In order to fully understand the term bigamy that concerns us now, it is necessary to begin by discovering its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word of Greek origin. And it is the result of the sum of three elements of that language:
-The prefix “bi-”, which is synonymous with “two”.
-The noun “gamos”, which is equivalent to “marriage”.
-The suffix “-ia”, which is used to indicate a quality or an action.
Bigamy is called the situation, position or state of an individual who is a bigamist: that is, he maintains a sentimental bond with two people simultaneously. In general, the concept refers to someone who, already being married, contracts another marriage.
The etymology of marriage brings us to the Latin language: bigămus, a word that refers to whoever marries again. The most distant origin, however, is found in a Greek notion that mentions a “double marriage. ”
For Christianity, the only possible form of marriage is monogamy: the regime that does not tolerate the existence of a plurality of spouses. Bigamy, therefore, is not accepted by Christians.
Based on this belief, in countries with a Christian tradition, bigamy constitutes a crime. This is conduct that is prohibited by law and is subject to legal conviction. In nations with other religious and cultural influences, however, bigamy is allowed.
The legislation in Europe and America, therefore, only recognizes as a valid and legal marriage the one who respects monogamy. On the African continent and in the Middle East, most countries allow bigamy or polygamy. Polygamy, as you can imagine, is the term that is used to refer to a person being married to several at the same time.
In Spain bigamy is a crime. Moreover, it must be established that it is qualified as such already in the Middle Ages. A good example is that in the Crown of Castile it was established that it was an adultery and, in addition, a serious attack against the institution and what marriage represented as well as against the fidelity associated with it.
Since then it has remained within the category of crime in the country, changing different aspects. This evolution has led to the fact that it is currently established in the Penal Code that bigamy is a crime against family relationships. Specifically, it is indicated that the person who contracted a second marriage being aware of the legal subsistence of another first will be punished. Yes, it will be punished with a jail term that can range from 6 months to 1 year.
Beyond the marriage contract, in colloquial language the idea of bigamy is often used to name the condition of one who has two romantic partners. Suppose a man named Eduardo goes out Monday through Friday with Maria, while on weekends he has meetings with Luciana. Both women are unaware of the other couple’s existence, as Eduardo hides the situation. It can be said, given this reality, that Eduardo incurs bigamy.