Thursday, January 08, 2009

Canadian Arrests Are Likely Challenge To Canada's Polygamy Laws

Yesterday Canadian authorities arrested two religious leaders in Bountiful, British Columbia on charges of polygamy. AP and the Salt Lake Tribune report on the arrest of Jim Oler, bishop of the town's FLDS community and Winston Blackmore, bishop of a competing polygamous group in the town. Blackmore was expelled from the FLDS church in 2002. Oler is charged with having two wives, while Blackmore is charged with having 20 wives. The National Post says the cases, which do not involve underage wives, is likely to be a test of the constitutionality of Canada's ban on polygamy. British Columbia's Attorneys General have feared that the laws will not survive a challenge under the religious freedom guarantee of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (See prior posting.)