MercatorNet 25 Nov 2011
Marriage and family advocacy groups have greeted with enthusiasm a Canadian court decision upholding the country’s ban on polygamy, published yesterday.
British Columbia Supreme Court Chief Justice, Robert Bauman, has ruled that the government of Canada may continue to prohibit polygamy because, although the law does impinge on the right to freedom of religion, that harm is outweighed by the harms that polygamy inflicts on women and children, and to the institution of monogamous marriage. “There is no such thing as so-called ‘good polygamy’,” said Bauman.
The Alliance Defence Fund, an association of Christian lawyers represented by Gerald Chipeur in the court case, said that the court “recognized that marriage is about children and parents, and that Parliament has a very important role to play in protecting the family. The court also recognized that Parliament, not the courts, has the authority to define marriage.” The court had accepted their argument “that, under the Constitution of Canada, Parliament may define marriage as no more than two people,” said Chipeur.
“Some organizations claim that same-sex ‘marriage’ won’t open the door to polygamy and group marriage, but that’s what nearly happened in British Columbia,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “Had marriage never been attacked there in the first place, it’s questionable whether this particular assault would have ever occurred. Canada just dodged a bullet for the moment; Americans should take notice because this country need not risk the same thing.”