Queen's University

Polygamy B.C. court case

2010-11-29

Queen’s University law professor Bev Baines is available to discuss a B.C. polygamy trial that begins today involving people from a fundamentalist Mormon community. The case will likely legalize polygamy or strengthen the law against multiple marriages.

Professor Baines is a constitutional law expert and head of Queen’s Department of Gender Studies. She believes polygamy should be decriminalized. She believes Canada is a multicultural country, so it seems contrary to the Charter to criminalize people for their marital relationships.

“The law achieves nothing. We’ve had the law on the books since 1892 and we had no prosecutions in the last 60 years aside from a failed attempt last January. We don’t stop polygamy by having a law,” says Prof. Baines, who co-authored a study (commissioned by Status of Women Canada) on using the charter to decrimalize polygamy.

Prof. Baines will have limited availability Monday morning but will be free from 3:30 p.m. onwards.

To arrange an interview, please contact Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca, or Kristyn Wallace at 613.533.6000 ext. 79173 or kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca at News and Media Services, Queen’s University.

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