To: Ronda Menlove, David Lifferth, Jack Draxler, Edward Redd, Curt Webb, Jacob Anderegg, Ryan Wilcox, Gage Froerer, Jeremy Peterson, Dixon Pitcher, Brad Dee, Richard Greenwood, Paul Ray, Curtis Oda, Brad Wilson, Steve Handy, Stewart Barlow, Roger Barrus, Jim Nielson, Becky Edwards, Doug Sagers, Susan Duckworth, Jennifer M. Seelig, Rebecca Houck, Joel Briscoe, Angela Romero, Mike Kennedy, Brian King, Lee Perry, Janice Fisher, Larry Wiley, LaVar Christensen, Craig Hall, Johnny Anderson, Mark A. Wheatley, Patrice Arent, Carol Moss, Eric Hutchings, Jim Dunnigan, Lynn Hemingway, Daniel McCay, Jim Bird, Earl Tanner, Tim Cosgrove, Steve Eliason, Marie Poulson, Ken Ivory, Keven John Stratton, Robert Spendlove, Richard Cunningham, Greg Hughes, John Knotwell, Melvin Brown, Kraig Powell, John G. Mathis, Kay Christofferson, Brian Greene, Jon Cox, Val Peterson, Dana Layton, Keith Grover, Jon Stanard, Dean Sanpei, Rebecca Lockhart, Francis Gibson, Michael Mckell, Marc Roberts, Merrill Nelson, Kay Mciff, Brad Last, John Westwood, mnoel, Lowry Snow, Don Ipson,
Subject: WE need your voices and your help!
Date: Tue Feb 04 17:15:09 MST 2014
Dear State Representatives:
Menlove, Lifferth, Draxler, Redd, Webb, Anderegg, Wilcox, Froerer, Peterson, Pitcher, Dee, Greenwood, Ray, Oda, Wilson, Handy, Barlow, Barrus, Nielson, Edwards, Sagers, Duckworth, Seelig, Chavez, Briscoe, Romero, Kennedy, King, Perry, Fisher, Wiley, Christensen, Hall, Anderson J, Wheatley, Arent, Moss, Hutchings, Dunnigan, Hemingway, McCay, Bird, Tanner, Cosgrove, Eliason, Poulson, Ivory, Stratton, Spendlove, Cunningham, Hughes, Knotwell, Brown, Powell, Mathis, Christofferson, Greene, Cox, Peterson V. Layton, Grover, Stanard, Sanpei, Lockhart, Gibson, McKell, Roberts, Nelson, McIff, Last, Westwood, Noel, Snow, and Ipson;
I am a daughter of Owen Allred (now deceased) who was the former prophet and leader of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) for 28 years. AUB is the same polygamist group to which Kody Brown belongs.
I am also the founder and director of Sound Choices Coalition (SCC), a human rights organization with a particular interest in the wellbeing of children within polygamous societies.
SCC is concerned for the thousands of infants, children, teens, women and men of polygamy who have no real “choice” and whose voices are largely unheard. We are attempting to bring attention to the damaging effects ofall polygamy. Knowing its many documented harms, we ask the state to keep it illegal and to take action against its abuses.
While a few media-savvy and relatively prosperous polygamist families proclaim that they are the “norm,” the reality is the other 99% of polygamists who live in poverty in a lifestyle that fosters a multitude of serious problems. Both personal testimonies and scholarly studies show that amongst the abuses of polygamy arefinancial and emotional deprivations for women and children, lack of equal rights for women, sexual abuse, early and underage unions, and the abandonment of young men who will never be able to find partners within their communities.
No religious practice that results in such ill effects should be a “right” under the US Constitution. Nevertheless,while bodies like the United Nations are working to eradicate polygamy worldwide, US officials such as Judge Waddoups, and now another Utah representative who are attempting to ease the way for these harms to flourish in the State of Utah.
In the past, we have so frequently felt powerless. We therefore sincerely and urgently request you to consider what we have to say, and to become a powerful voice for those too often unheard.
Without your voice, there will be no end to the victims who will continue to suffer as our elected officials stand silent.
Please allow us to meet with you to offer some innovative and humane suggestions for dealing with the polygamy problems in our state. This is an urgent matter for the future of its children.
Director of Sound Choices Coalition
Sound Choices Coalitionwww.sound-choices.com comprising:
Voices for Dignitywww.voicesfordignity.com
Shield and Refugewww.shieldandrefuge.org
(I've attached a copy of this letter.)
Religious coercion negates consent.
You may choose to look the other way,
but you can never say again that you did not know
SCC Letter to state reps_ January 2013.docx