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Remove the Cohabitation Clause from the Colorado Bigamy Law

This petition had 47 supporters

Bigamy laws are laws which prevent people who are already in a legal marriage from entering into another legal marriage.

Many state’s bigamy laws including Colorado’s include a clause in their bigamy laws which states that if a married person or couple cohabits with another unrelated adult regardless of the nature of their relationship (sexual or non-sexual) that would constitute bigamy.

Bigamy in Colorado is classified as a class 6 felony. People that commit bigamy can be fined, put into prison, and have their children forcibly removed from them without justification.

Many couples find it is economically unfeasible to own a home or rent an apartment without help from friends who can live with them and share the rent. Furthermore many Colorado families are not headed by a two person household but rather a multi-person household with several adults who consider themselves in a relationship together which is called Polyamory or Polyfidelity. These Poly families are like all other families, loving and warm environments made up of consenting adults who just want a normal life raising children and going to work. Poly families are diverse and unique with members from every class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Colorado families are suffering in this ongoing financial crisis and the cohabitation clause makes it difficult for them to keep their homes.

Colorado’s bigamy law should be amended to remove cohabitation and to add a registry that all people married in the state of Colorado would be entered into and which would prevent them from legally marrying any other person besides their current spouse as well as preventing them from filing taxes jointly with anyone besides their current spouse.

The following is the current text of the Colorado state Bigamy law.

Bigamy 18.6.201
(1) Any married person who, while still married, marries or cohabits in this state with another commits bigamy, unless as an affirmative defense it appears that at the time of the cohabitation or subsequent marriage:

(a) The accused reasonably believed the prior spouse to be dead; or

(b) The prior spouse had been continually absent for a period of five years during which time the accused did not know the prior spouse to be alive; or

(c) The accused reasonably believed that he was legally eligible to remarry.

(2) Bigamy is a class 6 felony.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 447, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-6-201. L. 89: (2) amended, p. 839, § 76, effective July 1.

Cross references: For the "Uniform Marriage Act", see article 2 of title 14; for the "Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act", see article 10 of title 14.

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