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Unread postby willow » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:24 am

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... aring.html
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/01/ ... ygamy.html

CBC wrote:A lawyer for the B.C. government is warning a judge that declaring polygamy a protected religious practice would make Canada the only Western country to allow multiple marriages.

The B.C. Supreme Court is examining whether banning polygamy violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in a case that will focus on the small polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C.

Seems Canadas going through some sort of quiet sexual revolution all of a sudden, first prostitution and now polygamy?!?! I lose the internet for a few months and the whole nation loses its moral compass :P

Unlike prostitution this bothers me and its not because Im prudish, rather the religious backing its got, which gives it a serious chance of passing given Canadas history on civil rights.

The provinces lawyer is apparently going to argue that:
All forms of polygamy contribute to the discrimination of women and the sexualization of young girls, Jones said.

Which I dont agree with. I can accept that an adult person can love two people equally and at the same time however difficult. I also think that most of the people who attempt such relationships in western society fail to maintain them due to a variety of issues namely jelousy and a gradual preference for one partner over another. I accept it as possible though in a functional and healthy sense to do so which means that I cant oppose it morally as "wrong" when engaged by consenting adults. I would also assume that polygamy would include polyandry as well, equality is as equality does.

He goes on to say though:
He said the court would hear evidence that polygamy in Bountiful and fundamentalist Mormon communities in the U.S. leads to child brides, teen pregnancies and the trafficking of young girls.

Which I entierly agree with. Child brides, underage betrothals, moving girls across borders from here to Utah without papers, and a whole world of things that violate the province and national laws on the welfare and safety of children etc are abundant in the community in question. The mormon sect has been a hot potato legally for the province for years given that they have always been clear they would make a constitutional challange for the legality of polygamy due to religious reasons which they may very well win. The province has never wanted to take them to court over it. Now it seems that the courts have been charged with settling the question of if our anti polygamy laws violate the charter or not in order to see if the province can bring a case against the community.

CBC wrote:At issue in the hearing is whether Canada's 1890 law against polygamy violates guarantees to freedom of religion and association in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms...

A team of federal and provincial prosecutors will argue that the law does not violate Canada's charter, while a legal team called the Amicus, meaning friend of the court, has been appointed to argue against the government's case...

The province's attorney general has asked the chief justice to rule on two questions. The first question is whether Canada's law against polygamy violates the religious protections in the charter.

The second question — if the court rules the law is constitutionally valid — is whether all polygamy is illegal, or just unions involving minors or exploitation?

The provinces concern is namely with the exploitation of women and children inside the community of Bountiful in BC which for our American friends is related to the sect of Utah Mormans who largely share their practices. While the BCCLA is opposed to the law against polygamy arguing that there are better ways to ensure the protection of children and women, saying:
B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer Monique Pongracic-Speier wrote:"Consenting adults have the right — the Charter protected right — to form the families that they want to form," she argues.

Pongracic-Speier says the law against polygamy is the wrong way to protect vulnerable women and minors.

"In some polygamous families, as in some monogamous families, there are abuses and there are difficulties, and it's those abuses or those difficulties that ought to be the target of legal intervention, not the form of relationship itself,"

As I've said I'm opposed to the way this is being argued as a religious freedom rather then a moral one. On religious grounds based on the way our charter is worded I can see them having a real chance at winning the right to maintain their practices and if it passes it would make Canada the only country in the developed world to decriminalize polygamy.

I dont see legalized polyamory as a real threat to society given that I dont expect people to run out and jump into a polyamourous relationship because its suddenly legal, anyone interested in such a relationship generally wont allow the law to prevent them they just wont get married.

An extension of this however would be to allow practitioners of smaller religions and other sects to practice polygamy as well, from *sigh* Seppes going to love this... Muslims, and several african tribes.

CBC wrote:Some Muslims believe the Qur'an permits a man to have to four wives, but only under certain, fairly strict conditions. In parts of Africa, men take multiple spouses as a cultural practice. Canadian immigration officials have turned down applications from men in legal polygamous unions abroad to bring more than one wife to the country under a family class visa. Also, there have been hundreds of refugee claims by women from such cultures who claim abuse and coercion in forced multiple marriages.

I have a feeling if this breaks in the US we are going to be the gay marrage slippery slope whipping boy for a few months >.< On the otherhand within the next few years it could be completely possible to have a random group of any 2-5 people decide to get married. I have trouble seeing a marrage with 2 husbands and 3 wives or 1 wife and 3 husbands or some other assortment having any kind of stability though. I suppose it does have a certain amount of utilitarian pragmatism to it though.

The law says
Crim Code of Can wrote:293. (1) 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.

The charter says:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Wiki wrote: the Supreme Court drew up a definition of freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, mindful of the overlap with section 2(a). The majority found freedom of religion encompasses a right to religious practices if the individual has a sincere belief that the practice is connected to religion. It would not matter whether the practice was needed according to religious authority. If courts can believe an individual is telling the truth in saying a practice is connected to religion, the courts then ask whether the infringement of freedom of religion is severe enough to trigger section 2. The Court also said religious beliefs are vacillating, so courts trying to determine an individual belief should be mindful that beliefs may change.

What do you think does the law sound unconstitutional? polyamory a good idea/bad idea? the beginning of the end of decent society?
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-willow 07/22/09
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