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Polygamy. Legal in Canada?

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posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 12:24 PM
An interesting article in Macleans about polygamy. While technically illegal governments are unwilling to press the issues as they feel it may fail and actually set a precident that WILL make it legal.


Sisterwives is one of a surprising number of pro-polygamy websites, both faith-based and secular, devoted to an act that is illegal -- in theory, if rarely in practice -- in Canada and all 50 American states. Hundreds of people from around the world have posted to the U.S.-based site, but for the most part, they aren't who you'd expect. They aren't members of fundamentalist breakaway Mormon sects, like those living in enclaves in Bountiful, B.C., as well as in Utah, Arizona, Texas and other states. Nor are they largely immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries where polygamy is sanctioned. Many are increasingly vocal "Christian polygamists," who draw their inspiration from the much-married prophets of the Old Testament.


In British Columbia, that question falls to Attorney General Wally Oppal, a lawyer and a former justice of the B.C. Supreme Court. In fact, governments haven't said no very often. Laws against plural marriages are so rarely prosecuted that a strong case can be made that they are already de facto legal. The object of Oppal's ire -- Bountiful, a polygamous community outside Creston, B.C. -- has operated with impunity for more than 60 years, despite allegations of forced marriages of underage girls, child abuse and the trafficking of wives across the Canada-U.S. border. A multi-year RCMP investigation has sat with the Crown since last fall without charges being laid.

The big problem with this as I see it is the wedding of children not old enough to "consent" to what they are pushed into. And the silence surrounding these acts. Aside from that, if you want more than one spouse, go for it. Doesn't affect me any.

As one that has been married twice, not at the same time
, I have NO clue why someone would want to be married to more than one person. This has nothing to do with religion, it's hard enough these days to make one marriage work, imagine the headaches of plural marriage?

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 12:54 PM
I guess this didn't come as a surprise.

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 01:24 PM
back at you.

Polygamy might as well be taken out of the Criminal Code. If there were any chance of getting a conviction, BC would have nailed Bountiful to the wall years ago.

Not a concept I agree with or would be willing to participate in, but I think the more pragmatic solution would be to decriminalize it. That way wives after the first are entitled to legal claims in case of divorce and these families can't have 4 wives, with three of them claiming welfare as single mothers.

[edit on 2-7-2007 by Duzey]

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:14 PM
Polygamy is its own punishment.

Look at Hugh Hefner. He's practicing polygamy, but without the benefit of legal marriage.

At a time when marriage is as broken as it is, polygamy is the least of our worries.

In the cases of child abuse, that's a completely different issue.

[edit on 2007/7/2 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:19 PM
My two main issues with polygamy are -- as has been noted by others here -- the enforced marriage of young girls.

The other aspect is that it's not uncommon for polygamist groups to commit welfare fraud. There was a guy on Jerry Springer's show ages ago before Jerry became the WWE of talk shows. He had over a dozen wives, three sisters, a mother/daughter combo, and more.

It turned out he got busted for welfare fraud, because technically he can't be married to more than one woman at a time. He'd divorce one, then marry the new one, but according to their religious law, they were still married, just not in the eyes of the state. Some, if not all, of the "divorced" wives were collecting welfare benefits.

Serves him right, he'd marry girls as young as 14.

If you can't afford to support more than one wife, then don't have more. And no marrying anyone under age 18. Otherwise, go for it. I sure wouldn't call the police and turn in a plural-marriage family.

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 08:24 AM
what is good for the goose, is also good for the gander, at least in the US, and probably canada...

so how do yas all feel about multiple husbands?

do wonders as far as birth control...
would be great for the family's finances...four husbands would probably mean at any given time, two could be on vacation while the family lived on the other two's salary..

or what about if a couple of those husbands decided that they wanted a couple wives....guess that would be okay also? pretty soon, we could have one big happy family of 20 people, and well, who cares who is who's husband or wife...since trying to keep track of all that is too much of a pain...

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 09:08 AM
I'd have to say that this was my only concern about the ramifications of gay marriage. All the time I was ready to accept the concept, I had one eye on Bountiful.

