In the wake of the controversy of alleged sex abuse and the marrying of underage girls to older men, the FLDS has stepped forward to go in-depth on its marriage policy.
Back in April, the FLDS compound in El Dorado, Texas, was raided upon allegations of sex abuse. Recently, the court has ruled that the children must be returned to their parents on the FLDS ranch. In regards to the policy on marriage, the group has spoken out on it.
Willie Jessop, the spokesman of the FLDS explained that the marriage policy will be “modified” and “redefined.” Under the “clarified” marriage policy, women are allowed to be married once they are old enough to consent in accordance to state law. Since they are in Texas, the law is 18 years of age without the consent of their parents.
Jessop added that the families of the FLDS would be given advice deterring them from requesting or giving consent to their underage children. However, that is suggestive and not definite. Jessop said that the families would be advised. Advising and ordering are two different things. But, he had defended the actions of the FLDS. He stands by that everything the FLDS did was within the law.
“In the FLDS church, all marriages are consensual. The church insists on appropriate consent,” Jessop explained.
While the children and their parents are reunited, Judge Barbara Walther had given stipulations. Such stipulations include: parents being required to attend and complete parenting classes, remaining within the state of Texas, giving notification if they take trips more than 100 miles from their homes, and the right for the Department of Family and Protective Services to come at any given time.
When agents visit, the parents are not allowed to interfere with inspections.
But the issue of the FLDS policy of marriage was the faction that drew political and legal fire. However, there has been no solid evidence reported of sexual abuse or the marrying of underage girls to older men.
However, FLDS leader Warren Jeffs is currently serving time behind bars. In regards to marriage, the FLDS has “defined” it.