Monday, July 25, 2005

Same Sex Marriage, the Sequel.

Now that same-sex civil marriage has been proclaimed as the law of the land, Canada has become the fourth nation in the world to celebrate such marriages. My friends who support SSM point out to me that the sky has not fallen. That is true, but it is the ground beneath our feet with which I am most concerned.

Robot Guy has raised the logical follow up question.
"Can anyone suggest to me any reason that polygamous marriage, adult-child marriage, and man-dog marriage should remain illegal in Canada? ... any reason, that is, that was not used and declared invalid by the Supreme Court and the government in the arguments against same sex marriage?"

Some of the responses I got were:
(1) homosexuality and pedophilia/bestiality/polygamy are not the same thing
(2) that's silly! it would never happen
(3) such a suggestion is bigoted
(4) marriage is a right

Now, I was posting my question as a hypothetical, since I did not think that bill C-38 had been thought through well at all. I honestly wanted to know what could legally prevent bestiality, pedophilia, and polygamy.
It is my view that good legal and public policy reasons can be mustered to prevent adult-child marriages and bestiality (sorry PETA, I know you think hamsters have rights equal to socialists), but not so with polygamy and polyandry. In answer to his Robot Guy's question I left the following commentary (augmented here) on his site.

I have argued at great length during the SSM debate that once SSM marriage was allowed there would be no principled basis in law, or public policy, to deny polygamous or polyandrous marriages. The Bountiful B.C. Mormon cult will likely be first in line. Of course, I could be wrong about this and a Muslim could launch court action anywhere in Canada at any time.

But the first provincial court to strike down provisions against such marriages will likely be in B.C. The rest will follow. The argument that there is insufficient public support to allow polygamy is laughable given what happened with the SSM revolution.

We have not added a group (homosexuals) to traditional marriage in Canada; we have transformed marriage into something new and quite different. It now an institution the primary purpose of which is to celebrate loving feelings between adults. It is no longer an institution primarily concerned with the raising, protection and nurturing of children.

Of course, what do I know; I'm Mad.


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