Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Right to Choose - Marital Partners

Sad story tonight on Global National about some women in Bountiful, B.C. facing deportation because their visitors' visas have expired. Their request to stay in Canada on compassionate grounds has been denied.

These women will have their family broken up. They have children who will be yanked away from their father. Yes, one father. That is their only crime. They are in a plural relationship - Not legal, but never prosecuted because it would not stand up in court due to Freedom of Religion.

Winston Blackmore insists he is only an adulterer, and that is not a crime. His wives are adults who freely choose to live in a consentual group relationship in a country which condones swingers' clubs. They are only taking it to the next level.

In fact, in January 2006 a report for the federal Justice Department says Canada should "get rid of its law banning polygamy and change other legislation to help women and children living in such multiple-spouse relationships. "

These poor woman need a federal advocate. I highly recommend Andrew Telegdi for the job.

39 comments:

Canadi-anna said...

Is that an avalanche I hear? Funny that. Apparently there is no slippery slope - I wonder how it happened.
Doesn't Telegdi just make you cringe?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He sure does. I think fair is fair. He should get out there and help those poor ladies. I hope there is no discrimination involved. Equal rights and all that.

Adam said...

Having family in Creston, BC, and dealing with a regular basis with the Blackmore's, those people need to be shipped away as soon as possible and those kids need to be given to some loving families where their worth won't be defined as how many kids they can pop out.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Adam - I've been wanting to hear from some voices in B.C.! Excellent. It sounds like this thing is coming to a head soon. I guess the govenment figures if they can break up the family they won't have to worry about charging them and have the whole thing thrown out of court.

Adam said...

It's about time. While the Blackmore's do tend to stick to themselves, seeing 12 year old girls coming into stores, with their little bellies bulging beyond belief is unbelievably sad.

William E. Demers said...

Legalize Polygamy, eh. Not sure how well that'll do, but seeing as marriage was redefined by the Liberal government, perhaps the Conservatives would be the first to redefine the family unit! (I think not)

Mac said...

What a mess! As a guy who has been married for 15+ years, I have to say... WHAT FOOL WOULD WANT MORE THAN ONE WIFE? WHO NEEDS THE STRESS?

Just kidding!! Honey, put down that bat!

Anonymous said...

What has not been stated on the news casts is that as none of the extra 19 women (with their total 100 children) are legally married to this man.
Therefore, if they were to file an income tax return, they would be filing as a single parent.
The child tax benefit alone for these children (not including supplements for under 7 and third+ children) is $125,500.00 per year. Add onto that the GST credit, plus the up and coming child care benefit of $1,200.00 per year per child ($120,000.00).
It is costing the taxpayers of Canada almost $250,000.00 per year in payments for the children of this "family".
I am amazed that this has not been addressed sooner - there is no way one man can support 20 wives and 100 children on his own, we are all subsidizing this lifestyle.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anonymous - Interesting. In the actual segment on Global they said Blackmore is legally married to one of the women. Not sure how many kids he has by his legitimate wife.

I'm just saying, if swinging is acceptable, why not this? In some ways, this is more respectable because there is some kind of commitment.

It's all about love and the freedom to do as you want as long as it's not hurting anyone else, right? Yeah, those 12 year old mothers are an issue, but until we get some kind of resolution with the age of consent, it's all a moot point.

O.K. I'm playing the devil's advocate here obviously, but how is this so different from same-sex marriage? It is happening right now. Some Muslims don't have a problem with it.

How do we have the right to enforce our morals on the residents of Bountiful?

Sara said...

wow,

these girls were children, and still are. They grew up only knowing this, cult world. They don't know any different so how would they know what they are doing is wrong... The government allowed it to happen for so long that generations of 14yr old girls are marrying and having children while sharing their 40 year old husband with 10 other woman,, no nothing wrong with that... those men should be charged with child rape!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara, I think that is what the goal is. The RCMP is going through records kept by the midwife, to try and assess when these youngsters first had sex.

