Please read this short message and share it with as many people as you know; and ask them to do the same. Thanks a million!
The United States’ Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage in our country has caused a plethora of strong opinions and emotions swinging one way or another. Sound Choices Coalition, and probably many Americans, is deeply concerned about this controversy and how it may affect judicial resolutions surrounding polygamy.
The controversy about polygamy now felt in the United States was similar in Canada before the “trial court reference.” Many believed polygamous marriage to be synonymous with gay marriage; and that it was, or at least should be, a constitutional right and religious freedom.
In November 2010 British Columbia started the Canadian court reference. “For the first time in the world, polygamy champions—religious adherents, civil libertarians, and a court-appointed advocate known as the amicus—would bring forward all the available evidence and arguments to support decriminalization.
Opposing them—defending the polygamy ban—would be government lawyers, women’s rights advocates, and other groups determined to see that polygamy remained illegal” (p.3 A Cruel Arithmetic).
However, attitudes changed drastically after Chief Justice Bauman handed down his decision, that polygamy being illegal was constitutional and just, and that polygamy would remain illegal. In fact, he found that polygamy is “inherently harmful to men, women, and children, and to society as a whole.”
No matter your views about legal, monogamous same-sex marriages, it is important for American citizens to understand that polygamy/polygyny is not synonymous with, and should not be compared to, same-sex marriage in any way, shape, or form.
Marriage equality already exists for all. Any unrelated adult is afforded the opportunity to legally marry a partner of her/his choice. For in-depth information on this subject, SCC highly recommends reading: “A Cruel Arithmetic” by Craig Jones – Lead counsel for the Attorney General of British Columbia in the “trial court reference”.