Monday, April 4, 2011

Final Arguments Winding Down

Today George MacIntosh, the Amicus Curiae, began his final oral arguments in the polygamy reference.

Daphne Bramham, in the Vancouver Sun, reported as follows: 

If the B.C. Supreme Court strikes down Canada's polygamy law, the court-appointed amicus said Monday it must be society as a whole and Parliament in particular that determines the next step.

Lawyer George Macintosh made his comments Monday at the beginning of his closing argument in the constitutional reference case to determine whether the Criminal Code section that prohibits polygamy is valid.

Macintosh, who was appointed by the court to argue that the law is not constitutionally valid, said that the law must fail. The reason, he said, is that Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows only for “minimal impairment” of guaranteed rights and freedoms.

But Macintosh said the polygamy law is so broad that last week the five defenders of the law argued for five different interpretations of it.

The attorney general of B.C.'s lawyer argued that it should only apply to men with more than one spouse, not women.

The attorney general of Canada's lawyer argued that it applies only to people who have some sort of ceremony to formalize their plural relationships.

WestCoast LEAF wants it interpreted to mean only multi-party, conjugal relationships that are exploitive.
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Child said it shouldn't criminalize children, while the B.C. Teacher's Federation argued that it shouldn't criminalize women.

Doug Christie, the well-known advocate for freedom from government intervention in the lives of citizens, was present and made an impassioned speech arguing the removal of all government input into life, love, marriage, morality, polygamy, monogamy, and any other quality of life that you can think of.  His message was "everything will be just fine if government just keeps its nose out of our affairs."  (And I use that word advisedly!)

Please note that there will be no more court sessions for the remainder of this week.  Arguments continue on Monday 11th April.

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