ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Texas' sodomy law is cited by attorneys defending a member of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
A district court judge heard arguments on whether to dismiss charges against Rodney Holm, refer the constitutional issues to a higher court or proceed with a criminal trial.
Holm, a policeman in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., has 21 children with three wives. He is charged with bigamy and unlawful sexual conduct with an underage girl.
Rodney Parker, the attorney for Holm and his church, said the Supreme Court's decision overturning laws against same-sex conduct ''caused us to really rework our approach to the case and what kind of evidence to present.''
''The national social order in the United States does not compel a conclusion that plural marriage is against public policy, especially when considered in light of emerging lifestyles,'' Parker argued in his motion to dismiss the charges.
Assistant Attorney General Kristine Knowlton said the Texas case was not applicable because it dealt with sex between consenting adults, not sex with minors.
Parker also contends Utah selectively prosecutes polygamists for their beliefs.
The main body of Latter-day Saints abandoned polygamy more than a century ago and excommunicates practitioners, but it is believed that tens of thousands in Utah perpetuate the practice as taught by Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
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