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Kenyan President Signs Bill Making Polygamy Legal

 In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, center-left, arrives for the burial ceremony of his nephew Mbugua Mwangi and Mwangi's fiancee Rosemary Wahito, who were both killed in the Westgate Mall terrorist attack, at the burial site in the village of Ichawara, Kenya. A new poll released Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 by Ipsos Synovate says two out of three people in Kenya want to see their president report to the International Criminal Court to respond to charges of crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, center-left, arrives for the burial ceremony of his nephew Mbugua Mwangi and Mwangi’s fiancee Rosemary Wahito, who were both killed in the Westgate Mall terrorist attack, at the burial site in the village of Ichawara, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

 

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a bill that legalizes polygamous unions and opens the door for men to marry as many wives as they want.

Lawyer Judy Thongori Tuesday said the Marriage Act 2014 is long overdue and has more positive than negative attributes. She says the number of women a man can marry depends on the traditions of his tribe. Kenya has 42 tribes and many do not put a cap on the number of wives a man can marry as long as he can afford it.

Thongori said previous laws governing marriages and unions were made by British colonialists before Kenya gained independence in 1963 and did not capture the value systems of the indigenous populations.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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