Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who Has Expertise on Polygamy?

Certainly not people who have never practiced it nor studied it.

The Vancouver Sun had a poor article on Angela Campbell, whose expertise is a factor in the poly trial in Canada.

She is expected to argue that polygamy ought to be decriminalized because the harms caused to women and children stem not from plural marriages, but from the societal stigma that attaches to them.

“Although the threat of criminal sanction does not seem to thwart or halt polygamy in [the fundamentalist Mormon community of] Bountiful, participants indicated that the fact that polygamy is criminalized causes them to feel stigmatized and looked upon with disdain within the larger community,” Campbell writes.

Because of that stigma, she says, they are marginalized from the mainstream and less likely likely to seek services or help for themselves or their children; they are afraid that they might be arrested, jailed or have their children taken away from them.

Lack of equality harms.

Another expert witness – law professor Nicholas Bala from Queen's University – has suggested in his affidavit that Campbell's research is based on “a sample of women who are most positively disposed [to] this practise.”

You mean people who actually have experienced it and lived? Aren’t they they best people to ask?

Bala, whose affidavit was filed by Stop Polygamy in Canada, suggests that women whose experiences with polygamy were negative might have been intimidated into silence.

They can submit their own testimony. Nobody in the government is going to force them into a marriage. But there is the risk that someone will break up poly families.

Campbell offers no evidence other than unnamed women's assertions that girls as young as 15 and 16 are no longer being placed in arranged marriages.

She also offers no evidence that she has stopped beating her wife. It isn’t her obligation to show that. Let the authorities investigate. The reporter could have also noted that Campbell hasn’t proven the group isn’t hiding stolen nuclear warheads.

And she has nothing to back her claims that women are free to choose contraception, other than her assertion that “some” women told her that they wanted birth control that was “invisible” to their husbands; others had sought information about “natural birth control” and another who described contraception as “taboo” and “very frowned upon.”

Try to follow this. I will go slowly...

If Canadian women are free to choose contraception, and
these women are Canadians, then
they are free to choose contraception.

The paper has provided Campbell’s affidavits here and here.
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1 comment:

  1. "The reporter could have also noted that Campbell hasn’t proven the group isn’t hiding stolen nuclear warheads."



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