Same-Sex Marriage Laws Used to Defend Polygamists

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer
As predicted by pro-family groups around the world, same-sex marriage laws are now being used as justification for legalizing polygamy in Canada.

Defense attorneys for two leaders of a controversial polygamist sect from British Columbia, Winston Blackmore, 52 and James Oler, 44, say the legalization of homosexual marriage in Canada gives their clients “a very strong case.”

“If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can’t marry more than one person?” said Blair Suffredine, Mr. Blackmore’s attorney.

Blackmore and Oler were charged on Jan. 6 with one count each of breaking the law banning polygamy. Blackmore, a leader in the religious community of Bountiful in southeastern British Columbia, is accused of having 20 wives. He has reportedly fathered more than 80 children with his numerous wives, some as young as 15 when he allegedly married them.

Oler, a rival leader in the community, is accused of having two wives.

Blackmore’s sect of  an estimated 1,000 members split from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after rejecting Warren Jeffs, the church’s U.S.-based leader, as a prophet. Jeffs then appointed Oler as the leader of the community.

Jeffs was convicted in 2007 of arranging marriages for underage girls and is currently serving 10 years in a Utah state prison.

Same-sex “marriage” advocates have long denied that such a redefinition of marriage could open the door for the legalization of other forms of alternative relationships, including polygamists. However, even Canadian officials have been wary of challenging that assumption and have resisted arresting the men for some time, fearing the ban on polygamy would be struck down on the basis of Canada’s re-definition of marriage.
The trial of Blackmore and Oler is scheduled for Feb. 18 and the verdict will likely decide if the warnings of pro-family advocates may soon be coming to fruition in Canada.

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