Justice Department sues fundamentalist Mormon sect for discrimination
The US Justice Department alleges that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which controls most of the law enforcement and other government services in two adjacent communities, discriminates against those who are not members of the polygamous sect.
Douglas C. Pizac/AP
The US Justice Department has filed suit against the adjoining towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, communities populated largely by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).
The FLDS, which broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church), and actively practices polygamy, controls most of the law enforcement and other government services in those two communities in the Southwest. It is charged with discriminating against those who are not members of the FLDS.
The Justice Department complaint alleges that the cities’ joint police department “routinely uses its enforcement authority to enforce the edicts and will of the FLDS; fails to protect non-FLDS individuals from victimization by FLDS individuals; refuses to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies’ investigations of FLDS individuals; selectively enforces laws against non-FLDS; and uses its authority to facilitate unlawful evictions of non-FLDS, among other unlawful conduct,” according to a statement issued late Thursday.
“The complaint also alleges that Colorado City, Hildale, Twin City Water Authority and Twin City Power have denied or unreasonably delayed providing water and electric service to non-FLDS residents, and that the municipalities refuse to issue building permits and prevent individuals from constructing or occupying existing housing because of the individuals’ religious affiliation,” according to the Justice Department statement.
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