Edmonton Poly Family Challenges Polygamy Laws

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February 22, 2011 by Lain

An Edmonton polyamorous family has filed an affidavit with the B.C. Supreme Court to challenge Canadian marriage laws.

According to a Vancouver Sun article, Forrest Glen Maridas, of Edmonton, and her poly family, seek to decriminalize multiple marriages in Canada. Also included in the list of affidavits is a statement from the Congregationalist Wiccan Association of British Columbia, supporting multiple marriages, should this become law in Canada. John Bashinski, of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association, discussed the Pagan implications of this case over at “The Wild Hunt“.

“You’re right that this will raise polyamory’s profile in general, and that it may bring out the Pagan connection.”

Ali Ravenwood, of the Congregationalist Wiccan Associaion of Alberta said;

“The Wiccan faith supports all non-coercive sexual relationships between adults, including polyamourous relationships. However, this point is moot since polygamy is banned in all Canadian provinces. If polygamy should become legalized in this country, our clergy here would be willing to perform multiple marriage ceremonies.”

The case began  November 22, 2010 .

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman has been asked to decide if Canada’s Polygamy law is constitutional, and has heard evidence from many different and varying viewpoints. The most striking, and possibly most damaging, comes out of a Fundamentalist Mormon community in British Columbia.

A recent Vancouver Sun article states;

“It is no secret that there are child brides and teen mothers in the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., and that many of them are illegal immigrants from the United States.”

Unfortunately, after eight weeks of testimony, it would seem that the Fundamentalist Mormons are getting most of the press. And although several poly families have filed affidavits, neither  the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association nor the court has brought forward any secular polygamists.

The Montreal Gazette reports that;

“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.”

The court will not hear any more evidence, and has been adjourned until March 28 for final submissions.

 

 

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