f*ck the first admentment. the state of utah fired this judge for his mormon religios beliefs.


Utah polygamist judge ordered to step down

Associated Press Feb. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

SALT LAKE CITY - A small-town judge with three wives was ordered removed from the bench by the Utah Supreme Court on Friday.

The court unanimously agreed with the findings of the state's Judicial Conduct Commission, which recommended the removal of Judge Walter K. Steed for violating the state's bigamy law.

Steed said he accepted the decision.

"I had hoped that the court would see my case as an opportunity to correct the injustices that are caused by the criminalization of my religious beliefs and lifestyle, and I am disappointed the court did not reach those issues in my case," Steed said in a statement.

Steed has served for 25 years on the Justice Court in the polygamist community of Hildale in southern Utah, where he ruled on such matters as drunken driving and domestic violence cases.

A year ago, the commission issued an order seeking Steed's removal from the bench, after a 14-month investigation determined Steed was a polygamist. Bigamy is a third-degree felony in Utah, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

"Judge Steed's relationship with his three plural wives for more than 20 years clearly runs afoul of the prohibition," the ruling said. The initial complaint against Steed was filed with the commission in November 2003 by Tapestry Against Polygamy, a group founded by former polygamous women who help others leave the secretive religious colonies.

Steed legally married his first wife in 1965, according to court documents. The second and third wives were married, or "sealed" as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints refers to it, to him in religious ceremonies in 1975 and 1985. The three women are sisters. He has 32 children by the three women.

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