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-   -   Legal definition of polygamy: Surprise! (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67480)

SchrodingersCat 12-14-2013 08:00 PM

Legal definition of polygamy: Surprise!
I'm sure most of us have heard about the recent ruling in Utah that polygamy is no longer illegal. However, it does not give them the legal right to "legally marry" multiple people, only that living with multiple people in a marriage-like relationship is no longer illegal.

I did some digging, and realized that what many of us consider to be completely kosher... totally isn't. Legally, I mean. Ethically Shmethically.

It depends on the jurisdiction of course. But in most of North America, having a legally married spouse, and living with another person in a conjugal relationship (defined as "marriage-like," as in being in a romantic relationship, sharing household responsibilities, being financially linked, sharing parenting responsibilities) is legally defined as polygamy, and is still illegal.

All along, we've been operating on here as though it's only illegal to get two marriage licenses, go down to the courthouse twice, and marry two people, without getting a divorce in between. Nope! Actually, even living in the same house with your two partners, having sex and sharing responsibilities, is illegal even if you don't legally marry either one of them.

Apparently, even having a religious / spiritual ceremony counts as entering a conjugal union, even if you don't live together or share household responsibilities, and is therefore illegal. I've seen many people suggest on here that this is completely legal because you're not getting legally married, but apparently that is not the case.

For the record, "cheating" is still perfectly legal. There's no law forbidding you from having a spouse at home, and a girlfriend or boyfriend that you go visit and have dates with. Different matter for divorce court, of course, and depends even more on the jurisdiction. But not legally considered to be polygamy.

I totally did not know that. Did you?

LovingRadiance 12-14-2013 09:14 PM

I did know that. Because I get bored and I researched it once. I didn't spend much time CARING. lol.
But when we were considering moving to the states, I researched it.

It's pretty crazy huh?
It's totally legal to be a sneaky asshole.
But if you want to be honest and upfront OH HELL NO.

RichardInTN 12-14-2013 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 254311)
It's pretty crazy huh?
It's totally legal to be a sneaky asshole.

Have you heard about US Politicians? :D ;)

Of course it's legal to be sneaky and/or an asshole!

kdt26417 12-15-2013 12:26 AM

The Law is one of the reasons we're still in the closet. :( The handfasting ceremony we had, if found out by the authorities, would only seal our fate.

Unless a/the judge/s just don't care/don't consider it worth their time. Lord knows plenty of silly outdated laws remain on the books, and politicians don't bother to repeal them. Because you don't get any points for repealing old laws, only for passing new laws. :mad:

Of course, politicians also tend to perceive themselves as being above the Law ...

LovingRadiance 12-15-2013 01:28 AM

Yes Richard lol, I am a firm believer that politicians are assmonkeys. ;)

kdt26417 12-15-2013 02:08 AM

"We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government. Nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent. Nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today. Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby, ulcerous, little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive. We are sorry if this impression has come across."
-- Monty Python's Flying Circus, the War Against Pornography

YouAreHere 12-15-2013 02:24 AM

Hm... I thought it may have been this forum but maybe not. Someone posted a link to a site that had cohabitation legalities by state. I'll have to try to dig that up.

kdt26417 12-15-2013 02:58 AM

Would be interested in it.

RichardInTN 12-15-2013 03:34 AM

Well, this isn't a list of states or anything... but here's a very recent interesting ruling that may have applications to this issue: Federal District Judge Finds Portions of Utah's Criminalization of Polygamy Unconstitutional

YouAreHere 12-15-2013 04:48 AM

Well, I found this thread...

Which pointed to this one...

But there's this link, which seems to be fairly thorough (as of 2011). Searching for "legal" on the site will get you the other states as well.

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