studying, they go to bed alone.

And yet, when the Atlantic asked the Williams parents who considers themselves “feminist,” all six spouses raised their hands. Brady refuses to be called the “head of the household,” and says he believes in relationship equality for all five of his marriages. Brady is a construction manager and philosophy major currently taking a feminist theory class.

The family’s reality show will debut on TLC this Sunday. You can read the rest of the family’s profile in the Atlantic, here.

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