Polygamy is illegal and criminalized in all countries in North and South America, including all 50 U.S. states. However, in February 2020, the Utah House of Representatives and Senate reduced the sentence for consensual polygamy, which was previously classified as a felony, to about one misdemeanor. In 2007, the Attorney General of British Columbia raised concerns about the constitutionality of this prohibition, and an independent prosecutor in British Columbia recommended that Canadian courts be called upon to rule on the constitutionality of laws against polygamy.  The Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld section 293 of the Criminal Code against Polygamy of Canada and other related legislation in a 2011 reference.   On March 9, 2018, the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld the constitutionality of Canada`s anti-polygamy laws. . In 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act, which strengthened Morrill`s Anti-Bigamy Act by classifying polygamy as a crime and establishing „illegal cohabitation“ as a misdemeanor that excluded unmarried couples from living together. This made it easier to detect unofficial polygamous acts, as it eliminated the need to prove the existence of a legal marriage. The International Christian Polygamy Society needs donations to travel to countries like Chad to preach the true gospel to all, including Muslims. Adultery is and has never been part of polygamy. Since the facts in support of a declaration of nullity are normally sufficient to treat the parties as if they had never married in accordance with the law, issues arising from a spouse`s legal obligations in divorce matters cannot be applicable to nullity proceedings in certain situations.
Indeed, the establishment of a legally valid conjugal relationship is necessary to trigger certain marital obligations, such as the obligation to pay child and spousal support. Group marriage is an umbrella term for marriages involving multiple husbands as well as multiple wives. Polyamory is the practice of having multiple romantic relationships, with all parties having complete knowledge and giving full consent. Not related to marriage. Polygeny is the (outdated) theory that the different races of humanity evolved from different ancestral groups. This term has nothing to do with polygamy, but is sometimes confused with „polygyny“, so it is included here for clarity. In some African countries, polygamy is illegal under civil law, but still permitted under common law, where actions traditionally accepted by a particular culture are considered legal. This arguably confusing loophole leads to two types of marriages: „civil“ marriages and „habitual“ or „religious“ marriages, and allows countries like Liberia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone to allow and even support polygamous marriages without formally recognizing them.
Buddhists view marriage as a secular matter rather than a sacrament. As such, each Buddhist country has its own position on polygamy. For example, Thailand legalized polygamy in 1955, while Myanmar banned polygamy in 2015. 2. Algeria: In Algeria, polygamy is allowed and a man can have up to four wives. However, recent amendments to the Algerian Family Code have made such marriages more difficult. As a result, polygamy was relatively rare. Polygamy is currently practised by only 3% of the population.
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 2000, the UN Human Rights Committee reported that polygamy violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), fearing that the lack of „equal treatment with regard to the right to marry“ meant that polygamy, which in practice was limited to polygamy, violated women`s dignity and should be prohibited.  In particular, reports to UN committees have identified violations of the ICCPR because of these inequalities, and reports to the UN General Assembly have recommended its prohibition.   Since the 19th century, the practice of polygamy in the United States has been subject to legal prohibitions, including by the federal government. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which banned the practice of bigamy. At the time, many Republican politicians argued that polygamy was the only other moral injustice outside of slavery that deserved to be abolished. The data on the prevalence of polygamous households was part of a Pew Research Center report on household composition by religion around the world. Not all people who practice polygamy live in polygamous households. Sometimes two or more wives of the same man each have their own home. Details of the categories of household types can be found in the methodology. Details of polygamy laws around the world can be found from the OECD Development Centre and the UN Human Rights Office.
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.  One in five American adults believe polygamy is morally acceptable, according to a recent Gallup poll. That percentage has nearly tripled (by 7%) since the first question in 2003, but it`s still one of the least accepted behaviors Gallup asks. Self-proclaimed liberals are much more likely than conservatives to view polygamy as morally acceptable (34% vs. 9%). A 2013 poll by the Pew Research Center found that Muslims around the world are divided on polygamy: while majorities in several sub-Saharan African countries and majorities in parts of the Middle East describe polygamy as morally acceptable, Muslims living in Central Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe tend to view polygamy as immoral. 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. Polygamous marriages are not recognized in Europe or Oceania, with the exception of the Solomon Islands. Polygamous marriages are recognized by the governments of India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, but only for Muslims.
Polygamy is illegal in Australia, but common in some indigenous tribes. In some places in Indonesia, such as Bali, Papua and West Papua, polygamy is allowed. Polygamy is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, where 11% of the population lives in agreements involving more than one spouse. Polygamy is prevalent in a group of West and Central African countries, including Burkina Faso (36%), Mali (34%) and Nigeria (28%). In these countries, polygamy is legal, at least to some extent. Muslims in Africa are more likely than Christians to live in this type of arrangement (25% vs. 3%), but in some countries the practice is also widespread among followers of folk religions and people who do not identify with a religion. For example, in Burkina Faso, 45 per cent of people with popular religions, 40 per cent of Muslims and 24 per cent of Christians live in polygamous households. Chad is the only country in this analysis where Christians (21%) are more likely than Muslims (10%) to live in this type of arrangement.
Utah reduced polygamy from a third-degree felony to a misdemeanor on May 13, 2020.   Polygamy is permitted in Balinese Hinduism, and Balinese and Papuans have practiced it for generations. In 2008, protests were held in Indonesia to criminalize polygamy and polygamous marriages, but no changes were made to the legislation. Under UAE law, polygamy is legal in the UAE, but limited to men of the Islamic faith. A man can take four wives only if he can ensure equal treatment and maintenance for all women. The Federal Penal Code applies throughout the country. It extends the normal definition of polygamy to any type of conjugal union with more than one person at a time. In addition, anyone who supports, celebrates or participates in a rite, ceremony or contract that sanctions a polygamous relationship is guilty of polygamy. Polygamy is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. [ref. needed] Many countries that allow polygamy have Muslim majorities, and the practice is rare in many of them.
Less than 1% of Muslim men live with more than one spouse in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Egypt – all countries where the practice is legal, at least for Muslims. Polygamy is also legal in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other neighboring countries, but they were not included in the study due to data limitations. Muslim adherents of polygamy often quote Quranic verse 4:3, which commands men to take as many wives as they can provide, up to four, and they also point out that the Prophet Muhammad had several wives. Historians have noted that Islamic guidelines on polygamy were issued in the midst of the wars in Arabia in the seventh century, when there were many widows and orphans in need of financial support, and that polygamy created a system in which they had to be treated.