Precinct 333

Thursday, February 03, 2005

British Columbia Courts To Legalize Polygamy?

I seem to recall Senator Rick Snatorum catching all sorts of heat for suggesting that the Lawrence v. Texas decision could open the door to polygamy. That hasn't happened -- yet -- in the US, but it looks possible in Canada, according the the Attorney General of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Canada's law prohibiting polygamy is vulnerable to a legal challenge and could be struck down because of a conflict with religious freedom, says B.C. Attorney General Geoff Plant.

Mr. Plant, whose view is based on confidential legal opinions provided to the B.C. government on two occasions, said he has failed to convince the federal government to amend the anti-polygamy law.

He said the legal opinions have played a major role in the refusal by police over many years to lay charges against polygamists in the B.C. community of Bountiful, where girls as young as 13 have allegedly been forced to become "celestial wives" of much older men.

"There might well be a case where the court would have to deal with religious freedoms arguments, and I think there is at least some risk that those arguments might succeed," Mr. Plant said.

And why shouldn't it succeed, once the legal concept of marriage has become unmoored from its traditional Western definition of a union of one man and one woman?

And as I've said elsewhere, given the trend of using the laws and precedents of foreign countries continues among American judges (confirming conservative judges will hopefully check that trend), we ought to be concerned about the future impact of trends like this in our northern neighbor.


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