Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Since the FLDS don't issue FATWAS, it's open season here, and in Canada. It's not a coordinated attack, it's not about (a particular) religion.

This could become very interesting, as the war against the FLDS goes international. Muslims engage in polygyny here, and in Canada, but if you are FLDS and are polygynous, you're a target. (A quick Bountiful Timeline primer from The Vancouver Sun.)

The Globe and Mail - "In a sensational turn in a 20-year-old debate over the issue of polygamy in Canada, police have charged Jim Oler and Winston Blackmore.

The two men were charged each with one count on Tuesday and have not yet appeared in court. Mr. Oler is charged with 'practising polygamy' on Nov. 4, 2004 with two women. Mr. Blackmore is charged with 'practising polygamy' on May 1, 2005, with 22 women."

One is always tempted to make the joke, "how do you practice polygamy?"

"Polygamy is an indictable offence in the Criminal Code."

That may be, but Canada has already legalized (in a sense) Polygamy for the purposes of using divorce laws, to break them up. The Ottawa Sun, May 31st, 2006;

"Multiple-wife marriages have been legally recognized in Canada to award spousal support and inheritance payments.

The former Liberal government long maintained that polygamy is criminal in Canada but documents obtained by Sun Media under Access to Information show that polygamous marriages have been recognized 'for limited purposes' to enforce the financial obligations of husbands.

Religious organizations say same-sex marriage opened the door to decriminalizing polygamy, and worry that formal recognitions of plural marriages will weaken the government's ability to defend the anti-polygamy law if it faces a constitutional challenge on religious grounds. A polygamist from Bountiful, British Columbia has warned he will fight for his constitutional right to have plural wives on religious grounds."

Probably the same "polygamist" arrested today. Canada is not the USA of course, and their judicial system is vastly different. This is blatant hypocrisy. It is of course, not about religion. Well, maybe, but only particular religions, the ones that don't issue fatwas.

Also reporting on the story Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Deseret News, ABC News and Google News/The Canadian press.

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Orion said...

Well the government is good at pushing around the law-abiding and the weak.

Let's face it if you were going to start something would it be with folks like Ariel Hammon of Centennial Park or Hassan NasRullah of Hezbollah?

ztgstmv said...

the literal text of the code is astonishingly outdated. The Canadian law as its written wouldn't even be taken seriously in Texas, let alone at the Federal level in the U.S. It's so vague, any constitutional lawyer would tear it to shreds.

My one concern however, for both the Texas common law bigamy statute and Canada's is that the defendents will continue to claim a religious exemption. That is not the way to go here, since high courts have repeatedly stated that "you can't hide behind religion" blah blah, so religious beliefs are no defense when it comes to "crimes," even if they're victimless (so much for freedom of religion). I would hope that the defendents' lawyers will do a better job, and attack the ridiculous laws in their weakest aspects, which are 1) vagueness and 2) infringment on free speech ("purporting").