Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Forthright Summing-up

The Vancouver Sun's Daphne Bramham has offered a sound summing-up of what was heard (and what was not heard).  She writes:-

Happy polygamists were strangely absent through eight weeks of court hearings aimed at determining whether Canada’s law forbidding the practice is constitutional.

Perhaps it’s because not one male polygamist testified before Chief Justice Robert Bauman in B.C. Supreme Court. It’s odd when you think about it, because worldwide and throughout history, polygamy is almost invariably about men having multiple wives.

The bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, James Oler, filed an affidavit describing how polygamy was an essential part of his faith. But that was pulled when it became apparent that lawyers for the governments of Canada and British Columbia were eager to have a chance to question him.

The same happened with FLDS school principal Merrill Palmer.

Neither the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association nor the court-appointed amicus curiae, George Macintosh, called any secular polygamists even though several men and women filed affidavits. 

Also absent were Muslims — even though Islam is one of only two religions that sanctions the practice and Islam’s followers number 940,000 in Canada and 1.6 billion worldwide. 

Even though the judge allowed the FLDS to testify anonymously to avoid future prosecution, it was left to fundamentalist Mormon women — the sister-wives — to defend the practice.
That’s ironic, since everyone testified that it’s the men who head their communities, their homes and ensure the women’s ascension into heaven. Every one of the women described polygamy as challenging, even though all insisted that the rewards on Earth and in the afterlife are worth it.

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