Lawyer appointed in polygamy reference case

Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun

Photograph by Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun.   “A mother and her children head home from school in Bountiful, B.C.”

Dear Network: 

When you click on the pdf at the bottom of the article, you will be linked to the 18-page ruling.  I invite all groups associated with this campaign to submit a letter to the Honourable Michael de Jong, Attorney General of British Columbia before December 15, letting him know that you are interested in the reference proceedings; and, that you wish to receive,

  • A copy of the reference questions; and
  • A letter inviting you or your group to apply to the Court to be added as a party or intervener in the manner outlined in the ruling (page 15) 

Hon. Michael de Jong 

Once again, I remind you that history is being made.  This is our chance to stand up and advocate for the women and children, young men and boys, whose lives have been crushed and/or permanently altered because of the cruel dictates of a religion gone awry.  Religious law cannot trump civil law in Canada.


Bauman agrees to appointment of Vancouver lawyer in polygamy reference case

By Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun

December 4, 2009

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman agreed Friday to the appointment of Vancouver lawyer George Macintosh as an “amicus” in the constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada’s anti-polygamy law is constitutional.

Macintosh will argue that Criminal Code Section 293, which prohibits having multiple spouses, is unconstitutional and ought to be allowed. He will be making the case against the combined forces of the B.C. attorney general’s ministry and the Canadian justice department.

The decision is the first step in an unusual and unprecedented reference case. It is the first time in B.C. and possibly Canada that a constitutional reference has been heard in a trial court where lawyers for both sides can call witnesses.

Bauman also directed that any interested persons or groups that wish to intervene in the case should be notified and agreed that they would be heard. In his written ruling, Bauman said that he anticipated that both Winston Blackmore and James Oler would participate as intervenors. Blackmore and Oler were the two leaders from the fundamentalist Mormon community of Bountiful who were charged with one count each of polygamy. Those charges were quashed by a B.C. Supreme Court justice and rather than appeal her ruling, Attorney General Mike de Jong decided to pursue a reference case.

Click here to view the PDF.



12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ronald B. Hannigan on December 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    The question of civil law trumping specific religeous freedoms is not necessarily the entire issue.
    The larger question of multiple simultaneous conjugal unions and harmful effects includes other models of serious financial abuse. For example a married person could simply leave a relationship for a year or two in Canada, live (cohabitate) with another person, become their LEGAL spouse ( Saskatchewan Family Property Law), leave the “subsequent spouse”, go back to their first spouse. Partial legal consequences would be:
    1) subsequent spouse ( second one) loses half their family property (home/savings to “pretend spouse”)
    2) subsequent spouse has no claim to property of first relationship because that union did not legally settle their affairs ( divorce) and in fact resumed spousal status.
    3) kids from second simultaneous conjugal union lose half of what would have been an inheritence.
    4) kids from “first” conjugal union get benefit of all conjugal unions. Kids and parent (s) from second conjugal union lose out on first benefits..
    5) this is just tip of iceberg for family property law.
    No wonder the judgges and lawyers in Saskatchewan love it.. money and job security.
    Federal law prohibits anyone and everyone from “assisting” in the formation of simultaneous conjugal unions..everyone but Saskatchewan judges.
    How will a country stand united in the long term when ijndividual provinces ignore and themselves transgress federal criminal code law? Who will criminally charge the Saskatchewan judges with polygamy on the grounds of assisting in the legal creation of multiple same time conjugal unions?
    The criminal code speaks very clearly to persons who assist in creating multiple conjugal unions..who will charge Saskatchewan justice officials?


  2. Posted by Nancy Mereska on December 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Ronald, Thank you so much for this eye-opening account of judicial practices in the Province of Saskatchewan on simultaneous conjugal unions. This campaign would appreciate knowing more about this and how the issue of simultaneous conjugal unions is addressed in other provinces.


  3. Posted by TOBY on December 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Maybe these cases can help. The women and all born children need protected. A type of a Ketubah needs applied in these cases.

