Canada's law against polygamy should be upheld. Testimony from three “sister-wives” this week in British Columbia underscores the ills that flow from this practice: the exploitation and coercion of teenage girls, trafficking of child brides from the U.S. into Canada, exclusion of young men and abnormally high rates of teenage pregnancy.
No matter how rosy a picture the three anonymous witnesses from Bountiful, B.C., tried to paint of their lives, the reality of polygamous unions is extremely troubling. One witness, married just days after her seventeenth birthday, acknowledged that she crossed the border into Bountiful to join her new husband, claiming she was coming to visit an aunt and stay with a friend – a clear misrepresent-
ation. Within six months, another American teenager became her sister-wife. That girl was 15.
The question in the B.C. reference case, prompted by the abortive prosecution in 2009 of Bountiful's two leaders, is whether Section 293 of the Criminal Code barring polygamy is consistent with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
While the Attorneys-General of B.C. and Canada are arguing that the law should be upheld, a court-appointed amicus curiae says the law is unconstitutional because it violates religious freedom.
To accept the practice as a religious right would be an accommodation too far.
Not only should the section be upheld, it should be applied. If there could be any doubt, consider the data from B.C.'s Vital Statistics Agency: From 1986 to 2009, Bountiful had 833 births to 215 mothers and 142 fathers. The rate of teen pregnancy is more than seven times the provincial rate. Since 2003, only 19 students from Bountiful have made it to Grade 12.
Barring polygamy remains a reasonable limit on religious freedom and a potent reminder that the law must protect the vulnerable and the equality rights and human dignity of women and children.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
The "upholding" of an impossible law is sheer stupidity and demonstrates the
"upholders" politically correct doctrine without any semblance of legal
reasoning to balance the prejudice of the upholding of the law versus the
reality that any impossible law creates an unacceptable level of prejudice to
Sister wives marry sister wives all the time, many households have a number of women in a marriage like domestic situation that goes for years if not decades without a man in sight.
There is no limitation on the number of women who can live with women but, apparently if these same group of women have one man to share between them then its supposedly illegal?
Then there are the "swingers" who have lots of women and men who just change partners who can change partners several times a day , week month or year.
What the government completely ignores is that they are using the WRONG TOOL to do the WRONG JOB.
Child brides is CHILD ABUSE, it requires child protection workers to bring actions that are child protection not child abuse or a religious inquisition.
Religious CULTS are tantamount to a cartel engaged in systematic child abuse, and not just 15 year old girls. The main CULT here are also abusers of BOYS who are thrown out of the community, deprived of support, love and affections that they should be getting but are not to enable some 50 year old balding "elder" to add yet another child bride to his harem.
Polygamy legislation is not going to stop that, as NO LEGAL marriage takes place, and therefore no offense.
The BC government is crazy.
The evidence of both sides is a she said versus She Said, and while the FLDS witnesses are obviously part of a cult, their evidence is their evidence and it does not support the government's position.
What is the government going to do? Shoot the messengers?
Engage in more vexatious prosecutions?
The BC and Federal Attorney Generals need to start to use some basic legal reasoning and realize that they are have now become obsessed to the point that they cannot see the substantive issue of child abuse due to their obsession with what is most probably harmless polygamy.
The Attorney Generals have lost sight of the substantive real issues, that there is a difference between Religious rights and the abuse of fiduciary duty and or obstruction of justice and or child abuse by Religious CULTS.
The FLDS is based on a fraudster who told women God sent him to have sex with them.
If a man did that today to a woman who really belived in god, would she not be just as likely to say yes and would that not really be rape?
The fact is, relying upon someone's vulnerabilities to abuse their trust in god, to have sex is RAPE and it is similar to the Swedish idea that having consented to protected sex, means if he or she then has unprotected sex without that specific consent to unprotected sex than its rape also, a good reason for deporting Julian Assange to Sweden.