December 2, 2010
After the government of British Columbia (BC) tried to convict a fundamentalist Mormon sect in Bountiful, BC on charges of polygamy they have moved on to more dangerous grounds. The government wants the Supreme Court of BC to confirm or deny the constitutionality of Polygamy under the law. If the court confirms that polygamist relationships should be protected under law, as same sex marriage was in 2005, then a law which has existed over 100 years with the movement of Mormons to Canada in the 1890s will be removed.
It is fascinating to see how this plays out. I am convinced that the BC court will rule that polygamy should be protected, while illegal underage marriages and abuse should be prosecuted. If the Canadian courts are to be consistent with the trends over the past 1o years I can see no other reaction. There seems to be no law against multiple partners, laws were struck down on other definitions of what a marriage entails so there is little that can be said in favour of single partner unions over a multiple partner other than what havoc it will play with divorce and pension laws.
While there are other reasons to be unhappy with what is going on in Bountiful (there are some who are saying things are not so bad others would of course disagree) there is little that can be presented that would justify continuing discrimination under this evaluation.
I think I have been pretty clear that I do not defend anything going on in Bountiful, I have heard a few horror stories that also do not surprise me. Yet polygamy, either polygyny or polyandry, as a relationship is seemingly little different from other monogamous relationships that can have abuse and problems. Of course this could be the tip of a another relationship iceberg and may prove that government sponsorship of marriage in general is just not tenable if what the definition becomes is always legally moved to various more distant goal posts.
This reference case could just be the beginning of a new world for those who believe and practice polygamy.
November 2, 2009
Last Sunday I woke up feeling really ill. I was dizzy and sleepy and off and on really hot. I fell asleep about 1pm and woke up around 4pm, yet I still felt myself exhausted. So at 9pm I went to bed for the night.
Feeling that way I called in sick the next day for work. Then feeling a bit better that night I went to a meeting and Tuesday I went to work. By Wednesday it was obvious I was still feeling the effects of some sort of flu, in fact each day until Friday I felt ok in the morning and awful as the day wore on. By wednesday just sitting at my desk I broke out into a sweat like I was running a marathon.
So I went home early and stayed away from work for the following day. Only on Friday did I feel good enough to go back into work and actually do normal things.
At this point if you have not tuned out I will explain why all this description is so significant.
Our local hockey team the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday announced that at least one player had come down with the H1N1 (aka the swine) flu. At the same time many other players on the team had gotten the flu over the past week or so. Read the rest of this entry »
October 22, 2009
Ok lets be honest. An appeal to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is probably the stupidest thing a government wanting to stop something could do:
The British Columbia government will not launch an appeal after criminal charges against two polygamist religious leaders were recently thrown out of court, the province’s attorney general announced Thursday.
Instead, Mike de Jong said he will ask the B.C. Supreme Court to clarify the controversial polygamy laws, and rule on whether they violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The announcement comes a month after a B.C. court threw out the charges against Winston Blackmore and James Oler. Read the rest of the article here.
That sounds good in theory, but the record of the Charter on ruling on these things is well pretty poor. Courts have ruled in favour of the following:
1. Same Sex Marriage – see in Canada it is a civil right, sorry Elder Oaks
2. Group sex um parlours – yeah less said here the better
3. Abortion laws and other moral laws get thrown out often
So asking the BC Supreme court to rule on the whole of Polygamy and charter rights sounds like a land mine waiting to be stepped on. I get the impression they just do not get it. Of course I could be wrong and maybe the court will rule against them but I suspect the FLDS will be head over heels at present. Unable to bring a charter challenge themselves they have goaded the BC government to do it for them.
British Columbia the new home of Polygamy, just in time for the Winter Olympics, maybe that Egyptian bobsled team can bring their wives now.
October 14, 2009
I have noticed something when the media cover the Church.
They will, whether through ignorance or purposely, make basic mistakes about things with the church. I could not imagine a quality newspaper not knowing or at least looking up say a quote from the Talmud or Koran.
This happened again in the last day. Paul Hinman, a Mormon from southern Alberta was voted in recently in a by-election. With the win Hinman returns to the Alberta provincial Legislature for a second time.
So as part of this process he was sworn in yesterday. He brought with him his Bible as we do not normally swear on them anymore.
Well in the article they said he had a quote:
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September 23, 2009
At the beginning of this year I posted a few articles on the issue of the British Columbia government’s insistence to prosecute polygamists over the objections of their advisors. As I suspected the BC Supreme Court has rejected the government prosecution of the Polygamist sect in Bountiful, British Columbia.
The CBC has a good article here giving an overview of the ruling.
One would think that the British Columbia politicians could have seen this coming. It the obsession of the government to be seen to be doing something which prompts failure to actually accomplish anything. Come on, should it not be obvious by now that this is going to be an epic fail? Our government and courts have legislated or legalized various other forms of marital and non-marital relationships. Does polygamy differ that much from group sex clubs and same sex marriage? Honestly?
Yes there have been suggested evidence of abuse, and under age marriages to older men to girls in the community. But the government is falling into an obvious trap. The burden of proof leaves them often looking Texas stupid. I think if the government insists on challenging this further they will legalize polygamy. Because they are failing to attack the real problem in the FLDS communities. It is not the polygamy but the abuse and teen marriages which are at issue.
In order to win they will have to attack this like Utah and Arizona and stop trying to convict them on polygamy. It is a false hope at best. Particularly with polygamy which is going on in the Islamic community in Canada. The fact is a few scandalous books and reports by the media are not good enough evidence to convict these men. Period.
Anyway the fight continues.
August 26, 2009
When I moved over to the United Kingdom I was first introduced to Sky satellite system. It was a digital dish and in 2000 we switched over to their broadcasts after finding cable less than exciting.
It was a whole new world. They had loads of public history channels including BBC’s UK History and the UK version of the History Channel. As well there was Discovery Civilization and the main Discovery channel. As well the main networks did a number of history related programming. There was lots of stuff for kids and it was all for the grand total of fifteen pounds a month. For me it was the best service I have ever had. Save for the small matter of North American sports which was solved by the North American Sports Network (NASN).
Then we moved to Canada again…sigh.
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August 18, 2009
So for the past few months I have been considering trying to volunteer for the Provincial Archives of Alberta. I love the idea of using my knowledge and building experience working with collections. For me it would be a great way to spend time while I try and find a more permanent job.
So on two occasions I have offered to volunteer. Only to be told twice, no.
It was a “it’s us, not you” kind of discussion. They say they are revamping their volunteer program. Fine I can accept that and I am appreciative that things are not easily managed. Yet for the second time in four months it appears that they still have not sorted it out.
Any one else had this conundrum?
I think it is one of the strangest things I have seen. I think at the beginning of September I will go and make a nuisance of myself their, well not really, as there is some research I want to do there anyway. I found they have some pictures and other documents that may have significance to my history search.
Wish me luck.