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Wednesday 08 April 2009


Proclamations of the Red Queen

7th April 2009

Canada: British Columbia’s Polygamy Debate (Part Three)

Posted by: Craig Young

At Osgoode Hall Law School, feminist law lecturer Susan Drummond thinks differently from aforementioned Canadian Conservative Party activist and social conservative Tom Flanagan.

She acknowledges that Canada signed the UN Convention on Discrimination Against Women in 1980, and that there was particular mention of polygamous marriage in that context.

She draws attention to the racist use of Section 293 and argues that there is troubling early Canadian case law that shows it was founded on prejudices about Asian, African and indigenous polygamous relationships, and abused to unjustly imprison one traditional indigenous man for five years.

As for concerns about child sexual abuse and spousal violence, both are prohibited under the Criminal Code, and would continue to be so, regardless of whether or not polygamy were decriminalised in Canada. Furthermore, existing family law is recognising that mistresses and their dependants have spousal inheritance rights (and
presumably, the same applies to long-term extramarital liaisons with same-sex marriages and civil unions). Women are disadvantaged regardless of polygamy or monogamy under divorce law, and a subsidised national childcare programme would be an excellent idea.

Recommended:

Susan Drummond: “A Marriage of Fear and Xenophobia” Globe and Mail: 06.04.09: http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090403.wcopoly06/BNStory/specialComment/BritishColumbia/

Tags: Politics · Religion

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