SHOULD POLYGAMY BE BANNED?

Police raids on their communities in Texas have brought polygamists to the front pages in the United States. Now it’s Canada’s turn.

The B.C. attorney-general, Wally Opal, wants a police crack-down to stamp out polygamy in the British Columbia village of Bountiful.

The attorney-general would use the anti-polygamy law that Canada has on its books. But lawyers in Oppal’s own department have told him our anti-polygamy law would likely be struck down as a violation of the Charter guarantee of freedom and religion.

In some ways the ban on polygamy is archaic. There is no law in Canada to forbid a man from living with tow or three women, or a woman with two or more men, assuming the consent of all concerned. So if any such group were to have some kind of ceremony and call themselves married, how would prosecuting them serve any purpose?

When Trudeau said there “was no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” he didn’t add “except when more than two people are sharing one.”

If the attorney-general finds there is child abuse or young girls being forced into unwanted relationships then he should prosecute to the full extent of the laws we have on the books for those crimes.

But to prosecute consenting adults (polygamists) just because they’ve chosen a life style many Canadians find repugnant is simply wrong-headed.

Do you agree?

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11 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    Why should the state subsidize polygamy?

    When these people get married, do they register every marriage?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    How is what they’re doing illegal? If they’re not registering their marriages, and they’re not asking the state to pay for it, where’s the issue?

  2. 2
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    …logical extension of legalizing gay marriage.

    Doesn’t hurt anyone, so why not?

    Of course, the argument could be made that incest (as long as it doesn’t produce children) between consenting adults also doesn’t hurt anyone.

    Trivia: Although Trudeau is credited with the “Bedrooms of the nation” quote, it was actually said a few months earlier in an editorial in the Toronto Star.

  3. 3
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Tony’s remark about incest makes a good point. Where and how do you stop once you have set the ball in motion? I guess Lot’s daughters could have a nice input here.

  4. 4
    SUZANNE Says:

    The whole idea behind opposite-sexed, monogamous marriage is that it’s supposed to be the ideal place to raise future citizens.

    Once you eliminate that notion of what marriage is for (for the state), marriage no longer has a social purpose. It becomes a private contract. We know that marriage has far greater social consequences than how it affects two people who are romantically entwined. But we don’t want to treat it that way otherwise it will mean “discrimination” against certain kinds of relationships. As if all relationships had the same value.

  5. 5
    SUZANNE Says:

    The whole idea behind opposite-sexed, monogamous marriage is that it’s supposed to be the ideal place to raise future citizens.

    Once you eliminate that notion of what marriage is for (for the state), marriage no longer has a social purpose. It becomes a private contract. We know that marriage has far greater social consequences than how it affects two people who are romantically entwined. But we don’t want to treat it that way otherwise it will mean “discrimination” against certain kinds of relationships. As if all relationships had the same value.

  6. 6
    jim Says:

    Mothers have been separated from their children in a 435 person raid in Texas last week. The mothers are back on the ranch. The children by and large have been housed in a convention center. I want to say I don’t care what the adults do out of sight and sound of children but what has happened over the years since 1969 is that in Canada the age for adulthood has been incrementally reduced from 21 to 14 years. Moving on, I find it strange that Texas threw out the mothers and children from their homes instead of throwing out the and arresting the men as paedophiles. Signs of the disaster at Waco.

  7. 7
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “When these people get married, do they register every marriage?”

    No – only the first marriage.

    But there is the issue of gov’t handouts… If a man is ‘married’ to 5 women and has 5 kids with each, but only one marriage is recognized by the fed gov’t, then 4 of the ‘wives’ can collect gov’t handouts as SINGLE mother’s of 5 kids! That’s a lot of dough!
    They aren’t really single of course… they live with their husband.

    I don’t find polygomy offensive personally… but the whole communal enviroment is dangerous IMO. You have kids being raised in a secluded place, unaware that the world is much different and freer, and they are raised to believe that polygamy is the ONLY way. They might not be FORCED into a marriage in the literal sense, but by not knowing any differently they have no other choice.

    This, along with many other things, is why I feel religious parents are cruel when they subject their kids to their beliefs. These poor kids don’t know any better! Let them grow up and make their own decisions when they’re old enough to make an informed decision.

    (among the “other things” I mentioned is the idea of hell… imagine scaring a young person with the idea of hell just so they’ll stay true to your church… it’s disgusting!)

  8. 8
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    All relationships when they are in love and justice, symbolize the love and compassion God has for all of creation.

    The law usually reflects this thinking.

    When relationships are outside these paramaters, they are usually dysfunctional and people of good will everywhere, recognize this.

  9. 9
    Chimera Says:

    Polyamorous relationships have existed since forever and will continue to exist forever, with or without “official” permission.

    It need not be legalized so long as it is decriminalized and left up to the individuals involved. Polyamory (includes women with multiple husbands, or simply what’s known as “group marriage”) as a social, family group, should simply be allowed to become as much an accepted part of the civilized world as monogamy or celibacy — strictly up to the people, themselves.

    Public or societal disapproval, and the resultant hiding away of people who essentially just want to live their own lives without being condemned by their neighbors, are what cause strife, fear, hatred, contempt, anger, and unltimately, war.

    We really need to focus our energies on our own lives and stop interfering with the lives of others.

  10. 10
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Public or societal disapproval, and the resultant hiding away of people who essentially just want to live their own lives without being condemned by their neighbors, are what cause strife, fear, hatred, contempt, anger, and unltimately, war.”

    And it creates an environment where the children aren’t aware of the outside world… and that’s dangerous!

    I don’t have a problem with polygamy – or polyamory – so Chimera’s idea sounds fine with me…

  11. 11
    Dez Says:

    Lots of people have multiple marriages now, just not at the same time. For example, Dame Elizabeth Taylor has been married eight times (twice to Richard Burton). This should be called a “series marriage”.

    Polyamorous weddings (where all participants get married at once) would therefore be “parallel marriages”.

    If you have multiple one-on-one weddings, one at a time over the years, but no divorces, that could be referred to as a “parallel-series marriage”.

    And, of course, if you have a polyamorous wedding, then have other polyamorous weddings later, that could be a “series-parallel marriage”.

    As long as we’re going to make it legal, we may as well have the terminology to describe it. That’s all I’m saying.


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