Of course this is shocking to us, but not to other less developed cultures.

Interesting how we can stand on a soapbox here in Canada and point our fingers at supposed human rights' violations elsewhere in the world.

Another aspect of this is that many gay rights' activists are against raising the age of consent to 16. Now why do you suppose they would feel that way?

RGM said...

Sara hits it dead-on: 14-year old girls should not be having sex with 40-year old men. That's wrong.

Joanne (TB), my eyes bulged out of my head when I saw your "if swinging is acceptable, why not this" line until I saw your devil's advocate comment at the end. It's anything but acceptable to a large segment of the population, and for good reason. The idea that a person is in a truly committed, loving relationship with their partner while having sex with others betrays the entire notion of love. Whether it's being done to appeal to men who would find it *hot* to see their wife having sex with another man (or a woman) or because of a genuine desire to have sex with as many people as possible, it's emotionally dishonest and violates just about any principle of commitment or even respect for yourself and your partner.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - "Sara hits it dead-on: 14-year old girls should not be having sex with 40-year old men. That's wrong."

How about 14-year old boys and 40-year old men?



"The idea that a person is in a truly committed, loving relationship with their partner while having sex with others betrays the entire notion of love."

So how does that differ from Swingers' clubs? Let's be consistent.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM, I'm trying to make the point that if society allows swingers' clubs, they must by extension allow polygamy.

Well, that should invite a few comments!

Sara said...

I don't care who is against it, I want it up to 16... If my daughter was 14 and comes home with a 40 yr old man already married and says I'm having his baby, I'll get mad accept her because I love her but put the 40 yr old bastard in jail! If I don't kill him first...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara - Right on. No 40 year-old has any moral right to have sex with a 14 year-old boy or girl under any circumstances.

Unfortunately, that is not the reality of Canadian law at the moment.

Mrstarlite said...

mmm Interesting subject matter. Isn't interesting that for so many males sex is only sex and they don't seem to give a hoot who gets hurt in the process.
Who forgot to teach these blokes about morals ???

RGM said...

J(TB) said: "RGM, I'm trying to make the point that if society allows swingers' clubs, they must by extension allow polygamy."

My preference would be that both swingers' clubs and polygamy were not permitted. I understand the logic of the "if A, then B," and I can see how legalizing one but not the other is an inconsistency. Hence my preference for "not A and not B" in this matter.

And yes you are certainly correct that 40-year old men should not be sodomizing young boys.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mrstarlite - I wouldn't group all men in the same category, but there is a case to be made for being able to control one's urges, and act for the greater good rather than succumb to selfish desires.

Some men don't have a clue, but there are women in that category too.

RGM - I also prefer not A; not B as well. But the Supreme Court likes A and probably will allow B someday.

RGM said...

That darned Supreme Court and their divine powers eh? *runs and hides for fear of censure*

Jancis Andrews said...

Joanne (true blue) is wildly incorrect on all counts. Professors Baines and Bailey of Queens University said polygamy should be decriminalized, not legalized, because the women - who were traded up here like cattle from the US - are in such a dependent position on the men abusing them.The remaining three federal studies urged the BC government to charge the male elders with sexual exploitation. Moreover, Canada can never legalize polygamy because on October 18, 2002,this country ratified the Protocol on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination AgainstWomen, which states that polygamy is a contravention of women's equality rights that also harms their children. Canada is legally obligated to uphold these provisions. As well, unlike the US, we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states in sections 15 and 28 that women have complete equality with men -- something that does not happen in the harems of Bountiful, where women are treated like third-class baby machines. A-G Wally Oppal and the RCMP will shortly be charging Winston Blackmore with removing underage girls from school and impregnating them (many 15-year-olds, one 14-year-old). In other words, rape. Canadians can't wait to see these pedophiles jailed for their crimes and the case taken before the Supreme Court of Canada, where, owing to the above-mentioned documents, the law banning polygamy will definitely be declared constitutional. We've asked A-G Oppal to provide shelter and psychological counselling for the brainwashed women, because they'll need it. Polygamy is an ancient tribal practice, and the year is 2006 AD not 2006 BC. Polygamy should be kicked into the garbage can of history, where it should have been kicked long ago.We don't want harems, concubines, abandoned "lost boys," and pathetic uneducated child-mothers in Canada, thank you!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you Janice for pointing out that I am "wildly incorrect on all counts". Good of you to jump in here and point out the lack of credibility. If I were you I would boycott this site and that would show me. Go back to MSM because they ALWAYS tell the truth without any partisan angle!

