American state of Utah votes to decriminalize polygamy

Utah’s state Senate voted unanimously to decriminalize polygamy, hoping to make it an infraction on par with a parking ticket.

The bill swiftly cleared the Republican-controlled Senate in the predominantly Mormon state with a vote of 29-0 with little discussion on Tuesday. It now moves to the Utah House of Representatives, where it is likely to face greater resistance.

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Polygamy is currently classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. If the Senate bill becomes law, punishments would be limited to fines of up to $750 and community service.

However, fraudulent bigamy in which an individual obtains licenses to marry more than one spouse without their knowledge, or seeks to wed someone underage without her consent — would remain a felony.

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