New book highlights concerns about polygamy

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To the Editor:

As residents of the Creston Valley who care about the welfare of our children, we would like to bring your attention to a book that will soon be in our local library, A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy, by Craig Jones.

When he was first appointed as lead counsel for the attorney general, he felt that the crimes involved with polygamy, such as child abuse, would be prosecuted in our legal system. This book describes how the author’s own views evolved from skepticism to a committed belief in the campaign against polygamy once he met the witnesses who had been raised in Bountiful.

“This is a remarkable insider’s story of a unique piece of litigation: the first trial-court ‘constitutional reference’ in Canadian history,” says the book’s description by publisher Irwin Law. “Craig Jones, lead counsel for the attorney general of British Columbia, describes the argument he and his colleagues developed against polygamy, drawing from fields as diverse as anthropology, history, economics, and evolutionary psychology. Yet it was ultimately the testimony of real people that showed how the theoretical harms of polygamy’s ‘cruel arithmetic’ played out upon its victims.”

Polygamy in Canada is still illegal because on Nov. 23, 2011, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman ruled that Criminal Code section 293, prohibiting polygamy, is constitutional in that polygamy harms all society, and particularly contravenes the human rights of women and children.

Audrey Vance, co-chair

Altering Destiny Through Education



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