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BCCLA to argue polygamy law is unconstitutional

Vancouver – On Wednesday, April 13 the BCCLA will argue before the BC Supreme Court that Canada’s anti-polygamy law is unconstitutional. The BCCLA will argue that the law offends fundamental freedoms protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The BCCLA takes the position that individuals should be free to make the life choices they wish so long as those choices do not harm other people and they engage in them with free, informed and full consent. By intruding into adults’ decisions about the form of conjugal relationship that best meets their personal needs and aspirations, the law overextends the reach of the criminal law into individuals’ private lives, intruding into their most private relationships.

The BCCLA has long been concerned about allegations of child abuse and domestic violence sometimes said to be associated with the practice of polygamy. The BCCLA argues that where harms do occur in plural relationships, they warrant treatment no different from the harms that occur in monogamous relationships. Suspected criminal activity should be investigated and, where warranted, prosecuted in accordance with the governing criminal law.

The BCCLA is represented by Monique Pongracic-Speier of Ethos Law Group LLP. The written argument the BCCLA filed in the case is available here>>

What: BC Supreme Court will hear BCCLA’s oral argument in the Polygamy case

When: Hearings begin at 10 am on April 13, 2011. BCCLA will present mid-morning or early afternoon.

Where: BC Supreme Court, Vancouver, BC

Who: Robert Holmes, BCCLA President and Grace Pastine, BCCLA Litigation Director will be available for comment at the numbers listed below.

Robert Holmes, BCCLA President, 604-838-6856
Grace Pastine, BCCLA Litigation Director, 604-630-9751