Polygamy just doesn’t make sense

mindelle-jacobs
By ,Edmonton Sun

                            First posted: Sunday, November 06, 2011 01:00 AM MDT | Updated: Friday, November 04, 2011 05:53 PM MDT

There isn’t a shred of evidence that polygamy benefits women. Even the UN, often a laughingstock of blind ideologues, has declared that polygamy violates women’s equality rights.

Still, that hasn’t stopped academics (who should know better) from suggesting that polygamy be decriminalized.

The latest educator to jump on the decriminalization bandwagon is U of A poli-sci professor Lois Harder. In a recent study written for the Vanier Institute of the Family, Harder wonders if women in polygamous families might be better off if polygamy wasn’t a crime.

“Decriminalizing polygamy would not entail expanding the definition of marriage to include polygamous marriages,” she wrote. “Rather, it would provide a firmer foundation from which to protect women and children in polygamous relationships from exploitation.”

Yeah, right. Remove polygamy from the Criminal Code and all those young girls and women who’ve been brainwashed by the men in Bountiful, B.C., and other polygamous communities will shake off the shackles of exploitation and go to university to become doctors, lawyers and, oh, poli-sci profs.

“In contexts in which exploitation is not presumed to be at issue, the question arises as to why polygamy … should not be accorded some legal status,” Harder argues in the paper, After the Nuclear Age, in which she explores recent developments in Canadian family law.

It’s incredibly naive to believe that polygamy can exist without the exploitation of women. The females in these dysfunctional relationships may not think they’re being taken advantage of. They may, in fact, insist they freely chose such a lifestyle.

After all, what woman wouldn’t want to get married in her mid-teens to someone old enough to be her father or grandfather, drop out of school, have a baby every year and share her husband with a bunch of sister-wives?

Isn’t that every woman’s dream?

Proponents of polygamy, or polyamory, describe it as “responsible non-monogamy,” Harder notes. “This phrasing challenges the presumption of promiscuity, immorality and the twinned responses of moral repugnance and titillation that often accompany popular representations of non-monogamous relationships.”

This presumes that women in polygamous relationships, like those in the demented fundamentalist Mormon communes in Canada and the U.S., had any real choice in the matter.

On the contrary, any stirrings of free will are stamped out from the time these females are toddlers.

They are bred solely to satisfy the sexual and narcissistic needs of a bunch of male control-freaks who try to disguise their misogyny as religion.

(The young men in these communes are also victimized, pushed out of the communities so they won’t compete with older men for the brainwashed young women.)

Polygamy is simply incompatible with equality and basic human dignity. It’s soul-destroying and merely feeds the deranged dictates of pathological egotists.

While these fundamentalist Mormon megalomaniacs shun the outside world, they have no problem “bleeding the beast” — or hitting up the government for welfare for all their wives and children.

Harder suggests that recognizing polygamy would help women in these relationships because legal status would confer obligations and entitlements — presumably things like property rights and financial support.

“If Canada was to extend various forms of entitlements and obligations to people as a result of the existence of interdependence, it may well be that people participating in polyamorous relationships would benefit,” she writes.

And pigs will fly.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/11/04/polygamy-just-doesnt-make-sense

Thank you, Mindy Jacobs of the Edmonton Sun for another well-reasoned/researched artle on polygamy.  Readers, if you go to the article, you’ll see further comments by anti-polygamists and pro-polygamists alike.  Feel free to join the conversation.

Nancy Mereska, President
Stop Polygamy in Canada

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13 responses to this post.

  1. It seems to me that you are mixing issues here. Polygamy, as defined by Canadian law, is any relationship between more than two people that defines itself as marriage. This includes polyandry and polygany. Please look up what those are. You will find that there is much more to polyamory (as you’ve brought that into this debate) that the forced religious polygany you are so against. I agree that any kind of abuse is wrong. And we have laws to deal with abuse. But we have nothing to protect a second spouse; especially if there were a divorce.

    Brainwashing? It would seem that the same could be said of most proponents of monogamy. You been taught from the time you were little that monogamy is the only model that works. However, if you look at our society, you will see that monogamy doesn’t work for most people! With adultery and spousal abuse rampant in the monogamous community, perhaps we should outlaw monogamy? Doing such would be as ridiculous as outlawing any other loving relationship.

