A polygamous man recently featured with his two wives on the reality TV show Sister Wives applied for a marriage license with his second wife in Montana on Tuesday.
Nathan Collier said he was inspired by last week's Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage in seeking the license. Collier legally married his wife Victoria in 2000, and he held another ceremony with his wife Christine in 2007.
"I lead my family but I certainly do not rule my family," he told BuzzFeed News. "We are three loving adults working together for a common goal of raising our family and finding our own happiness in the process."
He and Christine didn't previously seek a marriage license to avoid facing charges. In Montana, where the trio live, polygamy is a misdemeanor offense, KTVQ reported.
Clerks at first denied the couple after Collier explained he is currently married. They then held off on a decision and sent the application to an attorney, who had not yet responded.
"The interview was almost comical; the clerks didn't know how to respond and made multiple trips to the back room to discuss it with others," he told BuzzFeed News.
Collier said he plans to sue if his application to make his marriage plural is denied.
"It's about marriage equality," Collier told the Associated Press. "You can't have this without polygamy."
Critics of polygamy tend to have polarized views that have little to do with his family's daily life, he added.
"Their experience is limited to what they've seen on the news when evil men have used polygamy to mask their deeds," he told BuzzFeed News. "We're nothing like the [fundamental Latter Day Saints] and other fringe groups who arrange marriages and are structured in patriarchal dominance."
The Collier family earlier this year appeared in an episode of TLC's reality show Sister Wives. Collier was previously Mormon, but was excommunicated for practicing polygamy.
"I have no religious beliefs anymore and religion is not a factor," he told BuzzFeed News. "Religion is typically based in subjugation of women and thus I want no part of it."
The family is not seeking widespread approval of their marriage, but rather tolerance, he said.
"We just want to add legal legitimacy to an already happy, strong, loving family," Collier told KTVQ.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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