Bountiful, BC Canada
Posted Thu Dec 02, 2010 03:33 PM
I pray to Darwin that the Canadian Courts return a verdict for common sense in regard to the case.
Posted Thu Dec 02, 2010 05:35 PM
I've been up to my ass in pligs most of my life and, like everything else, it's as variable as the human beings involved in the practice.
Posted Thu Dec 02, 2010 05:54 PM
VANCOUVER - A court in British Columbia will begin hearings Monday as it tackles a question that has been lingering over a small commune in southeastern British Columbia for nearly two decades: Is polygamy a crime, or is it a sacred religious practice protected by the constitution?
That question, and the lack of a clear answer, has stood in the way of the province's repeated efforts to prosecute the leaders of Bountiful, B.C., an obscure fundamentalist Mormon community near the U.S. border where some residents readily admit to multiple marriages.
But one observer predicts the B.C. case is just the first step in a process that will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where a final decision could affect a range of issues from the definition of marriage to how prospective immigrants with multiple wives should be treated.
"This is much broader than Bountiful — if the law is struck down and polygamy becomes legally recognized, you start to see some pretty broad ramifications, things like pension benefits, immigration," says Vancouver-based constitutional lawyer Ron Skolrood, who isn't connected to the case.
"Think about the world of immigration law and some cultures where polygamy is accepted. If the law is struck down, what does that mean for immigration into Canada?"
While the case may not end with Bountiful, it certainly began there.
Police and Crown counsel in B.C. have been investigating Bountiful since the early 1990s, but shied away from laying charges amid concerns the laws against polygamy wouldn't survive a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
That reluctance changed in January 2009, when police swept into the community and charged Winston Blackmore and James Oler, the leaders of two separate, divided factions within Bountiful, with one count each of practising polygamy. Police alleged Blackmore has 19 wives and more than 100 children, and Oler was accused of having three wives.
When the court threw out those charges because of how the province chose its prosecutors, the government referred the issue to the B.C. Supreme Court, setting the stage for a case that is expected to hear from more than two dozen witnesses and last until the end of January.
The province asked the court whether the polygamy laws are consistent with the charter, and if a polygamous relationship must involve a minor or some form of abuse for criminal charges to be laid. Such reference cases aren't technically binding, but legal experts have said other courts would likely adopt the eventual ruling, particularly if it is heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
More than a dozen interveners have applied to be involved, including religious groups and women's rights organizations. The trial is expected to hear from between 30 and 40 witnesses including experts, former and current residents of Bountiful, and people who live in so-called polyamorous relationships that aren't part of a specific religion.
Oler and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is connected to a controversial Mormon sect in Utah, will also be present, but Blackmore is boycotting the hearings after the court rejected his request for government funding and special legal status.
While the B.C. government has insisted the case is not solely about Bountiful, the province's lawyer makes it clear in his opening statement that he'll narrow in on the community to show polygamy harms women and children, as well as society as a whole.
"Direct evidence from Bountiful ... presents a consistently worrisome narrative of child brides, teen pregnancy, and men and boys who are, by accident or design, driven out of the community," government lawyer Craig Jones writes in his opening submissions to the court.
"The harms documented at Bountiful are the perfectly predictable, indeed the inevitable, consequences of a polygamous society."
The province has appointed a lawyer known as an amicus to argue the other side of the issue, making the case that polygamy is protected by the charter.
George Macintosh says in his submissions that Canada's anti-polygamy laws were initially aimed at imposing Christian values on Mormons and other cultures that practice polygamy.
He says the laws do more harm than good, taking away a woman's right to enter into a polygamous relationship if she chooses and isolating members of communities such as Bountiful.
"The provision draws a distinction between religious practices which the state deems to be acceptable — monogamous marriage — and those that are subject to criminal sanction — polygamous marriage," writes Macintosh.
"Even if not prosecuted, religious practitioners of polygamy are stigmatized by the law and treated as less worthy of respect and concern."
The provincial and federal governments appear to disagree on what the polygamy laws actually forbid.
The province argues in its submissions that the law only outlaws polygany, the most common form of polygamy in which a man has multiple wives. The province says the law doesn't prevent a woman from having more than one husband — a practice known as polyandry — or such relationships involving multiple partners of the same sex.
The federal government, on the other hand, insists the law forbids any form of multiple marriage, regardless whether they involve multiple wives or husbands.
Posted Fri Dec 03, 2010 01:36 PM
Posted Fri Dec 03, 2010 07:54 PM
Posted Fri Dec 03, 2010 07:58 PM
I totally agree with you on the points you have raised.
This post has been edited by fuck toy: Fri Dec 03, 2010 07:59 PM
Posted Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:19 PM
Posted Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:39 PM
"B-C lawyer Craig Jones told the court yesterday that just because polygamists believe the practise is part of their religion, it doesn't mean they can disobey the law. He told the B-C Supreme Court that the law exists because the harms caused by polygamy outweigh any claim to religious freedoms. The harms he listed include child abuse, human trafficking and even genital mutilation."
Posted Thu Mar 31, 2011 01:42 PM
Posted Thu Mar 31, 2011 02:31 PM
thats what i was going to say (more or less)
Posted Fri Apr 01, 2011 03:26 AM
Posted Fri Apr 01, 2011 08:12 AM
Posted Fri Apr 01, 2011 04:37 PM
i feel like marriage shouldnt have any legal meaning; that it should be a purely religious affair. as it is, the church should have no say in what constitutes a marriage, because we have equal protection under the law.
see if marriage was just a religious thing, then it would just be people that dont like their clubs rules; not my problem. but because they wanted to involve the government, and now they want to discriminate, it is my problem.
(im assuming ideal circumstances in the polygamy situation: of-age-consenting-non-brainwashed-adults.)