Friday, January 13, 2006

News: Canada's Charter May Protect Polygamy

National Post | Legalize polygamy: study
The paper by three law professors at Queen's University in Kingston argues that a Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] challenge to Section 293 of the Criminal Code banning polygamy might be successful, said Beverley Baines, one of the authors of the report.
Could the slippery-slopers be right? Apparently the Liberal government set-up the study just before they introduced their same-sex bill that legalized homosexual marriage in Canada. But the most interesting twist is that the most likely challenge to the polygamy ban would claim that it infringes both religious and sexual liberty of the fundamentalist Mormons in Bountiful, BC.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is similar to the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.


  1. I heard that on CBC as well. I thought the intent was the recognition of polygamists who immigrated to Canada. This is a tough one because a recognition of religious rights in the issue of marriage sets a precident for religious bodies to determine whose marriages they will and will not solemnize. I can easily envision a future in Canada where civil marriage will be quite seperate from religious marriage, with people holding either or both and the definition of common law union being expanded to include those couples married in a completely religious setting. I am not convinced that this would be a bad thing either.

  2. Comming from a religious tradition that affirms a healthy seperation of church and state, I don't necessarily see having seperate civil and religious ceremonies as a bad thing myself.