Should Polygamy be Legal in Canada - Outline and Essay

Should Polygamy be Legal in Canada - Outline and Essay

Thesis: From a social perspective, I disagree with the idea that Polygamy should be legal in Canada because it destroys society order.
I. Some people hold the idea that polygamy should be legal because it is their religious freedom and people should respect it.
A. People have freedom and personal rights to choose their marriage.
B. People’s religion belief should be respected in different countries.
a. In Muslims, Qur’an gives human rights to have wives.
b. Polygamous is similar to same-sex marriage.

II. However, people who against polygamy claim that polygamy is not suitable for Canadian society because it will harm Christian values and make marriage law in disorder.
A. Religions should not be an excuse to support polygamy because different religions have different value.
B. Bigamy will be difficult to be judged.

III. Polygamous marriage will increase social burden because it increases social cost and causes psychological disease.
A. Polygamy creates social problems such as children rear and family relationship.
B. Polygamy may cause mental disease.

Conclusion: polygamy may be proper in some countries because of their religious and culture tradition. However, it is not very rational to push polygamy to be legal in Canada because it will totally make Canadian society in disorder and people lose their family values.

Polygamy Should Not be Legal in Canada
It is common sense that one husband has one wife, but in some religions, it is legal that people can have more than one wife. This law is interesting and it is called polygamy. Polygamy, also called plural marriage means that a woman marries with many husbands at the same time or a man has many wives at the same time. In some religions such as Muslim and Hinduism, polygamy has been existed for a long time and it already became one special feature of their culture, but Canada does not put polygamy in legal. However, in recent years, according to O’Neill, many polygamous marriages gradually become an open secret in Canadian society, thought it is illegal. Therefore, many arguments about the legality about polygamy in Canadian society cause many arguments. From a social perspective, polygamy should not be legal in Canada because it destroys Canadian social order.

People who advocate that polygamy should be legal in Canada claim that it is people’s religion freedom practice and Canadian should respect it and put it to be legal. People have religious liberty and privacy to decide their marriage (Columbia Law Review 1957). Different countries have different religions, so their religions should be respected even if they go to Canadian society. For example in Muslims, people believe the Qur’an gives a man right to have wives, and those wives will be equally treated (Lak). Therefore, when they migrate to Canada, their marriage choices and practice should be respected because of their religious belief. In addition, “polygamy’s proponents liken it to same-sex marriage, urging both as equally legitimate “alternative” lifestyles that should be tolerated and given legal recognition [and] plural marriage is “the next civil rights battle” proclaims” (1957). That means some people hold the idea that polygamy is very similar to same-sex marriage. Since more and more people in different countries began to accept same-sex marriage; they should also be tolerant to polygamy. The reasons is no matter what kinds of forms of marriages are, they are all people’s personal rights and privacy. Canadians often are very generous to give much freedom to their citizens no matter what color they have and what religions they have, so it is not very suffering to accept polygamy to be legal in Canadian society. And it will not hurt Canadian social order.

However, people who against polygamy claim that Canadian does not prohibit people to have polygamous marriage in their own societies, but it cannot be legal in Canadian society because it will erode the social order. Different religions have different values, so people should not take religion as excuse to support polygamy in Canadian society. In some religions, people are allowed to have polygamous marriage, but in Canadian society, most of them are Christian. According to Bible, “God has defined marriage as one man married to one woman,” so Canadians should respect God’s indication and insist monogamy (Hamilton 57). In Canadian society, monogamy is their religious belief. Therefore, it is hard to force Canadian society to give up monogamy marriage and push monogamy in this Christian dominant society. Also, Canadian’s marriage law will be made in disorder due to polygamous relationship. The reason is bigamy will become difficulty to be judged. In monogamy law, when a woman married with another man, without legally divorce, she will be found guilty of bigamy. However, if polygamy is legal in Canada, most people involved into a polygamous marriage, bigamy will be ambiguous to be judged and the social stable will be affected (O’Neil). In addition, Canadian society may be lead to morbid situation by polygamy, such as sexual abusive and discrimination. For example, Zeitzen provides an example to illustrate that many polygamous marriages involve many illegal insufficient age marriages, especial for girls. To be specific, an old man marries with very young girls (3). Sexual abusive is common problem in polygamous marriage and there are no effective ways to protect women’s rights and the society will be lead to sick situation.

Another idea that polygamy should not be legal in Canadian society is that plural marriage will increase social burden. Although Massachusetts passed the homosexual law to be legal, they still insisted that polygamy [was] not legal because they [thought] the good relationships in monogamy contribute[d] the stable community and creates good environment for children. (Hamilton). Although some people claim that polygamous marriage is similar to same-sex marriage and people have rights to choose their marriage, actually they are different. Because same-sex marriage does not cause so many social problems. For instance, homo-sexual marriage does not involve many problems which relates to children and family relationship. However, polygamous marriages cause many social costs (Columbia Law Review, 2025). For example, there are many economic burdens to nurture lots of children in one family and children cannot get equal love and higher education chances from parents. Furthermore, it also increases mental disease, which made the society unstable. “Findings showed that children from polygamous families manifest more mental health problems and social difficulties than their peers from monogamous families and exhibit lower academic achievement and more problematic relationships with their fathers” (Slominm-Nevo and Al-Krenawi 312). In plural marriage, it is hard to protect women and children’s rights because most harm happened in their personal area and other people cannot know it. Also, when those people cannot get better treat, many psychological problems such as depression, personality distortion will developed to harm the society safety.

Polygamy is another practice to explain the word ‘marriage’, and it must be admitted that polygamy has some rational reasons to exist in some countries, because of their religious traditions or social basis , nevertheless, not all the society is suitable to put it legal. When people put this into Canada context, it is not very proper to push polygamy to be legal because it will lead to lots of social problems and destroy Canadian society structure.

Work Cited
Hamilton, Marci. A. God vs. the gravel: religion and the rule of law. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Print.
Lak, Daniel. “Can polygamy be banned?” Web CBC News, 24 Jan, 2011. 13 July, 2011. .
O'Neill T. “If anything goes, why not polygamy?” Report / Newsmagazine (Alberta Edition) [serial on the Internet]. (2001, Sep 24), [cited July 4, 2011]; 28(18): 31. Available from: Academic Search Premier.
“Regulating Polygamy: intimacy, default rules, and barging for equality.” Columbia Law Review 110.8 (2010): 1955-2046. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 July 2011.
Slonim-nevo, Vered and Al-Krenawi, Alean. Success and failure among polygamous families: the experience of wives, husbands, and children. Family Process. FIP, Inc , 2006.
Zeitzen, Miriam Koktvedgaard. Polygamy: A cross-cultural analysis. NY: Berg, 2008.