Thursday, 16 September 2010

BC Polygamy Case May be Used to Test Polyamory

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

VANCOUVER, September 15, 2010 ( – A group calling itself the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) has asked Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the BC Supreme Court to declare whether polyamorists might be prosecuted as a result of the hearing, scheduled to begin Nov. 22, on the constitutionality of the ban on polygamy.

In January, 2009, BC polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler from the community of Bountiful were arrested and charged under Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada, but the case was dropped after the province decided to ask the BC Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of Canada's polygamy laws.

The lawyer for the CPAA, John Ince, told Chief Justice Bauman that polygamy is a patriarchal system of male dominance where one man has many wives, whereas polyamorous (group love) relationships are "postmodern" consensual relationships that can involve groups of males and females that can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgendered who may or may not live together, and thus should not be considered subject to the same laws as polygamy.

"We're not patriarchal. We're not intergenerationally normalized. We're postmodern,” Ince told the media after meeting with Chief Justice Bauman. "We clearly fall outside the definition of the offense (of polygamy). We oppose laws that oppose loving, consensual relationships,” he said.

Chief Justice Bauman reserved judgment on the CPAA request.

BC Crown Attorney Craig Jones said there is currently no legal or psychological definition of polyamory on which Bauman could base a judgment.

Federal Crown Attorney Deborah Strachan said that the CPAA request is tantamount to seeking immunity from future prosecution, which would be a violation of the court's right to prosecutorial discretion in Canada.

Pro-family advocates have long warned that the institution of homosexual “marriage” and civil unions in Canada, as well as in other western countries, would lead to the legalization of polygamy and any other form of relationship which participants want to legitimize.

Winston Blackmore's lawyer Blair Suffredine, a former member of Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government, remarked at last year's hearing that "If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?"

Opponents of same-sex “marriage” have warned that once homosexuals are permitted to “marry,” there is nothing stopping polygamous marriages, or any type of relationship, from being legally recognized as marriage as well.

“It’s like this,” explained Stanley Kurtz in a 2006 National Review article. “The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless.”

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