    Jewish Law – Articles (“Jewish Marriage and Ontario Law”)
    One of the authors was once called upon to prepare a marriage contract for a … In Jewish law, marriage consists of two stages – kiddushin and nissu’in. … – Cached – Similar

    The Ketubah in America
    Jewish law treats entry into marriage as one of private contract …


  4. Posted by TOBY on December 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    All wives and children must be supported read laws.

    Does Jewish law forbid polygamy? – In-Depth Study
    As far as Jewish thought is concerned, it would seem that polygamy is not, … the amount of money promised in the Ketubah (marriage contract) in an escrow ……/jewish/Does-Jewish-law-forbid-polygamy.htm – Cached – Similar


  5. Posted by Nancy Mereska on December 18, 2009 at 5:56 am


    Your comments and references are so informative. Although this reply says it is posted by Esther, we share the same log in–easier for me, I’m replying to you. Esther is the “brains” behind this blog. Anyway, are you considering writing a brief for the court reference hearings here in Canada re the polygamy law here? I hope you are. Even if it is a brief outlining your personal experience, it will be a first-person account that the court wants to hear. Please let me know.



  6. Posted by TOBY on December 19, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Yes that will get to you in about two weeks.


    • Posted by Stoppolygamyabuse on December 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm



      • Posted by Stoppolygamyabuse on January 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

        Toby, I have not received your brief. Time is of the essence. Please let me know how you are coming along.

        Nancy Mereska, Coordinator
        Stop Polygamy in Canada
        Box 136
        Two Hills, AB T0B 4K0

  7. Posted by TOBY on December 19, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Education for you to read.

    Jewish views of marriage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    In Jewish law, marriage consists of two separate acts, called erusin (or … Child marriage in Judaism is restricted to female children; the earliest …. Reform Jews usually use an egalitarian form of the Ketubah at their weddings. … – Cached – Similar


  8. Posted by TOBY on December 21, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Here is another reason why victims of polygamy and any religious organizations crimes need to be defended around the world. Women and children are suffering by the judicial system.

    This is just like the “Judge Timothy Williams” an alleged devout Mormon and the Judaical Court system in Las Vegas Nevada USA. Punish the sex victim and charge victims close to “Two Hundred Thousand dollars and interest” so they can have there home taken away from them and work like a slave to pay the abusers. All for speaking out reporting a sex crime and following threw with the conviction the human rights violations and abuses in religious communities.

    Las Vegas, Nevada USA is abusing Americans victims of religious crimes.

    justice for women?

    What can be called a travesty of judiciary, the Saudi Arabia’s Higher Judicial Council has actually sentenced a rape victim to receive 200 lashes and prison while the perpetrators of humanity’s most heinous crime were allowed to walk free.

    The 19-year-old Shiite woman who was raped by six armed men was originally sentenced to receive 90 lashes for traveling in the car of an ‘unrelated male’ at the time of the rape. However after the woman had the temerity of not unquestioningly submitting herself to be tortured as punishment of being raped, the judges on Saudi Arabia’s Higher Judicial Council more than doubled her punishment for attempting to influence the judiciary through the media.

    Her lawyer, human right activist Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, has been banned from carrying her case further. His license has been revoked and he has been called to appear before a disciplinary committee for challenging the judgment, which only punished the victim of the crime and not its perpetrators. The Sunni rapists were given a paltry sentence of one to five years of imprisonment.

    This is the horrendous state of a country that keeps its women forcefully behind veils only to extenuate and encourage heinous crimes against them in the name of maintaining social discipline.


  9. Posted by Jonathon Davis on December 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    BC Polygamy intervenor is possible from the Saskatchewan government.
    They have used the below statute from their Family Property Act to permit plural simultaneous spouses(s)

    Rights of new spouse
    51 Where a person becomes the spouse of a person who has a spouse, the rights
    pursuant to this Act of the subsequent spouse are subject to the rights pursuant to
    this Act of the prior spouse.
    2001, c.51, s.8.


  10. Posted by John Taylor (from Brazil) on March 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Go Poligamy Forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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