Winds of Change on the Charter

In a recent comment on the Inroads Magazine chatline (Queen’s University), Garth Stevenson writes:

“Mea culpa. I have to confess that I supported entrenching a charter of rights and freedoms in the constitution back in the early 1980s. But it has proved to be the worst thing that ever happened to our country, other than two world wars.”

To which Henry Milner replies: “I agree with Garth that the Charter has proven to be a bad idea.”

Why are Stevenson and Milner sounding like the Calgary school? Like Rainer Knopff, Ted Morton, Barry Cooper, et al? The immediate issue before them is the prospect that a charge against the polygamists in British Columbia will fall to the Charter’s freedom of religion clause. I’d say they have in mind as well “a long train of [court] abuses.”

More from Stevenson’s note: “Remember how opponents of ‘same sex marriage’ were ridiculed and denounced by all the usual suspects a few years ago for suggesting that polygamy would be the next item on the agenda? So who turned out to be right? What will come next: ‘marriages’ between humans and animals? Wait and see.”

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1 Response to “Winds of Change on the Charter”


  1. 1 Ted Edwards November 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I love knowing how harshly history is going to judge people who put quotation marks around gay marriage or liken it to man-on-dog love. Marriages between humans and animals? The worst thing that ever happened to our country? What silly, silly things to say.

    Everyone knew that polygamy was going to come up in the future. The question is whether because gays have the right to marry polygamists do too. I suppose that’s an open question, but the religious liberty grounds which will be used by polygamists are very different from the equality rights grounds used by proponents of SSM.

    Personally, I think the protection of equal rights is vitally important. This particular shift on marriage is fantastic for gays and lesbians and their friends and families. It has affected the broader society almost not at all.

    Maybe it’s the same with polygamists, I don’t know, though here a different set of worries applies, the most important of which is whether we want to let peoples’ superstition override law. What’s next, striking down molestation statutes so Christians can do their thing without fear of prosecution?


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