Utah lawmakers on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would allow consenting adults to be married to multiple people.
Republican Senator Deidre Henderson proposed removing the threat of jail time for polygamists, saying that practitioners are still in the thousands, despite it being made a felony around 85 years ago.
"The law is a failure. It hasn't stopped polygamy at all and it's actually enabled abuse to occur and remain unchecked," Henderson said.
Henderson's proposal to make bigamy an infraction rather than a felony has received pushback from former members of polygamous groups, who said that it would open doors to increased abuse in the communities. Henderson argues that the potential for prosecution has created a culture of fear that empowers abusers.
The law now moves to the Utah Senate.