Idaho Test Oath (1885)

Related Posts: Edmunds Act (1882); Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862); Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887); More on gay marriage

The Idaho Test Oath in effect made it illegal for any Mormon in the state of Idaho to vote or hold public office. This disfranchisement was achieved through a test oath that every perspective voter was required to swear to prior to being allowed to vote.

Any person “who is a member of any order, organization, or association which teaches, advises, counsels, or encourages its members or devotees, or any other persons, to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy” was barred from voting.

This law was upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court on February 3, 1890. For Court’s final decision see DAVIS V. BEASON, 133 U. S. 333 (1890).

The following was taken from Laws of the territory of Idaho: An Act for Holding Elections, 1884-1885, pp. 106-117. Only the relevant sections are quoted. The sections which are quoted are quoted in their entirety. See part of the legislation at Google Books.  Continue reading

Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887)

Related Posts:Edmunds Act (1882); Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862); Idaho Test Oath (1884-85); More on gay marriage

(Google Books text here)

In an effort to stamp out polygamy the US Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887. This act made adultery punishable by up to three years in prison, unmarried sex was punishable by up to six months in prison, and the female vote was revoked. (Women had won the right to vote in Utah in 1870.)

Below is the entire text of the Edmunds-Tucker Act. Continue reading

Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862)

Related Posts: Edmunds Act (1882); Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887); Idaho Test Oath (1884-85); More on gay marriage

The constitutionality of the anti-polygamy laws were upheld in Reynolds v. United States (Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 1878).

Mormon Polygamy was recently criticized in a Weekly Standard article by Stanley Kurtz (“Polygamy Versus Democracy”). Under the title “The Mormon Question” he writes, “Modern Mormonism’s success is certified by the emergence of Mitt Romney, a Mormon governor from Massachusetts…as a presidential contender.” He then goes on to speak of “Mormonism’s largely forgotten history.” Prejudice against Mormonism still lingers over the long abandoned practice of polygamy. See here for the 1890 declaration wherein the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces the practice of polygamy.

The entire text of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act is given below.

(Google Books text here) Continue reading