Bigamy is no longer a felony in Utah

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A group of pro-polygamy protesters rally at the Utah state Capitol on February 10, 2017.  These are the same debates as the Shariah Law or about secularism

By Harmeet Kaur

(CNN) A law effectively decriminalizing bigamy, when two people marry while at least one of them is already legally married, is now in effect in Utah.

For decades, bigamy was a third-degree felony, legally punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The new law makes it an infraction, putting the offense on par with getting a traffic ticket.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert in March and took effect on Tuesday.

Polygamy has been practiced in Utah by certain religious groups since before it became a state and continues to persist to this day.

Though the practice has long been illegal under state and federal law, the Utah attorney general’s office has declined to prosecute the offense, except when it’s committed along with other crimes.

The new law makes the attorney general’s policy official. Supporters of the law say that reducing the penalty for bigamy removes barriers that previously prevented potential abuse victims from coming forward for fear of prosecution.

Read further

Suggested reading

Polygamy in Islam: What It Means?

Why does Islam allow polygamy?

Indian Supreme Court: Polygamy Not Integral Part of Islam

The sunnah of monogamy

1 reply

  1. What is the difference between bigamy and polygamy?

    Team Legistify
    Sector-1, Noida

    Bigamy is the act or condition of marrying one person while still being legally married to another, and it is generally the legal term used for the offense/crime. Polygamy is a broader, more generic term for multiple marriages and encompasses bigamy – it’s not generally the word to use in a technical, legal context. Etymologically, the prefix “bi-” means “two,” whereas “poly-” means “more than one.” As a result, from an etymological (though not necessarily legal) standpoint, all bigamists are polygamists, but not all polygamists are bigamists.
    Answered on 28 Sep 2018

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