"Professors Baines and Bailey of Queens University said polygamy should be decriminalized, not legalized..."

Yes, that's true. Did I state otherwise?

My point was that if cheap sex between groups of consenting adults is condoned by society, why not loving relationships involving groups of men and women. We could be talking polyamory of all sorts here.
It is a hypothetical argument. Chill out.

Jancis Andrews said...

I do feel quite cool, thank you, Joanne (true blue) because I know my facts, whereas you don't. You obviously know nothing about what is occurring in Canada, and you have no idea of our laws, our Charter and the various UN conventions ratified by Canada that our federal government is legally obligated to uphold. Winston Blackmore is going to be charged with sexual exploitation very soon and with practising polygamy. Can't come soon enough for thousands of Canadians, including teachers' federations, unions, university federations and ordinary citizens. And could you get my name right, please? It's Jancis, not Janice. Look me up on the Internet, and in the meantime, please read more about Canada and learn what we're doing up here to uphold women's equality rights, which Canadians take very seriously. Have a great day!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you JANCIS. You have humbled me, and that is good for the soul once in a while.

So how do you feel about swingers' clubs?

Mac said...

Although most socialists dream of the day when this might happen, the United Nations is not yet an Over-Government or World Government- and I hope it never will be.

The UN does not have legal authority to make laws and therefore it's Conventions are, at best, suggestions or protocols.

Canada might be signatory to the Convention you've mentioned (I haven't bothered to check) but we're under no legal obligation whatsoever to it's suggestions.

The question of polygamy, like same-sex relationships, clearly shows why "marriage" in religious terms is distinctly different than "marriage" in legal terms in a secular society.

Although I hesitate to hold up Muslims as an example, their religion allows and encourages polygamous relationships, as does the Old Testament of the Bible. It is ironic that theists are leading the charge against polygamy.

If there are sexual exploitation of children and/or other criminal matters happening in Bountiful, it should be dealt with firmly and fairly by the criminal courts... however I doubt polygamy will be one of the charges.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, well said. I agree with you on all points. If the United Nations had such clout, we would not have same-sex marriage in Canada, because the U.N. does not regard it as a human right.

Furthermore, Blackmore is technically guilty only of adultery rather than polygamy - rape and incest charges aside.

Jancis M. Andrews said...

