Although it is often classified as a sect within the Latter Day Saint movement and Mormon fundamentalism that practices plural marriage, the Confederate Nations of Israel is in fact a loosely organized confederation of individuals affiliated from many denominations who may or may not practice polygamy. Of its 400 members, approximately one-fourth practice polygamy, and very few of these individuals have ever been a member of any Latter Day Saint denomination. In addition to independent Mormon fundamentalists, the organization includes "Catholics, Protestants, Eastern religionists, atheists, and sexually-active homosexuals".
Alex Joseph, the founder of the Confederate Nations of Israel, was mayor of Big Water, Utah from 1983 to 1994. Another member of the organization, Willy Marshall, was elected mayor of Big Water in 2001 and became the first openly-gay mayor in Utah history.