    Are you saying that people who are brought up in a society or belief system that is different from the one you have are incapable of free thought and learning? That is what it seems when you state that they are all “brain-washed”. Of course I expect that you were brought up in a religous, monogamous home (like me). Does that mean that only people brought up in such a home are capable of learning free will? Somehow I doubt that my Muslim, Pagan, Jewish, Christian, and atheist friends who are not monogamous would agree.

    Do you have children? More than one? Or do you have friends that have ore than one child? Must only one of these children be loved? If not, then why would you believe that it’s possible to love only one person in a sexual relationship? Love trulyis limitless! And why would you believe that it’s impossible for such a marriage to be open, honest and have all members of the marriage accepting and happy about it? I have seen several instances of women (one who happens to have a PhD) with multiple husbands living in the same household – all very happy – where they met as adults and grew up in monogamous households. And I’ve seen a few with men with multiple wives (not as many as the other way, but that is just my experience). And so I have learned that there are several ways to love. And even one where it was multiple gay partners living as if in a group marriage.

    With the kind of hate and prejudice that you spread it is no wonder that polyamorists stay in hiding (like homosexuals in the 1970s did). They are afraid of the persecution. They are afraid of losing their children. They are afraid of going to jail just for loving more than one person. And they have no rights like even a common-law spouse would.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Chandra V on November 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Johanus, BC has a new Family Relations Act legislation coming in soon. It sanctions and recognizes multiple spouses as long as only one civil marriage is involved and the others are same time common law spouses. Then family lawyers and family judges will duke it out in divorce courts. If they follow another provinces example, the first in spouses split assets and the next-in spouses split with whoever their “current marital status partner” is and so on. The fourth in spouses would get 1/16th of the marital assets and so on. The legislation will recognize all civil marriage spouses and common law spouses identically under the same legislation. But, divorce will not be required before having more spouses recognized under the Family Relations Act. Also, “subsequent spouses” do not need to consent to “become the spouse of a person who has a spouse”. Family law lawyers in BC are very excited about this new legislation, as a new and lucrative revenue stream is being created.

    Reply

    • Posted by st0pp0lygamy on November 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      I really don’t know how you know so much about this bill unless you work for the government of BC. I have asked for a copy of this bill and was informed even the opposition doesn’t get a copy until it is tabled; and, as far as I know it has not been tabled.

      Reply

  3. Thanks, Chandra! That is interesting news. If something like this passes, the it will fly directly in the face of our current criminal law against polygamy and there will be more issues. I still haven’t heard about any resolution being reached on the federal court challenge to the criminal law. I do hope the BC legislation passes, as it will at least afford some protection. And of course there are many lawyers frothing at the mouth in anticipation; that always happens with anything new in the legal field. I do think that we need some kind of federal protection, though. And once it is acknowledged at that level, then there will be less prejudices against people who are responsible in their non-monogamous marriages. Then the issue of polygamy can be dropped and people can be charged under the appropriate criminal laws against abuse that they should be in the first place.

    Reply

    • Posted by st0pp0lygamy on November 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Johanus, I’ve read your many comments on the Edmonton Sun comments section under Mindy’s article. I suggest we let this rest until November 23.

      Reply

  4. […] Polygamy just doesn’t make sense (stoppolygamyincanada.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply

  5. Posted by Chandra V on November 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/1st_read/gov16-1.htm

    Contains the actual provisions of the new Family Law Act in BC. Married persons may have additional “common law” spouses prior to divorcing existing spouses. They can also live under the same roof if they wish. This right is protected under the proposed provincial legislation. Under section 3.1 (a) (b) (only ONE definition is required to have a new spouse) divorce is not required before becoming eligible to take a new spouse(s). This is highly intentional. Refer to definition of spouse (conjugal union)…the legislation purposely does not state anywhere that a person must become divorced before becoming legally eligible to take a new recognized spouse with identical marital rights and obligations to the existing civil marriage.
    Existing case law across Canada will support this for all time in the first new trials where unmarried persons attempt to claim the constitutional right to not become the spouse of a person who has a spouse. They will be denied this protection of the law which s.293 was supposed to cover because existing case law supports it. Consent of all parties is not required and is provided courtesy of the government.
    Now, it doesn’t matter what Justice Robert Bauman opines, because provincial legislation trumps federal criminal code. Do you think he and the feds knew that from the start?

