Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Macintosh Demolishes Antiequality Arguments

It is nice that the coverage of the Canadian poly trial is now reporting on the closing arguments from the freedom to marry side. George Macintosh, arguing for the freedom to marry, is demolishing the antiequality law and the tactic of guilt by association.

See this article

Much of the evidence in the case has focused on the small, religious sect living in southeastern B.C., but Macintosh says the question before the court isn’t whether bad things are happening in a single community.

Instead, Macintosh says the judge must decide whether it’s constitutional to ban any relationship involving three or more people, regardless of who they are.

Macintosh says the law violates religious freedom, and he says it’s too broad, covering a wide variety of relationships that don’t hurt anybody.

It violates not only religious freedoms but the basic human right to freedom of association.

From The Province

Canada’s polygamy law causes harms against women and children, rather than protects them, a court-appointed lawyer argued Monday.

Proponents of the law have submitted that the legislation should be interpreted to exclude women and young girls who might be exploited by the practise of polygamy.

But George Macintosh, a lawyer who is representing parties that oppose the polygamy law, said the legislation does not “carve out” exemptions on who it applies to.

The law makes criminals out of the people backers claim to want to help.

Finally, from Daphne Bramham

Macintosh, who was appointed by the court to argue that the law is not constitutionally valid, said that the law must fail. The reason, he said, is that Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows only for “minimal impairment” of guaranteed rights and freedoms.

Certainly, telling someone which adults they can and can’t marry is a maximum impairment.

But Macintosh said the polygamy law is so broad that last week the five defenders of the law argued for five different interpretations of it.

The attorney general of B.C.'s lawyer argued that it should only apply to men with more than one spouse, not women.

The attorney general of Canada's lawyer argued that it applies only to people who have some sort of ceremony to formalize their plural relationships.

WestCoast LEAF wants it interpreted to mean only multi-party, conjugal relationships that are exploitive.

The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Child said it shouldn't criminalize children, while the B.C. Teacher's Federation argued that it shouldn't criminalize women.

Get rid of the problematic law. Legalize full marriage equality so that consenting adults can marry. Prosecute abusers for abuse.

Thank you, George Macintosh. Canada should keep moving forward in the fight for marriage equality.
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