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What State Is It Legal to Be Married to More than One Person

The legal status of polygamy varies from country to country, with each country prohibiting, accepting or promoting polygamy. In countries that accept or promote polygamy, polygamy is the most common. In countries where only monogamous marriage is legally valid, de facto polygamy is generally permitted, as long as adultery is not illegal. In areas like these, where polygamy is prohibited but tolerated, there is no legal recognition for more spouses after the first. In an October 2004 op-ed for USA Today, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, argued that polygamy should be legal as a simple matter of equal treatment before the law. Turley acknowledged that underage girls are sometimes forced to marry polygamously, responding that “banning polygamy is no more a solution to child abuse than banning marriage would be a solution to domestic violence.” [18] Polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse. In particular, polygamy is the practice of a man taking more than one wife, while polyandry is the practice of a woman taking more than one husband. Polygamy is a common model of marriage in some parts of the world. In North America, polygamy is not a culturally normative or legally recognized institution since the colonization of the continent by Europeans.

The practice of informal polygamy among fundamentalist groups raises several legal issues. It has been considered difficult to prosecute polygamists for bigamy, largely because they are rarely officially married under state law. In the absence of evidence that the alleged perpetrators have multiple formal or customary marriages, these groups are simply subject to laws against adultery or illegal cohabitation – laws that are not universally enforced because they also criminalize other behaviors that are otherwise socially sanctioned. However, some “fundamentalist” polygamists marry off girls before the age of consent or commit fraud in obtaining social and other forms of public assistance. With the exception of Solomon Islands, polygamous marriages are not recognized in Europe and Oceania. In India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, governments recognize polygamous marriages, but only for Muslims. In Australia, polygamous marriage is prohibited, but polygamous relationships are common in some Australian indigenous communities. In Indonesia, polygamy is legal in some areas, such as Bali, Papua and West Papua. Balinese Hinduism allows polygamy, practiced for centuries by the Balinese and Papua. Protests against the ban on polygamy and polygamous marriages took place in Indonesia in 2008, but did not lead to changes to the law. “[He] reached out and said, `Why are they both?` And I said, `I don`t have a good answer,`” Davis told the Journal. “I stumbled over my words a bit and played devil`s advocate, but I had no good reason.

So I removed it and quickly made all the necessary word changes so as not to make it gendered or limited to two people. “Polygamy is illegal in Mexico, despite a few cases there. In the Federal Penal Code, there is a section entitled “Against civil status and bigamy” Usually, the curious look for information by state. How many times can you get married in Louisiana? or Texas or Illinois or Tennessee? Polygamy is a crime punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both, depending on the law of each state and the circumstances of the offense. [12] Polygamy has been banned in federal territories by the Edmunds Act, and there are laws against the practice in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam,[13] and Puerto Rico. [14] Since there are state laws, polygamy is not actively prosecuted at the federal level,[15] but the practice is considered “against public order” and, therefore, against the United States. The government does not recognize bigamous marriages for immigration purposes (i.e., it would not allow one spouse to apply for immigration benefits for the other), even if they are legal in the country where the bigamous marriage was performed. [16] Any immigrant who comes to the United States to practice polygamy is inadmissible.

[17] In Canada, polygamy is an offence under section 293 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to five years` imprisonment,[3] but prosecutions are rare. As of January 2009, no one had been prosecuted for polygamy in Canada for over sixty years. [4] That changed in 2014 when polygamy charges were laid against Winston Blackmore and James Oler. [5] In 2001, in the state of Utah in the United States, Juab County District Attorney David O. Leavitt, successfully prosecuted Thomas Green, who was convicted of criminal non-support and four counts of bigamy for contracting five serial monogamous marriages while living with legally divorced former wives. His cohabitation was considered proof of a common-law relationship with the wives from whom he had divorced while he was still living with them. This premise was later upheld by the Utah Supreme Court in State v. Green, as applicable only in the State of Utah. Green was also convicted of child rape and criminal lack of support. [41] The legality of polygamy in the United States is that the practice is a felony and can be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both under state law and the circumstances of the offense.

[1] Polygamy has been banned in federal territories by the Edmunds Act, and there are laws against the practice in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam[2] and Puerto Rico. [3] Since state laws have existed, polygamy is not actively prosecuted at the federal level,[4] but the practice is considered “contrary to public policy.” In 2008, from 4. Texas state authorities temporarily detained 436 women and children after Rozita Swinton, a 33-year-old woman who lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, called Texas Social Services and a local animal shelter pretending to be a 16-year-old girl. In late March, she phoned the authorities, claiming she had been beaten and forced to become the “spiritual” wife of an adult man. In response to their calls, authorities raided the Eldorado ranch, about 40 miles south of San Angelo. YFZ Ranch belongs to The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy. Two men were arrested for obstructing the raid, but were later released. Several men were convicted of sexual assault, rape and bigamy of underage girls. [45] [46] [47] Polygamy is defined as the practice or condition of a person who has more than one spouse at a time, and conventionally refers to a situation in which all spouses know each other, as opposed to bigamy, where two or more spouses generally do not know each other. [2] Polyandry is the name of the practice or condition when a woman has more than one male spouse at a time. It is illegal in all 50 states to be married to more than one person – which is known as polygamy rather than polyamory.

Polyamorous people who try different types of agreements – such as a married couple with permanent external partners – run into their own legal problems. Utah is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, which abandoned polygamy in 1890 when Utah sought to become a state. However, some apostate sects and groups follow the primitive theological doctrine of plural marriage, which is believed to bring exaltation to heaven. Waddoup`s decision amounted to a “victory not for polygamy, but for privacy in America,” said family attorney Jonathan Turley. Polygamy is the general and neutral term for any marriage between three or more people. Polygyny is a specific term used to describe a marriage involving a husband and at least two wives. It is by far the most common (and commonly legal) form of polygamy. Polyandry is a specific term used to describe marriages between a woman and at least two husbands. 13. In December 2013, a federal judge, encouraged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups,[10] struck down parts of Utah`s bigamy law that criminalized cohabitation, while recognizing that the state can still enforce prohibitions on multiple marriage licenses. [11] The state of Utah appealed the decision, arguing that polygamist Kody Brown was not allowed to file a civil suit because his district attorney, Jeff Buhman, did not intend to sue the Brown family.