Tuesday, March 8, 2011

AGBC's Closing Statement

Below is a summary of the closing statement submitted by the Attorney General of B.C. in the polygamy reference.


Legalized polygamy will lead to more victims, lawyer says

Multiple marriage society 'consumes its young'
A lawyer for the B.C. government says polygamy "consumes its young" and warns that there will be many more victims if the practice of multiple marriages is decriminalized in Canada.

The comments by Craig Jones, lead counsel for the B.C. Attorney-General's Ministry, are contained in a 163page written submission filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

Last month, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman heard the final witnesses in the trial to determine whether Canada's law is constitutional.

The parties in the case are now in the process of exchanging written submissions to be followed by final oral arguments March 28.

In his submissions, Jones said the evidence "inexorably" leads to two conclusions -that polygamy has "significant risk" to women and children and significant risks to society at large.
"This is what we know about polygamy, both in theory and practice: a polygamous society consumes its young," he said.

"It arms itself with instruments of abuse, and shields itself behind institutions of secrecy, insularity and control. It depresses every known indicator of women's equality."

Jones added that polygamy is "antidemocratic, anti-egalitarian, antiliberal and antithetical to the proper functioning of any modern, rightsbased society."

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