Good morning, Joanne (true blue) and I'm glad I was good for your soul. Please tell that to my children and grandchildren ... I've been telling them this for years but so far this shining truth hasn't seemed to sink in. Re. swingers' clubs -- I really do not care what consensual adults do to one another as long as no violence or children are involved. (The nurse in my family says swingers run a huge risk of contracting AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases). But legalizing polygamy is a different matter because it tells men,"Yes, lads, you can legally regard women as sexual collectibles and gather them into harems in the same way that you collect cattle or cars." Polygamy degrades women and impoverishes them. (Imagine a man having 30 concubines plus 103 children, a la Winston Blackmore. My God, when this man finally dies [of excess sexual exertion?] how is his vast army of dependents going to manage financially?) By the way, if polygamy is so great, why are literally thousands of Muslim women petitioning their governments to end the practice, which they say hurts them and their children? (Check the Internet).
But good news in the long and bitter battle against the pedophiles of Bountiful, which for me amounts to four years and well over 400 letters to our couldn't-care-less BC government. A group of 8 women (I am one of them) have just had their complaint against four government ministries (A-G. Education, Child Protection and Women's Services) accepted by the BC Human Rights Tribunal. We've charged the ministries with deliberately turning a blind eye to the contraventions of the human rights of the women and children of Bountiful. And guess what -- their lawyers loftily informed us that we were "patriarchal" to complain about the sexual abuse because the abuse wasn't happening to us! Where do these total idiots come from and how do they manage to obtain their well-paying jobs? Alas, the 3-week hearing won't be until July 18 2007, but we are trying to get it brought forward. Politicians must be made accountable for their negligence.... but it seems as if in A-G Wally Oppal we at last have an A-G with the backbone to lay charges, unlike his cowardly predecessors.
The second bit of good news is that a well-known writer is negotiating right now with the big publishers to write a book about Bountiful and the travesties that successive BC governments allowed to flourish. It'll be a best seller for sure .. and boy, is it going to make the ears of certain politicians burn as red as fire!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Very interesting stuff there, Jancis. I guess what I'm having trouble with is the fact that these women (the spiritual wives) have invited the media in, and stated that they are there voluntarily, and that they are happy, and for Canada to please let them live their lives as they choose.

Of course, the children should be protected by all means.

Now with swingers' clubs, I think children might be involved if disease is brought back into the home, and what is this doing to the children of these couples emotionally anyway?

Jancis M. Andrews said...

Don't forget that while these women claim they are there voluntarily, in fact they aren't. Bountiful's women do not have autonomy over their own bodies. They were ordered up here by Warren Jeffs, who selected the men they were assigned to as well as selecting the girls themselves.(Some of the men didn't want to "marry" their new "wives" either!) In fact, according to Debbie Palmer (author of "Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy") one of two sisters who was ordered to "marry" Winston Blackmore on the same day was horrified because she thought he was repulsive. (I wonder what the wedding night was like?)Men and women alike are threatened with "eternal soul-burning" if they disobey the orders of the elders. Sadly, they believe such evil rubbish, so when women say they are there by choice, they're not. They're coerced. It was up to Immigration to stop the American girls being shipped up to Bountiful for sexual purposes,and to charge the elders with trafficking, but it's only recently that Immigration, too, has been paying attention.It's a terrible mess spawned by the BC government in 1993 when the RCMP advised A-G Colin Gabelman (NDP) to lay charges of rape, and he refused, musing that maybe men were entitled under the religious provisions of the Charter to act in this manner. We're talking about the forcible removal of underage girls from school, their being ordered to become a concubine in the harem of a man they might not even like, i.e., rape .... and we're assured by powerful politicians that this activity is protected by the Charter? Stop the world, I want to get off!
By the way, a few women have fled Bountiful (not just Debbie Palmer) but have gone underground, too frightened of retaliation from the elders and some of the more fanatical concubines, to give evidence to the RCMP. And did you know that Dr. Faye MacKay of Creston has said publicly that she is worried about the high incidence of accidents and disease befalling Bountiful's children, which is much higher than that of surrounding communities? She ascribes it to the inexperience of the young mothers, who are mere children themselves.
Re: swingers clubs and the effect of such activity on the children. It's horrifying what self-centred parents can do to their helpless offspring.The parents could be charged under BC's Child Protection Act, but judging from the lack of action against Bountiful, I don't see much chance of that happening. That would cost big dollars, and B.C. has a cost-cutting government.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jancis, thanks for the inside view of things. Yes, I guess in that sense it is like a cult, and these women have likely been programmed. Scary stuff indeed.

I hope you realize that my original post was tongue-in-cheek. My actual issue is with the SSC.

We're really on the same side.

Mac said...

Joanne, I don't see marriage as a human right and therefore, by extension, SSM isn't a human right either.

For religious folks, marriage is a sacred institution, blessed by the non-specific deity of their choice. As a happily married Christian, I think that's a good thing but, as a secular society, I know we don't mix religion and government.

