Polygamists agree to marriage restrictions

June 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM
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SAN ANGELO, Texas, June 3 (UPI) -- Leaders of a Texas polygamist sect have agreed to restrictions on underage marriage that will allow an estimated 430 children to be released from foster care.

District Judge Barbara Wather agreed to rescind the largest mass roundup of children in Texas history after an agreement was hashed out with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. About 129 children were returned to their parents Monday while child abuse investigations continue, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The legal action came after a surprising announcement by sect leaders.

"In the future, the church commits that it will not preside over any marriage of any woman under the age of legal consent in the jurisdiction in which the marriage takes place," said Willie Jessop, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Texas spokesman. "We hope this modest clarification will alleviate recent concerns and allow this church and its families to reside in peace among its neighbors."

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