This reference will test the constitutionality of the section of the Criminal Code that prohibits polygamy. The BCCLA has been granted interested person status and will argue that criminalizing polygamous relationships violates several of the freedoms enshrined in the Charter. While the BCCLA acknowledges that the potential harms emerging from polygamous relationships are very real, our position is that the proper role for the state is to limit these harms by ensuring that children are not abused, that children receive proper education, that property rights are enforced, and most importantly, that all marriages are consensual. The BCCLA is concerned that an attack on polygamy will simply drive it underground, making it even harder for the state to address the real dangers faced by vulnerable members of polygamous families.
The BCCLA is represented by Monique Pongracic-Speier of Schroeder Speier.