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On wikipedia it says Winston's father only had one legal wife:

Anne Mae was the first of Ray's six wives, and the only wife he was legally married to.

Winston's father only had one "formal wife", the one on the marriage certificate. So I assume that Winston might also only have one legal wife and one legal marriage certificate? If he only has one legal wife, how could he be arrested for polygamy?

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The law does not criminalize "having more than 1 legal spouse", it criminalizes specific behavior. The polygamy statute is here. It says

Every one who (a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into (i) any form of polygamy, or (ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or (b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

That is, if you behave like you're married to multiple women, you've committed a crime.

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  • Is "if you behave like you're married to multiple women, you've committed a crime" really true? I think many if not all of the 21st century Americans are having sex with more than one people. How does the court differentiate between "wives" and "cohabitants (concubines)"? Note the common definition of cohabitants: to live together as if married (dictionary.com/browse/cohabitants). – High GPA Sep 17 '19 at 17:22
  • One salient example is Hugh Hefner, who lived with at least three women at the same time – High GPA Sep 17 '19 at 17:44
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    Without a trial transcript, we can only conjecture about the logic behind the guilty verdict. I suspect that he did not deny enter into polygamy, and the real issue was the constitutionality of the law. – user6726 Sep 17 '19 at 19:55
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    @HighGPA citation for "many if not all of the 21st century Americans are having sex with more than one people"? – user548 Sep 18 '19 at 20:29
  • @Zymus Only 20% of American men and 30% of American woman had one or less partner. By the way: healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/… – High GPA Sep 20 '19 at 0:06

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