Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guilt by Association Used to Attack Freedom to Marry

Antiequality types keep ignoring that correlation does not establish causation, and other sound ways of thinking. Using the despicable tactics of assigning guilt by association, and assuming guilt before conviction, they want to deny the freedom to marry to all poly people based on allegations leveled at some people who engage in polygyny.

That is what we're seeing in the Canadian poly trial, and the larger civil rights issue.

This report is from Daphne Bramham.

After more than two months of hearing evidence on polygamy, there's no one in the Vancouver courtroom who disagrees that the practice can be harmful.

So can singleness and monogamy.

The most disturbing evidence the B.C. government presented is that as many as 31 under-aged girls -the youngest only 12 and 13 -were trafficked by their fathers and brothers between the fundamentalist Mormon communities in Bountiful, B.C. and the United States.

That sounds like child trafficking. That isn't polygamy. They probably all ate breakfast, too. Does that make breakfast bad?

Even FLDS lawyer Robert Wickett acknowledged the possibility in his written argument, calling them "a discredit to those responsible."

But, he said, "Those harms are not to the discredit of every member of this religious faith and they are not an inevitable consequence of plural marriage."

He's right.

Reimer said Thursday that all polygamous relationships are potentially harmful and all are criminal, while Jones said multipartner relationships are only criminal if they have "the trappings of duplicative marriage" -something which "need not be exhaustively defined in advance."

So it is okay to have sex and live together, just not be married? This is the argument that marriage is oppressive to women, at least when it involves men. So if we're going to argue that, let's ban all marriages that involve both men and women. And again, the phrase "duplicative marriage" means that "women are all alike."

Here's another report from Daphne Bramham.

It is called "Religious freedom doesn't protect polygamy . . . or murder." So now they're associating polygamy with murder?

Canada's Constitution guarantees religious freedom. But no rights are unlimited as lawyer David Matas explained Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court where Chief Justice Robert Bauman is is hearing closing arguments in a constitutional reference case which asks whether the polygamy prohibition is valid.

There's no constitutional protection for someone who claims that killing was done out of religious belief," said Matas, the lawyer for Beyond Borders, a non-governmental organization that works to combat sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children.

What about the fact that marriage is a civil right, regardless of religion? Again and again we and others have pointed out that abuse should be prosecuted, not relationships between consenting adults. Canada needs to keep moving towards full marriage equality.
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