B.C.’s Polygamy Case

Some news items of interest in the B.C. polygamy case:

Video testimony offers a glimpse behind the closed doors of polygamy
Former wives and children of polygamy who’ve offered their stories, captured on video by government lawyers, to a landmark case in B.C. to determine whether the federal law barring multiple marriage is in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A judge will decide Tuesday whether the video affidavits can be viewed by the public. The videos have been filed with the court and handed to journalists, who can report on the testimony of each witness, but the Crown has asked the videos themselves be kept off TV and the Internet.

Polygamy falls short of “celestial” promise:
Some of the women to come forward despise it. Polygamy is synonymous with abuse, they say. Mental punishment. Rape and torture. They ran from it and they’ll never go back.

Other women insist they could ask for no better life. Their fulfillment and happiness on Earth and in heaven depend on plural marriage, an arrangement they call godly and “celestial.” They want Canada’s 120-year-old anti-polygamy laws struck down, and they’ve agreed to appear — without being publicly identified — at a constitutional reference case now being heard in B.C. Supreme Court.

Examining polygamy in Canada:
The woman known as “Witness No.8” says she does not understand why polygamy should be illegal, and her court testimony is offering a glimpse into a religious sect that has vexed officials for years.


The Arizona woman is a member of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway sect from the ‘mainstream’ Mormon church based in Utah with an estimated 10,000 members in the United States and Canada.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 22, 2013