William Gairdner fills us in on the repercussions :
...We need to be reminded that marriage in the West has always been an institution based on four requirements, or qualifications that have provided whatever marital-social stability we used to enjoy. Until recently the law said that anyone is permitted to marry as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex, only one such person at a time, who is not beneath a certain age, and not a close blood relative. That is the four-legged matrimonial chair on which Western Judeo-Christian society has always rested.
But due to the undermining of marriage that results from having removed the gender requirement, the case of open polygamy practiced at Bountiful will not be prosecuted in the confidence that this rational social and moral ground of marriage, this stable structure that has been the very best thing for men, women, children, and for society as a whole for generations, must be upheld. For it as already been trashed.
Instead, polygamy will be prosecuted simply because it is against the current law (Section 293). And polygamy will defended under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a matter of religious right.
When it gets to court, judges will fall back on the question of whether or not one individual right (to religion) does or does not “trump” another individual right (say, a woman’s right). In other words, the process of adjudication in the war over rights will come down, as always, to some judge’s effort to construct a reasonable hierarchy of individual rights. Society, and the greater common good, will be entirely absent from this deliberation...
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