Polygamist sect clarifies marriage policy
SAN ANGELO, Texas (CNN) -- A polygamist sect under fire over allegations of underage marriage will now allow women to wed only when they are old enough to give consent under state law, a spokesman said Monday.
The legal age in Texas to marry without parental consent is 18.
"The church is clarifying its policy on marriage," said Willie Jessop, a spokesman for the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"In the FLDS church, all marriages are consensual. The church insists on appropriate consent," he said.
Under the judge's order, the Department of Family and Protective Services will still have the right to visit and interview the children.
These unannounced visits could entail medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations, and the parents must not intervene.
FLDS members deny any sexual abuse occurred and say they are being persecuted because of their religion.
The state Supreme Court agreed with the appellate decision last week.
Also on Monday Attorney General Wally Opal called for a special prosecutor to look into allegations of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of girls in a polygamous sect in Bountiful, British Columbia.