The Broads From Bountiful
A delegation from the BC community of Bountiful
has gone to Ottawa to reccomend that the Feds up the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen.
Accepting advice on sexual behaviour from polygamists? Isn't that like taking table manners from Hannibal Lecter
The unreformed Mormon church isn't even legal in Utah. The official line is that polygamy was quietly dumped to avoid the social strains of trying to support several wives on one salary.
This is where Stephen Harper almost
starts to make sense. He claims that if gay marriage is legalized, as I hope and expect it will be this year, then the next thing will be polygamy, then say, NAMBLA
(the North American Man-Boy Love Association) weddings. I have a friend who follows this logic and worries that legalizing gay weddings will lead to people petitioning to marry their pets.
(My gut instinct is "let 'em". Most people treat their pets better than other people anyway, as far as I can tell. And a marriage where "till death do us part" is seven years or so surely has a better chance of sucess.)
But here there be huge logical flaws: Let's dismiss the silliest notions first.
1) Marrying pets: Most importantly in this society (where we discriminate against arranged marriages perfectly acceptable in other times and places) is that an animal is incapable of informed consent to the marriage.
2) NAMBLA: Is essentially a criminal association for paedophiles. This comes back to age of consent and I'll get to that in a minute.
3) Polygamy and polyandrous marriages.Mr. Harper
is trying to class social behaviour with sexual behaviour. Humans are clearly born homo- (and presumably bi-) sexual. There's no rational debate on this point because the only coherent counter-argument is that the Devil makes people pretend to be gay; and like any purely religious argument, it should be ignored in modern jurisprudence.
No-one is born polygamous--that is, no-one is born married to several people. Certainly we all are attracted to more than one person (as far as I can tell this applies equally to males as well as to females) otherwise how would marriage be even possible, given how small a segment of the population of the Earth we meet in a lifetime?
"There was a man who never was.
This tragedy occurred because
his parents, being none too smart
were born ten thousand years apart."
But being unstoppably attracted to people of the same gender is a far cry from being attracted to more than one person. Both are normal sexual
behaviour. The difference is that most modern societies have concluded that the social
part of marriage should be limited to two people. Which appears to stop nobody
Marriage is a choice (unless of course, you're gay, then you have to settle for second place: "civil unions"), and society has decided that while you can choose to get married (unless of course you're gay), you have to live with the consequences of only one marriage at a time.
Being gay isn't a choice.
Legalizing gay marriage would recognize that a certain number of humans are attracted to their own gender. Legalizing polygamy would simply legalize a type of behaviour that all adults feel from time to time, and complicate it by turning perfectly respectable affairs into lifetime mistakes.
One of these things carries a heavy social cost, the other none. Guess which is which?
Personally, I think it might be better if the government cleared out of the bedrooms of the nation entirely and simply decided to recognize only individuals and registered partnerships, rather than something called marriage. But we have decided that in addition to its obvious benefits forcing oneself to pretend to be nearly, or at least comparatively, celibate for one's entire life should carry a consolation prize too--civil recognition.
This may sound odd coming from someone who's considering taking the long walk
himself, but I at least have a choice. On the Age of Consent
I'm opposed to changing it for the same reasons I support gay marriage. It has proven impossible to stop teens from having sex. Our laws account for the fact that a fourteen-year-old may not be giving informed consent by having tight safeguards around who a fourteen-year-old may have sex with. In Canada, if the age gap between you is over three years, and the person on the other end is under 18 or so, you'd better have his or her signature on a consent form.
Why mess with it? Unless we're throwing a bone to the boners