For government purposes, marriage represents a legal arrangement which codifies a number of matters regarding taxation, inheritance, familial responsibilities, etc.

Human rights are part of the foundation underpinning our society and our system of government but so also is the separation of church and state. Therefore, in our society, marriage is the legal arrangement.

Sometimes, it seems like everyone wants to invent rights to suit their wants. It's too bad there isn't another unique word for "human right" to more clearly express the gravity of such rights.

Human rights are more fundamental, basic and self-evident. That being said, even human rights have limits. In the oft cited example, the right to freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.

Freedom from discrimination is a human right. Since there are legal advantages to marriage, we cannot discriminate against any two people who choose to marry, regardless of their gender. To disallow same sex marriages on the basis of gender would be discrimination.

Likewise, freedom of association is a human right. If a group of consenting adults chooses to live together as an extended family, society has no cause to interfere with their choices unless a law is being broken.

NOW, to show you that I'm not a complete heathen, I must say I find the Bountiful situation bizarre and repugnant but unless there are laws being broken, there's not much which can be done about it.

I don't buy into the "everyone is a victim" mentality. We all make choices, especially as adults, and we live with the consequences thereof. If the women of Bountiful want out, they can walk away at anytime and I'm sure they will be supported (legally and otherwise) in that choice. To say the government must suppress the human right to freedom of association is wrong- unless laws are being broken.

Joanne (True Blue) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac - Very eloquent, and some interesting angles here. I am looking forward to hearing Jancis comment on what you said about freedom of association.

Also, you said: "Since there are legal advantages to marriage, we cannot discriminate against any two people who choose to marry, regardless of their gender. To disallow same sex marriages on the basis of gender would be discrimination."

That's why I support civil unions for same-sex couples. However, many gays feel that it is still discriminatory to deny them access to the word "marriage", because they want homosexuality to be condoned and normalized in our society.

Therefore, I personally feel that we should all have civil unions. Then the sacrament of marriage would not be tainted (IMHO). Anyone could go to their own church afterwards for a religious ceremony.

Jancis M. Andrews said...

Good morning, Mac ... the laws being broken by the male elders of Bountiful are numerous: Section 153 CC (Criminal Code)proscribing sexual activity between children aged 14-18 if they are in a financially or emotionally dependent position on the adult sexually using them. (Girls as young as 14 have been assigned as concubines and placed in harems. Ruth Chatwin was 13.) Section 155 (1) CC proscribing incest.(At age 15 Debbie Palmer was made the 6th concubine of her step-grandfather, aged 57. Other girls have been forced to "marry" their uncles or other close relatives and have been beaten if they refuse). Section 292 CC proscribing false marriage. Section 293 CC proscribing polygamy. The BC Education Act: Girls are entitled to the same education as boys under the Career and Personal Planning section, but don't receive it at Bountiful. [Reference Min. of Education's report on Bountiful Elementary-Secondary School (BESS), Oct.21 - 22, 2002, page 11]. The BC Human Rights Code as well as the Education Act: BESS teaches racism in that children are taught black people (referred to as 'negroes)are the children of the devil and the cause of evil in the world; plus sexism in that females are taught they must obey the elders or burn forever in Hell. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sections 15 and 28, guaranteeing women equality with men. (Women in Bountiful are the possessions of the prophet, then their father, then their husband, and can be re-assigned as a concubine to different men.) The Canada Immigration Act: girls are illegally trafficked by the elders between the US and Bountiful and vice-versa.The B.C. Child Protection Act: (teenage boys, uneducated and without money, are told they have transgressed against God and are literally banished from Bountiful and dumped in Creston in order to make more girls available for the elders. These are the so-called "lost boys." Some people in Creston are endeavouring to help them.)
As you can guess, Bountiful is not about their being a Christian sect (both Christ and St. Paul stated that a man should have but one wife (check a concordance of the New Testament) but about power, especially the ruthless sexual power of males over females, all the while hiding behind a blasphemous pretence of Christian practice.
This is what ex-concubine Debbie Palmer says on page ix of her book "Keep Sweet: Children of Polygamy": 'My father had 6 wives and I have 47 brothers and sisters. My oldest daughter is my aunt and I am her grandmother. When I was assigned to marry my first husband, I became my own step-grandmother since my father was already married to two daughters of my new husband. According to the eternal laws of the polygamous group I grew up with, I will be a step-grandmother to many of my own brothers and sisters "for all eternity." Several of my stepsons were assigned to marry my sisters, so I also became a sister-in-law to my own stepchildren. After my mother's father was assigned to marry one of my second husband's daughters as a second wife, I became my own great-grandmother. This stepdaughter became my step-grandmother and I her step-mother, so when I gave birth to two sons with her father, my own sons became my great-uncles and I was their great-great-grandmother."
Is your head reeling yet? The sooner A-G Oppal tackles the lawlessness of Bountiful, the healthier Canada will be. It's the children I'm sorry for. How can they ever be helped to escape this tyrannical, crazy cult they were born into?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jancis, I hope Mac comes back to respond to that. I agree that kids brought up in this type of environment know little else, and so their fate is sealed.

