Polygamous sect persists despite ‘persecutions’ past and present

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The Arizona Republic, Oct. 11, 2002
Judd Slivka

Oct. 11, 2002 12:00 AM

COLORADO CITY – This is a place for long-sleeved shirts, houses under construction and walls closing in.

The long-sleeved shirts are what the residents wear, buttoned down to the wrist, to hide the undergarments demanded by their religion.

The houses are under construction because every family is growing bigger with more wives and more children.

And the walls are closing in because Utah authorities are taking their second hard look in two years at the polygamist

The first result of that hard look: Rodney Holm, 36, a deputy marshal for the two towns, and his first wife, Suzie Stubbs, are being arraigned today on charges ranging from sexual misconduct to bigamy. At issue is Holm’s marriage to Stubbs’ younger sister, who was 16 when the church marriage took place, and two children she bore him before turning 18.

Court records say Ruth Stubbs had asked to marry her boyfriend, also a fundamentalist church member, but church leaders decided she should wed her brother-in-law. Suzie is accused of pressuring her sister to go through with the wedding and is the first woman in more than 100 years to be charged with bigamy.

Another result of the inquiry: The sectarians who live at the foot of the Caanan Cliffs are feeling persecuted. And their memory of persecution is long.

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016