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UNB law lecture to address polygamy and women s rights

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 21, 2015

Category: UNB Fredericton

In a much-anticipated 2011 decision (“Polygamy Reference”), the British Columbia Supreme Court upheld the criminalization of polygamy under s. 293 of Canada's Criminal Code. The hearing followed an unsuccessful attempt by the Attorney General of British Columbia to prosecute two men for polygamy from the fundamentalist Mormon community known as "Bountiful", which failed on procedural grounds. The decision in the Polygamy Reference concluded that while a ban on polygamy infringes upon some individuals' freedom of religion as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this interference was justified.

Angela Campbell from McGill University’s faculty of law will deliver a lecture about the Polygamy Reference’s perception of women who practice polygamy as part of fundamentalist Mormonism. The lecture will take place on Friday, Oct. 23, at 12 p.m. in Room 2B of Ludlow Hall, UNB Fredericton.

The 2011 judgment draws upon what is likely the most expansive collection of evidence pertaining to polygamy.

Professor Campbell will briefly discuss polygamy's roots in early Mormonism and current fundamentalist Mormon doctrine. She will consider how the Polygamy Reference depicts polygamy as harmful to women, especially religious women and provide empirical findings regarding how women understand and experience polygamy. She will conclude by considering the binary image of women: at once victims and offenders, innocent and complicit in relation to the presumed harms and patriarchy of religious practices like polygamy.

This lecture is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Hilary Young

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