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       ("bi-") two
       ("-gamy") marriages.

Bigamy is the actual legal term used in law. The legal "offense" of bigamy is defined as being when a person has obtained "legally recognized" marriages to more than one living mate at the same time.

The root-word, "bi", in the word, bigamy, refers to two. But it does not mean only two mates. A bigamist is NOT simply a polygamist with only two mates.

Rather, bigamy, in terms of law, refers to any additional and secondary would-be "legally recognized" marriage which comes after the only, first, government-allowed, one "legally recognized" marriage. This is reflective of the "thinking" behind the (anti-polygamy) bigamy laws.

When someone has obtained more than one would-be "legally recognized" marriage, each additional would-be "legally recognized" marriage is deemed as "secondary" to the only one government-allowed "legally recognized" marriage.

Hence, any third, fourth, fifth, etc. would-be "legally recognized" marriages would all individually be deemed as separate "secondary" so-called "legally recognized" marriages. (The second would be deemed as "secondary", the third would be "secondary", the fourth would also be "secondary", and so would the fifth, etc.)

That's how the "bi", meaning "two", comes into the meaning of "bigamy" here. It is the government's perception of "secondary" in these matters which makes the definition.

Accordingly, a single count of "bigamy" is charged against an accused bigamist for each "secondary" would-be "legally recognized" marriage ---one charge each for each additional "legally recognized" marriage beyond the "first" and government-allowed "legally recognized" marriage.

For example, a man with three would-be "legally recognized" wives would be charged with TWO counts of bigamy. This would be due to the "second wife" being considered as one "secondary" wife and the "third wife" being considered as a second "secondary" wife. This would be all due to the government's perspective that there can be no more than one government-allowed "legally recognized" wife at the same time.

The difference, then, between a polygamist and a bigamist is NOT the number of mates. The meaning of bigamy and its application in (anti-polygamy) bigamy laws shows that its meaning is about any number of multiple "secondary" would-be "legally recognized" marriages after the "first" would-be "legally recognized" marriage.

Thus again, bigamy does NOT mean simply a "polygamist with only two mates". Bigamy is the actual term used in law, pertaining to the act of obtaining any number of "secondary" would-be "legally recognized" marriages beyond the "first" government-allowed one, at the same time.

With that understood, there are then actually two distinctly separate classifications of accused "bigamists".

  • Dishonest Bigamists - Accused of bigamy for turning secret affairs into secret "secondary" would-be "legally recognized" marriages beyond the "first" government-allowed one, at the same time,
       and being DISHONEST, as their other mates do not know of each other.


  • Honest Polygamists - Accused of bigamy for obtaining any "secondary" would-be "legally recognized" marriages beyond the "first" government-allowed one, at the same time,
       yet being HONEST, with all the family knowing of each other.

Truly, the matter of "Dishonest Bigamy" is certainly in a separate classification by itself. The deceitfulness of such a situation has nothing to do with the true marriage matters of bona fide polygamy.

And the matter of "Honest Polygamy" does not become a basis for being accused of bigamy if one does not obtain any secondary "legally recognized" marriages .

So, here again, it is clear that being a "bigamist" does not automatically mean that one is a bona fide "polygamist". And vice versa. The two words clearly have separate meanings.

In the final analysis, therefore, as long as an "Honest Polygamist" does not obtain any form of "legally recognized" marriage with any mate after the first "legally recognized" marriage, then no law in these modern times has been broken and the polygamist is NOT a bigamist at all.

Since most polygamists thereby never commit the actually legally-defined "offense" of bigamy because they do NOT seek any such "legally recognized" marriages anyway (beyond the first one, if at all), then no (anti-polygamy) bigamy law in these modern times is being broken by such polygamists anyway.

NOTE: The contents of this page may not be used or miscontrued as "legal advice" in replace of consulting with one's own attorney in one's own jurisdiction.








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