Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I've been wanting to write about the polygamy issue for some time so I think I'll try now. Rather than do it as an essay though, I'll try to address the issue as a form of Q & A.

What does polygamy have to do with SSM? We were told they are not connected and one would not lead to the other.

You were lied to or mislead. Most politicians like Paul Martin knew the two were linked, which is why the Martha Bailey report was commissioned among others. The academic and legal argument for SSM marriage was that the institution of marriage had nothing to do with children and therefore requiring gender differences discriminated against homosexuals. If you believe this, that marriage is only about property rights and tax laws between consenting adults, then why should it not be opened to more than one person? That is why this issue is coming to the forefront now.

I know and understand that not every heterosexual couple has children, but it is what society has always aspired to in the institution. If you take away that aspiration, and it only becomes about the economics, then why shouldn't 3, 4 or more people be allowed to marry? Similarly why shouldn't groups of persons who do not have sex be allowed to marry also?

But isn't the polygamy issue in BC about how far freedom of religion can go?

This case has nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of religion. Think about it, does one - have - to have a religion to be in a polygamous or polyamorous relationship. I have one friend who is in such a relationship and she is not religious at all. This is merely a smokescreen so that the public will not relate it to SSM. This case happens to involve religion, but that is not a necessary requirment for wanting to be in a polygamous relationship. Does one have to have a religion to want a three way or more sexual relationship?

But what of the issue of abuse against women and children that are being levelled?

These have never been proven and we must define abuse. When the average person or police officer looks for abuse they mean sexual molestation, forcible confinement, physical abuse, beatings etc. When many feminist or academic groups look for abuse in this situation they mean the actual polygamous marriage itself. In academic feminist parlance, abuse refers to ideology or anything partriarchal.

Here is an excerpt from the Vancouver Sun, 2003.

In addition, B.C.-based Jancis Andrews, on behalf of the Canadian Federation of University Women, is aggressively lobbying Premier Gordon Campbell to stop funding the Bountiful school and clamp down on polygamy, which is illegal in Canada. ...

She alleges children are taught many unconscionable things at the school, including that blacks are inferior, females must not consider careers and that underage girls must marry and have sex with whomever the patriarch decrees.

Now if these things are being taught, that is horrible...but waitaminute; Some of these accusations are typical left-wing allegations against conservatives and supporters of Stephen Harper, John Tory and George Bush too.

Remember, the CFUW aside, any marriage that recognizes gender differences is seen as abuse by many people with a modern feminist academic world view.

Many of them believe traditional marriage is a form of slavery for women because it is a patriarchal institution that by definition oppresses women like slavery did to people of black or African ancestry. This is the type of abuse they are looking for and why the police are having a hard time proving it. Of course they can't say that in public or they would expose themselves for what they are.

Here are some prominent academic feminist quotes on the subject:

"The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together...Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break—up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. " Linda Gordon

Sexism is NOT the fault of women — kill your fathers, not your mothers. Robin Morgan

"We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." Robin Morgan

"Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice." Andrea Dworkin

Also look at this site, beyondmarriage.org, which is signed by many prominant members of academia and the arts including Gloria Steinem and Dan Brown. This issue has always been far more complex then we have been allowed to discuss.

What about the Martha Bailey report that the Liberal Party of Canada commissioned? Isn't she for polygamous marriage?

Bailey is a feminist professor from Queen's University. As a former attendee I can tell you it has the most pre-eminent feminist law school in Canada that specializes in radical feminist thought. Bailey is from this radical train of thought that believes by legalizing polygamy we will destroy the institution itself. The logic is; by making every relationship marriage - ultimately nothing is marriage and the institution dies. Stanley Kurtz in the National Review dissects her argument here.

These people care nothing about the well being of women or children. They care about their own extremist ideology which sadly, is now the mainstream in our culture.

Is this why there is ideological confusion on the issue?

Yes. If you really believe the 'equality' under the charter argument for SSM there is no logical reason to be opposed to polygamy. But they were never straight with you as to what that 'equality' argument really entailed or what assumptions about marriage they held. That is why we are at the crossroads and people in both camps do not know which way they should turn, or what to believe.

In many ways, the gay community were just used as pawns in this game by people who had a much larger agenda. I understand why many gay people said they wanted SSM based on what they were told. But it also says something that as of June of this year, only one marriage license was issued to a Canadian same-sex couple in Toronto. Funny for something we were told was so revolutionary, desired and in demand. Just. One.

What about Muslims? Are there not various sects of Islam that practice polygamy?

Polygamy is not the norm in Islam, but there are many sects that practice it. There is also much more history in favour of polygamy than SSM marriage. To those feminists that will say all polygamous relationships are abuse, will they say the same thing if Muslims speak up? Will this not leave them open to charges of racism? That is one of the many reasons why this is such a hot topic for politicians to persue.

But waitaminute, didn't the highest court in Ontario already rule that a boy could have two lesbian mothers and a father? What's the difference between that and polygamy?

Exactly. Once you eliminate the man-woman traditional family as the norm to aspire to, the difference becomes only ideological and academic. Virtually every credible study that has been done on this subject confirms that children are best reared in a one mother-one father enviroment which is natural law. Obviously there are cases where good children are raised by good parents who are single or alone for whatever reason. They should be loved and treated with compassion. But that is not what society should aspire to.

Many doctors who understand this, such as those who formed the American College of Pediatricians have been smeared or lied about much like those who question man made global warming.

Others, such as Margaret Somerville, who is the Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Founding Director of the Faculty of Law's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University are harder to discredit. Her views on gender, child rearing and marriage are complex and rooted in science and that is why the small minded profs at Ryerson had an issue with her a little over a year ago. She is world renowned.

Where will this issue land?

Hard to tell. Unlike SSM this one breaks down in more choppy demographics. People on both the left and right are opposed or for it for various reasons. I am opposed to polygamy and contrary to what supporters of SSM want you to believe, that is why we are dealing with this now. With the laws already changed, my feeling is it should be hard to stop. But at the end of the day, I will bet on the feminist contingent in Canada to win out and the media focussing on the 'evil Christian' element at this point. At any rate, children and science lose.

So those are where my thoughts are on this subject. I welcome all intelligent discourse.


At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about bigomy? It's against the law. Polygamy is even worse than bigomy.

The Mormon Church took polygamy out of their doctrine in the late 1800's - the others are no different than a cult.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Charles J said...

Plural marriage without the religeous aspects seems perfectly acceptable to me.

While many feminists argue against poligamy, there are many who argue for it as well. It does after all solve some of the problems related to the "double-shift" of raising children and working that many women in traditional marriages face. It also addresses the desire for adults to have multiple sexual partners in their life, which is normal and healthy. Traditional marriage ignores this natural law.

I agree with you on many points about the relationship between SSM and poligamy however I see the door opening to decriminalized poligamy as a good thing. Not only does it represent progressive shifts in adult relationships, family and child-bearing already taking place, it also demonstrates an urgency among some of the population to think critically about their needs and feelings before getting married or having children. This is good for all of society.


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