    Reply

  6. Posted by Vicki on November 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The new BC Family Law Act contains the definition of spouse. Also in order for a separation to occur they say only one person (in a couple) can provide written letter to the other saying they wish to seperate. Then its done, they are separated and their marriage definition is essentially over, they can take yet another spouse in cohabitation with BC’s provincial protection from prosecution. The legislation takes pains to point out that they can all also live under the same roof. A married person can then take a new spouse (its called spouse in the legislation, not “common law partnership” ) while still legally married to another. Children can tell their friends that their parents have two or more spouses legally at the same time. Now a polygamist or Sharia Muslim with say four spouses just has to write three of them letters saying they intend to separate permanently and presto..they are all legal spouses who don’t ever need to divorce before getting more spouses. BC is legalizing polygamy and Sharia multiple marriages using their Family Law Act. Below is what the leader of Canada’s legal system has to say about multiple spouses. (BC has one upped him and said a married person just needs to write a letter to their spouse and then they are separated.)

    On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 1:54 PM, Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout wrote:

    To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your further correspondence of October 12, 2011, concerning polygamy and provincial legislation in Saskatchewan.

    In general terms, I would point out that a number of federal and provincial statutes and regulations across Canada recognize the reality that, in certain situations, an individual may be separated from his or her legally married spouse long enough to form a subsequent common-law partnership with a third person. In law, this situation does not fall within the definition of polygamy.

    Thank you again for writing.

    Yours truly,

    The Honourable Rob Nicholson

    Reply

  7. Posted by Vicki on November 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Here are just a few examples of BC’s new Family Law Act says.. it effects a ton of BC’s legislation, not just the family law act because it now defines the word “spouse” for the future. This will really help polygamists because now multiple spouses are just “spouses” in common law marriage and that is a protected status under the new legislation.
    331 Section 1 of the Estate Administration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 122, is amended in paragraph (b) of the definition of “common law spouse” by striking out “, including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender,”.

    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    475 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    475 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    475 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    475 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    75 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.
    478 Section 98 (4) and (5) is repealed and the following substituted:
    (4) If
    474 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) (a), (b), (c), (d) and (j), (4), (5), (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “widow or widower” wherever it appears and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (4) by striking out “spouse, widow, widower” and substituting “surviving spouse”,
    (c) in subsection (7) by striking out “married to each other” and substituting “spouses”, and
    (d) in subsections (11), (12) and (13) by striking out “common law wife or common law husband” wherever it appears and substituting “common law spouse”.
    475 Section 17 is amended
    (a) in subsection (3) (f) by striking out “or common law spouse”,
    (b) in subsection (8) by striking out “Where 2 parents” and substituting “Where parents”, and
    (c) by repealing subsections (11) and (12) and substituting the following:
    (11) Compensation under this section is payable to a surviving spouse described in paragraph (b) of the definition of “spouse” only if a worker was living with and contributing to the support and maintenance of the spouse immediately preceding the worker’s death.
    477 Section 98 is amended
    (a) in subsections (3) and (4) by striking out “wife, husband” in both places and substituting “spouse”,
    (b) in subsections (4) and (5) by striking out “wife or husband” and substituting “spouse”, and
    (c) in subsection (5) by striking out “common law wife or a common law husband” and substituting “common law spouse”.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Vicki on November 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    In a year there will be no wife or husband.. just “spouses” , in any quantity you wish, courtesy of the BC government.

    Reply

    • Posted by st0pp0lygamy on November 20, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      This is so scary! I’ve written to a BC MLA about this legislation. I’ll post any comments from her to the blog. Thank you, everyone, for educating me on this bill.

      Reply

      • I don’t think it’s scary. It’s about time that someone acknowledged that monogamy isn’t the only model that works (and it works so poorly!). I do grant that there does need to be some tightening up of legislation in order to protect any partners in any kind of polygamous relationship (polyandry, polygany, multiple gay spouses, polyfidelitous…)

  9. Posted by Vicki on November 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    The protections and new obligations, rights and privileges are already stated in the legislation.There will be no changes in the foreseeable future. These legislation’s are seldom changed. Only across Canada case law will effect BC divorce court decisions now. One thing is for sure, family law lawyers are going to get very fat off this and people with multiple spouses are going to drag in all the kids, all grandparents, friends, kids teachers and every spouse into the legal wranglings because no longer are your personal agreements of force and effect! You are now covered under family law legislation which has nothing to do with Federal legislation.There have already been constitutional questions act case laws in Canada that declare you do not have the right to not become the spouse of a person who has a spouse.

    Reply

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