Friday, January 13, 2006

Polygamy Unbound

In Canada, some professors once again prove how easy it is say amazingly dumb things if all you ever do is talk to other professors. As Keynes said, "It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone."

The British Columbia government has long been considering whether to lay charges under Section 293. (RESTRICTIONS ON POLYGAMY)

But the project was also intended to provide the Liberal government with ammunition to help defend its same-sex marriage bill last spring.

Opponents claimed the bill, now law, was a slippery slope that would open the door to polygamy and even beastiality.

Another report for the project, also led by two Queen's University professors, dismisses the slippery-slope argument, saying that allowing same-sex marriages promotes equality while polygamous marriages are generally harmful to women's interests and would therefore promote inequality.

Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said he has seen only a summary of the research reports, but already rejects lifting the criminal ban on polygamy.

``At this point, the practice of polygamy, bigamy and incest are criminal offences in Canada and will continue to be,'' he said from Montreal.

``These reports will become part of the knowledge base on this issue and will be taken into account.''

The Bailey report, consistent with other research for the project, also concludes the courts might well rule that Canada's law banning polygamy is a violation of Canada's constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.

But Section 293 would survive such a challenge because the harm to women and children in many polygamous marriages is well documented abuse, poverty, coercion, health problems and the limit to religious freedom would be considered ``reasonable,'' as allowed under Section 1 of the charter.


Here's the thing: I have exactly one wife. I feel that that current portfolio of wives goes back and forth between just enough (usually), and slightly too many. Having one, or more, additional, wives? Wow, that is a truly bad idea.

Cedric the Entertainer shows why this is true.

(Nod to GH, who bears no fault for this)


Josh said...

"Having one, or more, additional, wives? Wow, that is a truly bad idea."

Sure, it is probably a "bad idea." But, why should bad ideas warrant government regulation and restriction?

mungowits said...

Seems like a good point, josh.

You separated the two points, and I would agree with yours.

1. Polygamy is a bad idea
2. Still, why would government block it?

On the other hand, in my own (tepid) defense, there are SO MANY things government regulates when it shouldn't. "Free the polygamists!" is not my first thought for libertopian revolution.