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Richard G. Wilkins

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Richard Wilkins is a major proponant of international recognition for the family and the traditional marriage movement. He is a law professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School which is part of Brigham Young University (BYU). He also serves as the director of the World Family Policy Center at BYU which is affiliated with the Clark Law School and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. He was an assistant to the solicitor general of the United States in the 1980s.[1]

Wilkins is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a mission for the Church in Italy in the 1970s.[2]

Wilkins received a Joseph Fielding Smith scholarship to BYU. He graduated at the top of his class in the BYU School of Fine Arts and Communication. He earned his bachelors degree in journalism. As a student at Clark Law School he was the top of his class and was the editor of the Brigham Young University law review. He then worked as a law clerk for Robert A. Ainsworth.[3]

Wilkins was the Assistant Solicitor General under Rex E. Lee. He wrote the brief that Lee used to argue the government case in Akron Center for Reproductive Health v. The State of Ohio.[4] He also drafted the legislation regulating abortion passed by the Utah legislature in the early 1990s.[5]

As early as 1978 Wilkins wrote a paper on marriage law in Italy.[6]. However, Prior to the mid-1990s, Wilkins focused much of his work on land issues, such as public domain.[7]

In 1996 Wilkins went to an international conference on the family at Istanbul, where he delivered a paper on the importance of language in UN policy statements.[8] Wilkins has written a book with Esther Rasband about his work at the Istanbul Conference. [9]

Wilkins is the director of the World Family Policy Center at BYU. He is also the founder of Defend Marriage, a group with the goal of defending marriage in the political arena.[10] He was a member of the organizing commitee for the UN conference on the family held in Doha, Qatar.

In July 2005, Wilkins participated in the world family policy forum held in Provo, Utah.[11]

Wilkins has written several articles and books on international law, the definition of the family, laws on abortion and other related topics.[12] He also wrote a piece for Marriage and Same Sex Unions a Debate by Lynn D. Wardle.[13]

At the time he went to Istanbul, Wilkins was serving as an LDS Bishop in a ward in Provo, Utah.[14]

Wilkins and his wife Melany have four children.


  1. Pacelle, Richard L. (2003). Between law & politics. Texas A&M University Press. pp. p. 274. ISBN 1585442348. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  2. Esther Rasband and Richard Wilkins. A Sacred Duty. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1999) p. 19
  4. Rasband and Wilkins. Sacred Duty. p. 3
  5. Rasband and Wilkins. Sacred Duty, p. 4
  8. Richard G. Wilkins: Defending the Family
  9. ISBN=1570086877
  10. author bio connected with an article in Meridian Magazine
  11. LDS Church News, July 23rd, 2005
  12. Howard W. Hunter Law Library – Faculty Bibliography Page
  14. Rasband and Wilkins. Sacred Duty, p. 1

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