Thursday, March 31, 2011

The British Columbia Government Has Finished Its Attack

In the Canadian poly trial, the BC government has finished attacking the polygamous freedom to marry, at least for now.

If the prohibition on polygamy cannot be supported by the evidence presented over the past few months in B.C. Supreme Court, it could never be supported. That's how Craig Jones – the lead lawyer for the B.C. attorney general – closed the government's case Wednesday in the constitutional reference case to determine whether the polygamy law is valid.

That’s something we can agree on.

He then went on to assert that granting the polygamous freedom to marry would not help prevent abuse.

Criminalizing polygamy is a legitimate limit on religious freedom given the harm it causes women and children, he argued.

Certain men may have harmed women and children. Consenting adults marrying each other does not harm women and children.

The closing arguments scheduled to be completed by April 15.

Here’s an update

Federal government lawyer Keith Reimer says the evidence of harm was overwhelming, but he says Parliament doesn't need conclusive, scientific proof that polygamy is dangerous.

Rather, Reimer says the government only needs to show there is a "reasonable apprehension of risk" to support the law that bans any form of multiple marriage.

It isn’t reasonable to think it is harmful to allow consenting adults to marry each other.

The anti-equality people keep bringing up claims that minor girls were transported from one place to another to be married off. I do not defend forcing, coercing, or pressuring minors to marry, but I don't understand how the government lawyers focus on this when the same governments (US and Canada) have repeatedly defended a minor's rights to engage in sex and terminate pregnancies without parental permission or even determining who else was involved in the pregnancy. I fail to see why getting married is different, especially with parental consent. We can better protect minors by bringing polygamy out of the shadows so that we'll have more witnesses willing to testify in child trafficking and child abuse and domestic violence cases.

If it can be proven that a given group is engaging in an organized criminal conspiracy, there are laws to deal with that. Denying consenting adults their rights to love, sex, and marriage makes things worse, not better.

I can’t outdo the coverage being provided by some of my favorite blogs, including...

Dear Polly Amorie
Polyamory in the News
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