There was a story in the paper about a sex-slave cult in Britain, and a Canadian woman was rescued from from it. Similar kind of thing in a way. Not sure if kids were involved though.

Mac said...

Joanne, you can see the difficulty when people mix religion and state. Why engage in semantics whether it's "marriage" or "civil union" (a rose by any other name?) since, in a secular state, they are the same thing. Who issues the marriage licence- the church or the state?

Freedom of religion is another human right and, although they're pushing for it, I don't see homosexuals winning the "right" to force churches to give their blessing to same sex marriages.

From the government perspective, marriage is available through civil ceremony. Forcing churches to marry would be like forcing Sikhs to cut their hair, forcing Jews to eat ham, forcing Jehovah's Witnesses to carry guns, etc. It won't happen.

Same sex couples have to accept that their choice of partner is exactly that- their choice and with choice comes consequences- positive and/or negative. There will be those in society who approve and those who disapprove and it is unfair of same sex couples to expect government to impose approval.

For example, let's say my wife and I decide to stop grooming and to cease doing laundry. In fairly short order, we would be offensive to some people. We have the right to express ourselves in this manner but do we have the right to ask the government to force others to accept and to embrace our choice? If we showed up in church and they close the doors to us, should we ask the government to force them to open the doors? Nope, we would have to live with the consequences of our actions.

Man, that argument stinks!!

Second post to follow...
Sorry to run so long...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"it is unfair of same sex couples to expect government to impose approval."

Unfair and impossible.

Your stinking analogy is very comical, Mac!! Why don't you try it, and then complain to the Human Rights Commission if they refuse to let you come in?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac -BTW, the error in your argument is that homosexuals (and some others) believe they are born that way. I have seen no evidence to support that claim, however. Being stinky is a choice, unless you can't afford soap!

Mac said...

Good afternoon to you, Jancis!

I am not able to comment on the allegations you’ve provided because I have no direct knowledge of Bountiful. As I said, if laws are being broken, then police and government should take action.

That being said, it is difficult to collect evidence from or provide assistance to the unwilling or the uncooperative. Cops can’t work miracles and the quality of evidence collected figured directly to the quality of prosecutions and the results thereof. Ask the natives about the results of the government intervention known as residential schools.

There are no easy solutions to complex situations like Bountiful. If there were, it would have already happened. I think raising the age of consent to 18 would be a very good first step.

I wrote a bunch more regarding the age of consent but upon reflection, I decided this would be leading the discussion in another more partisan and political direction.

Joanne, regardless of the situation (born gay or by choice), the government will not force churchs that are to marry same sex couples to do so.

As for mainstream acceptance of homosexuality in society, could you imagine a movie like Brokeback Mountain being made in 1976? How about 1986? Even 1996? Does this reflect a decline of morality or simply a shift of perspective?

I often wonder how history will judge our generation...