Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jones Calls Civil Rights Proponents Haughty

Closing arguments are underway in the Canadian poly trial, and Craig Jones is insisting that bigotry needs to be enshrined in law to protect women from their own choices.

“The child brides smuggled across borders to serve as compliant wives to middle-aged men they have never met, the boys expelled or sent to work camps without an education, the harsh mechanisms of control, the grotesque subjugation of women and girls, these are not discrete harms [of polygamy] that are simply coincidental,” Jones said.

Child trafficking is a crime.
Child neglect is a crime.
Polygamy should not be, and no, it isn’t inherently connected to those other things. There are three or more adults living in spousal arrangements all over North America who aren’t abusing or neglecting children, and the women involved are quite happy with the situation, which is something they chose for themselves. And how does any of this “subjugation of women” fit in to a marriage involving three or more women and no men? Or three or more men and no women?

Jones described polygamy as “anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian, anti-liberal, and antithetical to the proper functioning of a modern rights-based society.”

How is allowing adults to choose their spouses any of those things? Asserting it doesn’t make it true.

Although he said ‘duplicative marriage’ need not be “exhaustively defined in advance,” Jones said all conjugal relationships involving more than two people are criminal if they go beyond “mere cohabitation” and have some form of imposed consequences related to entering or remaining in the relationship.

Do you follow that? Because I’m not sure what he means. Does he mean it is okay to be polyamorous or have group sex and live together, but not consider each other spouses? Or will living together or group sex or polyamory be subject to prosecution, depending on the whims of law enforcement? If the law is going to allow people to live together, why deny them spousal designations?

‘Duplicative marriage’ is a phrase that sounds to me like it denies the individuality of each person, like saying "All women are the same, so why the need to marry more than one?"

If law enforcement demonstrates that some polygynists have engaged in child trafficking or child abuse, that does not mean that polygyny or polygamy in general is to blame. That is an attempt at guilt by association. We can also point out that almost all of the crime in Canada, including child trafficking and child abuse, is perpetrated by people who do not profess to practice polygyny or any form of polygamy.

An adult should be able to marry any consenting adults. Stop trying to deny other people their freedom to marry.
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