It refers to Rebecca Cook's recently released report for the Justice Department, "Polygyny and Canada's Obligations under International Human Rights Law".
There are a few noteworthy items in the Post article. The first is this little nugget:
Section 293 of the Criminal Code bans "any form of polygamy" or "any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage."
I still have to wonder about Swingers' clubs then. If you and a bunch of other folks are having an orgy, that's o.k., but if you're trying to be a family, well then you can forget about it.
The other thing that caught my eye was this reference to Status of Women:
One controversial report commissioned by the Status of Women, which was published last year, called for repealing the ban on polygamy in favour of other laws to help women and children.So this answers my question from a previous post: "What if anything was Status of Women doing about it all this time?"
Chief author Martha Bailey says criminalizing polygamy, typically a marriage involving one man and several wives, serves no good purpose and prosecutions could do damage to the women and children in such relationships.
"Why criminalize the behaviour?" she said in an interview. "We don't criminalize adultery.
Thank you Status of Women for your enlightened help in this one.
Polygamy does not just discriminate against women. Global Television ran a documentary this past Saturday called "The Lost Boys", showing the harmful effects of polygamy on young men growing up in this environment. In a society where the older men get three wives or more, most younger men are not even allowed to date or socialize with girls their age. A few lucky ones do get wives, but they are assigned to them.
If these young men try to leave, they struggle with the effects of little education and a lack of decision-making skills that seriously impair their integration into mainstream society.
The powers that be in B.C. seem to be reluctant to press criminal charges due to freedom of religion guarantees, yet this is a Human Rights issue. How can we judge other countries when we turn a blind eye to what is going on right at home?
Ms. Cook does offer a solution (Post):
Ms. Cook's study concludes there is a difference between religious beliefs and practices.
"While Canada is not entitled under international law to restrict religious belief, it is entitled and in fact obliged in some circumstances to restrict religious practices that undermine the rights and freedoms of others," she wrote.
Indeed. Ontario saw fit to ban Sharia law. Much as I hate to admit it, this is one situation where B.C. could learn something from Dalton McGuinty.
I can't believe I just said that.