Monday, August 06, 2007

Is polygamy legal in Canada?

It might as well be after a surprise recommendation in British Columbia

From "Is polygamy legal in Canada?" by Ken MacQueen, posted 8/2/07 at

If polygamy is illegal, but nobody wants to prosecute it, is it really a crime? The question of the legality of plural marriage is no closer to resolution in British Columbia, home of the Bountiful polygamous community, now that a special prosecutor weighed in Wednesday with his ambivalent opinion.

Prominent Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck has recommended charges not be laid against unspecified members of the Bountiful commune, where plural marriage has been openly practiced for more than 60 years. "The legality of polygamy in Canada has for too long been characterized by uncertainty," Peck wrote.

He was appointed by the provincial attorney general's ministry to render an independent opinion on whether the commune's blatant violation of Canada's longstanding anti-polygamy law should be prosecuted, or whether men in the commune could be charged for having sex with their underage wives. Peck said the "available evidence" offered little likelihood of a conviction, especially since the women in Bountiful have not stepped forward with a complaint or cooperated with investigators.

...He is the latest in a series of B.C. attorneys general that have tried for more than 20 years to have charges laid. The Crown's own lawyers have said repeatedly that charges would not stick and that Canada's anti-polygamy law would likely not survive a constitutional challenge based on guarantees of freedom of religion and liberty contained in the Charter.

Members of Bountiful are part of a breakaway sect of fundamentalist Mormons who do not recognize the mainstream church's decision more than a century ago to end the practice of polygamy. But the issue extends far beyond the borders of Bountiful. Many Muslims in Canada, as well as some fundamentalist Christians and others with no religious grounding, also quietly practice polygamy.

Oppal said he doesn't buy the notion the polygamy law would be quashed in a Charter challenge, but he says he'll consider Peck's recommendations before taking further action.

Canada seems to be on a toboggan ride down the 'slippery slope' now that same-sex marriage has been legalized. Once you discard the fundamental definition of marriage as one man/one woman there is no basis either legal or logical, to deny recognition to other 'family forms.'

Indeed pro-gay activists here in the United States have been quite open about their desire to rid society of the one man/one woman ideal - labeling such notions 'heterosexist' and calling for legalization for everything from polygamy to group marriage...

And I will tell you why. The family - father, mother and children stands as a glorious testimony of the truth and beauty of God's design without ever saying a word - showing the counterfeit for what it is...

Read the whole article.