Kenya Passes Law Legalizing Polygamy Without Approval Of Existing Spouses

609px-Coat_of_arms_of_Kenya.svgKenya’s parliament has passed a law intended to codify the existing customary law allowing for multiple spouses. However, the legislators went further and removed a provision that would give the existing spouse or spouses the right to veto a marriage. After female legislators stormed out of the session in protest, MP Junet Mohammed explained “When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife… this is Africa.”

The law shows the broad range of practices involving polygamy around the world. This is a clearly offensive version of the practice. As many know, I represent the Sister Wives in their successful challenge of the criminal polygamy law in Utah. However, the Brown family believes in divorce and the existing wives actually pick an additional wife under their faith.

There are also different forms of polygamy, which is an umbrella term. Polygamy actually refers to a broad array of different plural relationships from polygyny (with one husband and multiple wives, like the Browns) to polyandry (with a single wife and multiple husbands) to polyamory (with couples who reject exclusivity of sexual relations among married couples). The vast majority of these families are based on consenting relations of adults without abusive or criminal histories. For prior columns, click here and here.

The non-consensual element of this law is obviously outrageous and another denial of the rights of women. I do believe that both men and women have a right to engage in plural relationships like the “spiritual marriages” of the Browns. In Kenya, however, women are not allowed to marry more than one man.

The legislators noted that polygamy (though more accurately polygyny) has long been part of African and Islamic traditions. Legislators insist that the law only codifies what all women expect. Samuel Chepkong’a, chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee insisted “Any time a man comes home with a woman, that would be assumed to be a second or third wife . . . Under customary law, women or wives you have married do not need to be told when you’re coming home with a second or third wife. Any lady you bring home is your wife”.

190px-Prince_Manga_Bell_and_favorite_wivesThe legislators also removed a provision allowing for financial damages when a partner promises to marry someone and backs out. Presumably, that was also a change benefiting males. However, legislators insisted that they just want to guarantee that marriage is based on love not money — an unlikely prospect in a country where young girls are historically handed over into marriage by their families.

25 thoughts on “Kenya Passes Law Legalizing Polygamy Without Approval Of Existing Spouses”

  1. the ignorance will never stop will it? 1. your taxes pay for nothing. here in the good ole usa. 2. taxes were originally put into place for the rich to help the middle class and working poor obtain their vision of the american dream. of course the elites decided no one but them were good enough for that dream and drew all of humanity into their own downfall…. you paying taxes is you paying them for the right to live, work, eat, sleep in a home, drive a car, wear clothes and shoes, along with bathing. thats exactly what your taxes do. it pays the elites for giving you the privilege of life.. you dont own your homes or cars nor businesses they do. ex pay off your car note or mortgage and then stop paying those taxes and they come right in and snatch it back from you…its amazing how we’re so broke we are closing down schools firing workers, shutting down necessary programs for the seniors and youth. etc but we have double and triple digit millions to pay consultants to tell us what agencies or programs need to be cut back or shut down.. we have billions for military weapons. and we damn sure have 4 billion dollars a year to give to israel with no if ands or buts.. we have millions to give to polietrickers. but cut foodstamps for the poor. and yet you people are always complaining.. you act as if people WANT TO BE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. you act as if public assistance gives them an excessive amount of money a month. well from the mouth of a ex substance abuse counselor and case worker for public assistance.. one person receives 72.00 every 2 weeks and 189.00 a month in food stamps. they only pay 218.00 month towards your rent..

    a mother with a child receives 135.00 biweekly and 215.00 dollars a month in food stamps 218.00 rent.. also you must work in a workfare program to obtain that money unless your exempted and you’re only exempted if your very sick and you must prove your sick.. so please STOP SPEAKING ON WHAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. its not hard to find out the truth…

    as for the polygamy of course it’s a law written by men to benefit men.. i still dont understand why anyone believes anything from a book written and rewritten by fanatical clerics and nefarious polietrickers for their own purposes..families like the browns may be happy but its not something that works for all.. what happens if the husband decides he likes the 2nd or 3rd wife better then the others and just decides to leave with her? leaving the first and/or second wife with kid(s) and no means to support the family? heck men do this everyday and they arent using polygamy as the reason..

    we’re all born in GOD’s image actually means we all know right from wrong you make the choice to follow the right or wrong path….yes some people have been forced to follow the wrong path but they are always given a opportunity to do the right thing..if the bible were to be believed then they wouldnt have felt a need to remove so many books and passages, they wouldnt have felt a need to take and change up the passages and rewrite what did or didnt happen…


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