I still support gay marriage, but I don't like polygamy. Child marriage and welfare fraud aside, I think it will prove to be a real snake pit should it become accepted. Can you imagine the legalities of trying to partially dissolve a multiple marriage? Division of assets? Child support? How are inheritances handled? Do they bring back prima geniture? These are many of the reasons that gay marriage was formally accepted.'s a circus now!

I guess all I can say is that while the concepts of marriage and family have changed some...and I still feel that's a good thing...I really don't think Western society is ready for polygamy as an ethos. I think Bountiful should be 'grandfathered'...we oughtn't go in and break it all up...but it should not be allowed to either grow or become enfranchised. My two cents (Cdn).

[edit on 3-7-2007 by JohnnyCanuck]

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 12:07 PM
no one ever takes me seriously, but considering the current economic atmosphere, is really that wise for men to want more than one oven to rise their buns in? heck most of them are sending their oven to work to help pay the bills as it is... their salaries aren't enough to pay to care and maintain the one oven they have, let alone the little buns that are popping out of the oven.
but, if one oven was shared by three or for men, they could share the expenses involved in owning the oven, and there'd be less expense involved with the buns also....

matter of fact, if my husband ever brought up the idea that men should be entitled to have multiple wives......I'd bring up the idea that instead of me having a job, I should have another husband, since the first one is failing to bring in the cash necessary to maintain the family!

that would probably quickly and efficiently put an end to the discussion.

[edit on 3-7-2007 by dawnstar]

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 03:00 PM

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
Child marriage and welfare fraud aside, I think it will prove to be a real snake pit should it become accepted. Can you imagine the legalities of trying to partially dissolve a multiple marriage?

You named some of the reasons I might be OK with decriminalization, but not legalization.


I think that multiple husbands has never been an issue because frankly, women know it would just create more work for them. Instead of having one man to fix the fence, you'd have five of them standing around discussing the best way to do it and what power tools will be required.

Why on earth anyone would want more than one spouse is beyond me.

[edit on 3-7-2007 by Duzey]

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 09:41 PM
sounds like it would be alot of work to me too...but ya never know, there's alot more crazy people around than there's been in the past. I bet if we looked hard enough we could find some women crazy enough to demand equality in the area of polygamy if it ever became accepted legally...

posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 09:57 PM
Fret not.

If a man can marry a man, then any combination of beings is possible.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:25 AM
If the only "crime" is the co habituation of more than two consenting adults then there really is no crime at all, in my opinion. In Utah you will be hard pressed to find a prosecutor willing to bring charges to a functioning family if this is the only grievance against the law. I'm not for making it legal but I also do not support a witch hunt of 'good' families practicing polygamy.

posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 07:12 PM
Two is company, three is a crowd.

First of all, I find it appaling that women think so little of themselves as to take less than the whole of one man.

Next, the idea that goes along with the old biblical teachings, is that women are inferior. They are property to be used as sexual toys and as incubators. Yahweh was a misogynist. Prior to his time the woman was godess and was treated with respect. She could own property and take part in government. Yahweh did away with all that.

Unfortunately, over the millenia men have exerted their muscle as well as the fear of Yahweh to keep woman in subjugation. A woman with children and no way to support herself is hardly in a position to argue about the situation. Probably the reason so many women "have a headache" when her husband wants sex, is an unconscious resentment response. And I believe you would find the he has and "I own you" attitude, both unconscious and and overt.

And here we are 6000 years later only now beginning to give women equal rights in the Western world. In Florida, just 40 odd years ago, woman was FINALLY given the right to sell her own property without her husband's consent!

This whole idea of mutilple wives only proves that most male humans are emotionally retarded. There has to be some serious re-education in this area.
For starters don't take the man's last name - keep the one you were born with. Self respect - self pride - your are an independent creature, not an object of possession.
Always maintain skills necessary to support yourself - never become financially dependent on a man.

posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 04:41 PM

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
If you can't afford to support more than one wife, then don't have more.

Let's look at this from another angle: why should the man be the breadwinner?

Multiple wives means multiple incomes, thus freeing the man from the scourge of daily labor.

posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 09:21 PM
no, having more husbands means having more breadwinners...

having more wives means having more babies...

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