Will Canada add polgygamy and polyamory on top of same-sex marriage?

Here’s an article from the American Spectator. (H/T RuthBlog)


While the United States is occupied with the federal challenge to California’s Proposition 8, Canada has its own pending marriage case, which is likely headed for the Canadian Supreme Court. Canada, which redefined marriage nationwide to include same-sex couples in 2005, against the backdrop of successful provincial lawsuits against the country’s marriage law, could be moving on to bigger things — literally. Specifically, polygamy and polyamory, as this case invokes the question of whether the government can continue to criminalize multiple-partner marriages. The case itself, initiated by the British Columbia Attorney General under a special provision of that Province’s law, arises in the wake of failed prosecutions of polygamous sect members in British Columbia.

Advocates of polygamy and polyamory seem to have an ally in the Law Commission of Canada, a statutory body of government appointees who propose changes to modernize Canadian law and report to the Justice Ministry. In 2001, the Commission issued a report, Beyond Conjugality: Recognizing and Supporting Close Personal Adult Relationships, that questioned the continuing illegality of consensual polygamy in Canada.

Polyamory is the end-game of proponents of same-sex marriage, but it poses even more problems for children:

If we take seriously the idea that marriage laws have an educative function, polyamory raises red flags. On each of the core functions of marriage — promoting fidelity, providing a tie between children and parents, securing permanence for spouses and their children — polyamory seems particularly harmful. Both traditional polygamy and polyamory promote types of infidelity (though the former is of a more orderly variety), of course, but the chaos of polyamory blurs distinctions of parenthood more significantly than does a setting where a child has an established set of parents and lots of half-siblings. The ethic of “choice” at the root of polyamory does not bode well for permanence either.

As complicated as the day to day existence must be for children in homes with multiple adults acting as “parents,” the breakup of polyamorous relationships would be dramatically more complicated for children. There would be an exponential increase in the possible divisions of a child’s time, of decision-making authority and demands for the child’s loyalty, when the dispute involves three or more people than when only two disputants are involved.

Clearly, when it comes to marriage, the adage “the more the merrier” does not apply.

I should note that research on legalizing polygamy is funded by the government in Canada. The 3 authors of that study are feminists, and like third-wave feminists, they oppose the unequal gender roles inherent in traditional marriage. Studies showing the harm caused by polygamy and polyamory presumably do not receive funding from the government, since those studies would not create domestic-dispute-resolution work for the government’s courts. Traditional marriage is bad for government, because it doesn’t require bigger government agencies, or more social programs. Traditional marriage has to go if government is to continue to expand its power.

At some point, I would expect the government to begin to regard traditional marriages and families with suspicion and distaste.

10 thoughts on “Will Canada add polgygamy and polyamory on top of same-sex marriage?”

  1. Canadian courts may well rule against polygamy and polyamory, because, like same-sex marriage, the rulings will be based on the personal moral views of the judges wielding power, wrapped in high-sounding legal principles, and nothing more.

    So, don’t expect consistency, and don’t expect rulings based on some lofty principle of secular amoral equality, and don’t expect the “arrow” of the ruling in favour of same-sex marriage to necessarily lead anywhere further.

    Judges now exercise arbitrary power in Canada — as they are beginning to do in the USA.


  2. In reading your article I cannot help to see parallels between polygamy/polyamory and a traditional Pacific Island family structure where parents, aunts, uncles and grand parents live communally, all acting as “parents”. They have a strong sense of community, family and faith which does not seem to be affected by such living arrangements.


    1. Huh? Pacific islanders big family is the same as polygamy??? crazy!

      With Pacific islanders, the parents are still parents, the grandparents and uncles are just helping out.

      Disciplines are done by the parents, the fathers are still the providers, often also providing for the aging parents.

      The point of large family living together in culture like Pacific Islander is to look after one another in the family (which is very different than welfare culture that instead rely on government)

      Culture like that also teaches the young to respect the aging. The young sees their fathers and mothers respecting and caring for the grandparents, etc.


      1. It seems that you are not too familiar with how pacific island and Maori families (whanau/aiga) live. Grandparents are often the primary caregivers and the extended families take an active role in the education, discipline and upbringing.


        1. Can you please, please finally understand that when you disagree you have to link some evidence? For all you know, this guy could be a Pacific Islander, and so could I. What is it about atheists that they can make the entire lives on speculations and claims for which they give no evidence? When you make a claim to fact, cite the source and then link the source. Is that so hard? You comments are always just your opinions. And try not to cite people who agree with you – cite a finding of FACT.


          1. Did you think before you typed that I myself could be a pacific islander, which I am. I was born and currently reside in the largest pacific island nation (geography quiz for you).  I deal with families of togan, samoan and maori background on a daily basis, so quite a bit of my knowledge is first hand, rather than easily linked information, however there are a couple below.

            Not sure why you have to descend into unfounded generalizations about atheists (unless you can cite that all or most atheists do this and that this is greater than the general population).  If you generalize then I could say that  atheists are smarter than theists

            Statistics around pacific island family structures link

            20 family case study link


        2. I’m no pacific islander. Although I do come from a culture where it is quite common for extended family to live together.

          My comment was a bit side-tracked, but what I wanted to say was that to compare extended family living together to polygamy is a bit too far. Polygamy is about having more than one spouse.


  3. I’ll be interested to see if this happens in SA, where our president is already a polygamist – and keeps acquiring women.

    We currently have a farce underway, as politicians criticize the practice of having multiple partners and at the same time try not to alienate the president.



  4. Affirming the equality and rights of pederasts would be perfectly in keeping with the court’s doctrine of equality based on sexual orientation.

    Don’t expect to see it though. Court rulings are based on the fact that the ruling judges like homosexuality and dislike pederasty, not some lofty principle like true equality.

    Now that marriage is no longer rooted in human biology and the rights of children, the reaction of many people to whatever the courts decide will be, “whatever”.


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