Saturday, August 11, 2007

Polygamy -- The New Social Issue?

As I find myself traveling on a Saturday morning (which is unusual for me) I read both the Globe and the National Post (equally unusual) this morning. When I read the Globe I was somewhat irritated to read Margaret Somerville's opinion piece on how polygamy is a necessary consequence of having accepted same-sex marriage. The piece was irritating in that she trots out the old arguments that she effetcively made in her evidence in the same-sex marriage cases (that is, marriage can not be separated from procreative intent) and suggests that the rejection of that in one context leads to the conclusion that polygamy must be accepted. More on that idea in a moment.

What surprised me though was to look at the front page of the National Post and see that they too were carrying an article on the de-criminalization of polygamy. One paper carrying the issue is one thing but two major (for Canada) papers has to make one think that this is actually going to become an issue.

Personally I think this is odd in that unlike the same-sex marriage debate there does not appear to be any substantive issue -- that is except for isolated pockets of cultlike behaviour there does not really seem to be a genuine social issue. That is, the debate that the papers seem to be encouraging looks like a solution in search of an issue.

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