The media coverage of Bountiful has created a context that colors the public’s ability to “see” polyamorists – a completely different population that is “collateral damage” of the overly broad anti-polygamy law.
The CPAA has a mission to distinguish polyamory from the practice of patriarchal polygyny for the court and the media.
The law’s supporters also propose that despite the law’s clear language to the contrary, it is constitutional if “read down” to mean only situations involving a minor or occurring in a context of dependence, exploitation, abuse of authority, a gross imbalance of power, or undue influence.
He has requested that the British Columbia Supreme Court rule that Section 293 is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and therefore constitutional. ——————————————— The first version of this law was enacted in 1890’s with a sub-clause specifically directed at Mormons.
Canada’s federal Attorney General has also joined this case with the intent of making this law prosecutable. There have been few charges laid under this law and even fewer convictions, but it has been used to assimilate aboriginal people and limit polygamous immigration.
The court has appointed an Amicus to coordinate the “interested parties” who would speak to the matter. Section 293 reads as follows: —————————————— (1) Everyone who (a) practices or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practice or enter into (i) any form of polygamy, or (ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or (b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. In today’s Canada, there is increased interest in and growing acceptance of multiple-partner relationships among a very different population: modern, mainstream, egalitarian secularists, often with a feminist orientation, motivated by values of love, mutual respect, and self-determination.
Evidence in a case of polygamy (2) Where an accused is charged with an offence under this section, no averment or proof of the method by which the alleged relationship was entered into, agreed to or consented to is necessary in the indictment or on the trial of the accused, nor is it necessary on the trial to prove that the persons who are alleged to have entered into the relationship had or intended to have sexual intercourse. The response of government has been generally neutral, but the law does criminalize polyamorous households and contributes to fear in our community.
This is one of the requirements to joining our group and often a reason why people are denied.
Also, our Membership Rules will outline our other requirements.
Our political organization so far has been minimal with regards to our rights.
In recent years there has been much media coverage and social pressure to prosecute alleged abusive behavior at Bountiful, a community of Fundamentalist (originalist) Mormons.
In this isolated community allegations have surfaced of abuse, exploitation of girls, lack of true consent to early sex and marriage, limited and racist education, excess male “lost boys” expelled from the community, and abuse of the government social safety net.