ROCKY RIDGE, Utah, April 26 (UPI) -- A Utah father wants a judge to reverse an order keeping him from sharing his religious views, including polygamy, with his minor children.
Joseph Compton also wants to be able to have his four minor children, ages 5-16, visit him at his home in Rocky Ridge, something banned under last fall's decree. The small community has many people who practice polygamy.
The Salt Lake Tribune says Compton sees himself as an adherent of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite being excommunicated for his fundamentalist views. The 49-year-old farmer, who is not in a polygamist relationship, and his ex-wife Kathleen also have four adult children.
Compton, in an article carried Monday by the Tribune, sees the case as a constitutional issue.
"I want to be able to speak freely, I want to be able to travel freely, I want to be able to answer my children's questions freely," the Tribune quoted Compton as saying. "I have sincerely held religious beliefs that others object to. That's OK. But I can't have my free choice? That is what I object to."
A lawyer for Kathleen Compton, David O. Leavitt, says the key is protecting the children.
"This woman wants her children protected from the influence of polygamists," he said. "We should not get hung up on what a parent's right of expression is and forget what the children's right to safety is."
Compton, who initially represented himself, has hired Salt Lake attorney Daniel Irvin as he tries to get the visitation rules changed.
"I'm not trying to force them into any one particular box," he said. "It is something they'll have to choose when they get older."