Where Is Polygamy Legal Usa
A 2005 report by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre recommended that Canada decriminalize polygamy: “Criminalization is not the most effective way to address gender inequality in polygamous and pluralistic union relations. In addition, it may violate the constitutional rights of the parties concerned.  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.”  Authors like Alyssa Rower and Samantha Slark argue that there is a reason to legalize polygamy on the basis of regulation and oversight of the practice, to legally protect polygamous partners and allow them to join mainstream society rather than forcing them to hide from it when a public situation arises.   Islam is the only major religion whose sacred texts arguably advocate polygamy. Verse 3 of Sura 4 An-Nisa (women) explains that under certain (and disputed) circumstances, a man can marry up to four wives. According to this text, many Muslim countries allow a man to have up to four wives. However, many also require the man to indicate whether he plans to be monogamous or polygamous under the marriage contract with his first wife, and if she does not allow it, he cannot marry another woman as long as he is married to her. In addition, polyandry, in which a wife has several husbands, is still strictly prohibited. Polygamy became a major social and political problem in the United States in 1852 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) announced that a form of practice called plural marriage was part of its doctrine. The U.S. government`s opposition to this practice led to a fierce legal dispute, culminating when Church President Wilford Woodruff announced the official abandonment of the Church on September 25, 1890.
 However, renegade fundamentalist Mormon groups living primarily in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico still practice plural marriage. Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states. But Utah`s law is unique in that a person can be convicted of not only having two legal marriage licenses, but also of living with another adult in a marriage-like relationship if they are already legally married to someone else. 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. 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.    Since the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882, bigamy has been a federal crime under U.S. law. Bigamy is a crime that occurs when a person is married to two different people at the same time under two different marriage contracts. If a person is married, he or she is required to dissolve the marriage by death, annulment or divorce before he or she can legally enter into a new marriage. If a person deliberately fails to dissolve the first marriage before entering into a new marriage contract, they may be charged with bigamy. The Muslim acceptance of polygamy is illustrated by the fact that polygamy is more common in the Middle East and North and Central Africa, the regions of the world with the highest concentrations of Muslims, and illegal in most other regions.
In addition, several countries recognize polygamous marriages between Muslims, but not between practitioners of other religions. In Canada, polygamy is an offence under section 293 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to five years` imprisonment, but prosecution is rare. Hindu law allows polygamy within certain parameters, although the application varies from one Hindu country to another. For example, traditional Hindu law allowed polygamy if the first wife could not give birth to a son. In addition, Balinese Hinduism allows sanctioned and unrestricted polygamy, but marriage is regulated by adat or traditional customs. Utah criminalized the practice of polygamy in 1935 after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publicly rejected it in 1890, 1904, and 1910. Many convictions followed. Since the 1960s, prosecutions for polygamy have been rare.
Prosecutors included Robert D. Foster, Steve Bronson, Mark Easterday, Thomas Green and Rodney Holm. The latter two have been challenged in the state Supreme Court. Both failed. Yet Utah was reluctant to prosecute, citing a lack of resources, the difficulty of obtaining convincing evidence, and the understanding that any prosecution would trigger an inevitable appeal to higher courts. The 2003 Supreme Court Lawrence v. The Texas decision concluded that all adult, consensual and non-commercial sexual activity is protected, weakening any attempt to persecute families for private residential or sexual agreements that did not seek the state`s imprimatur. 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.