‘Sister Wives’ polygamists welcome 17th child

USA ' Sister Wives reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his fourth wife Robyn welcomed their first child, Kody’s 17th, on Wednesday, according to reports.

The Brown family, whose four wives, one husband and 17 children star in TLC’s popular television show, are members of the Apostolic United Brethren faith, a breakaway sect rejected by today’s Mormon Church, but one that claims its roots in Latter-day Saint Scripture and practices, such as plural marriage. The LDS church, whose founder Joseph Smith brought the practice of polygamy to to the church in the 1840s, rejected plural marriage by the year 1890. A number of breakaway sects continued to practice polygamy and the Browns claim that tradition as their own.

Utah’s polygamy laws forbid the practice of plural marriage, and Kody Brown, who is legally married only to his first wife Meri, is leading the charge to change the legal status of polygamists. In July, the Browns filed a lawsuit to prevent Utah from prosecuting consenting polygamist adults for their sexual choices. The Browns are not (yet) asking for legal recognition of their union, but in a twist that has not gone unnoticed by the legal community, are using the same legal precedent that has helped to pave the way for gay marriage. “We only wish to live our private lives according to our beliefs,”the Browns said in a statement.

And if you’re interested in checking out the ‘private lives’ of the reality TV stars, Sister Wives appears on TLC on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.