However after reading an article by Barrister and Solicitor Iain Benson, who is the Centre for Cultural Renewal’s Executive Director, I have come to the conclusion that the 'slippery slope' argument is not only used too often; it is also false. Canadian society is actually in a free-fall not unlike one of those stomach-churning rides at Canada's Wonderland, the 'Drop-Zone'.
The judicial activism that eventually caused same-sex marriage to be enshrined in Canadian law ignored concerns such as those voiced by Benson:
During the arguments in the various “same-sex marriage” cases (in which the writer had some involvement as counsel), one of the points made by counsel for the Inter-faith coalition for the family was this. Once you eradicate the male/female nature of marriage as it has been historically understood, there is really no reason why the numbers of people in a “marriage” should matter.
This is the familiar argument that polygamy will naturally follow same-sex marriage. Here's why I think he's right:
In other words, once two men or two women can be married to each other because they wish such recognition (and if the biological aspects related to children are deemed, as happened in these cases, to be irrelevant), what logic is there anymore in restricting marriage to just two people? In fact, it was argued that, logically, if “sexual orientation” is the basis for same-sex marriage and “bi-sexuality” is a sexual orientation, then a marriage involving bi-sexuals must logically involve more than two people since their very sexual identity involves more than just a heterosexual orientation, an orientation that, as the logic went with same-sex claims, has a right to expression. What is sauce for the homosexual goose is, as it were, also sauce for the bi-sexual gander. As it happens, this argument, slightly ahead of its time, was one that the courts dealt with by ignoring it completely.
The relevance of the point has just come home, but, like many strategic litigation strategies these days, in a rather round about way. In a January 2, 2007 decision the Ontario Court of Appeal determined that a child does not just have a father and a mother as parents but can, in fact, have a third party, in this case the lesbian partner of the mother, as another parent. Thus the case is known as the “three parents” case.
If we are to recognize the legitimacy of bi-sexual 'rights' in Canadian society, then it follows that these folks may require more than one partner to be able to properly express their sexuality and therefore marriage with multiple partners must be allowed.
Polygamy has never been prosecuted in Canada because in fact it is legally impossible to do so. How can you prosecute a community of people cohabiting and sharing partners, child rearing and so forth in a society that allows Swingers' clubs, 'equal' marriage, and more than two names on a birth certificate? Also, from a Freedom of Religion point of view it would never stand up in court. The only way that the legal system can attack is through proof of abuse.
Let's just cut out the nonsense and strike polygamy off the books. If you have a law on the books but you never use it, what's the point? It becomes meaningless.
So buckle up, close your eyes and enjoy that ride down. It's gonna be a gut-wrencher.