Revise Utah Constitution

By Deseret News Jun 29, 2001, 7:59am MDT

There was never a time, according to my knowledge, when the Utah Coalition for Religious Freedom advocated allowing people to harm non-consenting victims in the name of religion. That would include Kim Johnson’s two examples of murder and having sex with a minor who cannot give consent. Here is the text of our proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution:

“Subject to the consent of the United States, Article Three of the Constitution of the State of Utah is hereby amended to read as follows: ‘Perfect toleration of religious sentiment is guaranteed. No inhabitant of, nor visitor to, this state shall ever be molested in person or property by any person or by any agency or officer of any government on account of his or her mode of religious worship or personal pursuit of happiness, provided that such religious worship or personal pursuit of happiness shall not directly and physically harm or endanger the life, liberty or property of an unwilling victim.’ ”

There is nothing in this proposal that was not explicitly taught and advocated by the founders of this state. We are proposing nothing that is not already clearly guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions. We are simply asking for the removal of the provision in our state constitution that polygamous or plural marriages shall be prohibited as an exception to the religious freedom our founders established.

Ken Larsen

Executive Secretary

Utah Coalition for Religious Freedom and Tolerance

Salt Lake City