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Canada rules group sex, orgies "legal," can polygamy be far behind??

Old 12-21-05, 05:58 PM
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Canada rules group sex, orgies "legal," can polygamy be far behind??

Hard to see how you can argue polygamy isn't OK if this is.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10561253/
Canadian court lifts ban on ‘swingers’ clubs
Group sex among consenting adults not a threat to society, it says


Updated: 2:33 p.m. ET Dec. 21, 2005
OTTAWA - Group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday as it lifted a ban on so-called “swingers” clubs.

In a ruling that radically changes the way courts determine what poses a threat to the population, the top court threw out the conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have group sex in a private room behind locked doors.

“Consensual conduct behind code-locked doors can hardly be supposed to jeopardize a society as vigorous and tolerant as Canadian society,” said the opinion of the seven-to-two majority, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.


The decision does not affect laws against prostitution because no money changed hands among the adults having sex.

‘Bawdy house’ proprietor's appeal
The court was reviewing an appeal by Jean-Paul Labaye, who ran the L’Orage (Thunderstorm) club. He had been convicted in 1999 of running a “bawdy house” — defined as a place where prostitution or acts of public indecency took place.

Labaye — who is still running L’Orage despite his earlier conviction — said he was relieved, and would now go ahead with a new venture with backing from a group of Florida investors.

“We hope clients will be more calm. This will probably lead the way to a good future,” he told reporters, saying he was looking at adding a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool.

Labaye said he had about 2,000 regular clients who paid around $20 ($17 U.S.) a year for a membership card.

Lawyers for Labaye and the owner of another swingers’ club in Montreal argued that consensual sex among groups of adults behind closed doors was neither indecent or a risk to society.

The Supreme Court judges agreed.

“Criminal indecency or obscenity must rest on actual harm or a significant risk of harm to individuals or society. The Crown failed to establish this essential element of the offense. (Its) case must therefore fail,” McLachlin wrote.

In indecency cases, Canadian courts have traditionally probed whether the acts in question “breached the rules of conduct necessary for the proper functioning of society”. The Supreme Court ruled that from now on, judges should pay more attention to whether society would be actively harmed.

Deviant, maybe, but not dangerous
This seemed to ensure there could be no repeat of Labaye’s original conviction for causing “social harm” by allowing degrading and dehumanizing group sex to take place.

The judges said that just because most Canadians might disapprove of swingers’ clubs, this did not necessarily mean the establishments were socially dangerous.

“The causal link between images of sexuality and anti-social behavior cannot be assumed. Attitudes in themselves are not crimes, however deviant they may be or disgusting they may appear,” the judges said, noting that no one had been pressured to have sex or had paid for sex in the cases the court considered.

“The autonomy and liberty of members of the public was not affected by unwanted confrontation with the sexual activity in question ... only those already disposed to this sort of sexual activity were allowed to participate and watch,” they said.

They also dismissed the idea — raised during Labaye’s original trial — that group sex was dangerous because it could result in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

“Sex that is not indecent can transmit disease while indecent sex might not,” they ruled.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:00 PM
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Hooray! Soon, I will be able to move to Canada and add Alyssa Milano and Traci Lords to my marriage!
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Old 12-21-05, 06:08 PM
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Prostitution, pot, and now orgies.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:11 PM
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One could easily argue that consentual sex is far different from entering a marraige contract with more than one person. Sex without marriage is quite common.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:12 PM
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Hard to see how you can argue polygamy isn't OK if this is.
Why?

po·lyg·a·my ( pə-lĭg ' ə-mē ) n. The condition or practice of having more than
one spouse at one time.


It's not like people go to swinger's clubs because they want to marry each other.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Hard to see how you can argue polygamy isn't OK if this is.
Honestly, I don't see the connection. Really, I don't. What does a sex act between consenting adults (any number of them) have to do with polygamy? Please explain, other than the extremely superficial notion that married people obviously have sex with eachother (i.e. are you implying that people should get married to everyone they have sex with?) I really don't see the cause for concern about legalizing polygamy.

People can and do have sex with other people, with and without being married. Sex does not necessarily equal marriage. I think your slope is way to slippery on this argument.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:25 PM
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What in this statement applies to casual orgy, but doesn't to polygamy?
“Consensual conduct behind code-locked doors can hardly be supposed to jeopardize a society as vigorous and tolerant as Canadian society,”
Can you still make a case polygamy jeopardizes society? Keep in mind there are societies, particularly Islamic, where it is legal and well-accepted. The "lack of jeopardy" was why the ban was overturned.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:31 PM
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Even so, provided it's truly consentual, I can't see the problem with polygamy.

The main trouble I can see with it is not a moral one - where it really gets messy is when you look at the question of inheritance.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:38 PM
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OldDude, surely you know better than to take one sentence from a legal opinion, as reported in a news article, and attempt to extrapolate the entire opinion's reasoning.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
What in this statement applies to casual orgy, but doesn't to polygamy?


Can you still make a case polygamy jeopardizes society? Keep in mind there are societies, particularly Islamic, where it is legal and well-accepted. The "lack of jeopardy" was why the ban was overturned.
Not making a judgement on polgamy, just your question. That statement has nothing to do with marriage. If you feel it does you are comparing apples with oranges since consentual sex among multiple partners does not equate with marrying more than one person.

Never heard of anyone in the US being procecuted for having sex with multiple persons, only with marrying them.

Again, no judgements here.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Hard to see how you can argue polygamy isn't OK if this is.
Is this supposed to be scary, because it really isn't.

Well, maybe for the sancitity-of-marriage-above-all-else-but-we-conveineitly-ignore-the-fifty-percent-divorce-rate people it is.
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Old 12-21-05, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason
Is this supposed to be scary, because it really isn't.

Well, maybe for the sancitity-of-marriage-above-all-else-but-we-conveineitly-ignore-the-fifty-percent-divorce-rate people it is.
Well yeah..but who does that consist of...the southern/old *ahem* dudes of america
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Old 12-21-05, 06:57 PM
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If you have some fundamental core belief that sex is for marriage only, than the Canadian ruling will trouble you.

If you believe that sex between consenting adults can actually be fun (and, perish the thought, even if not married, or God forbid, married to other people), than this ruling is no big deal.

In the 21st century, some people still get bent out of shape about whom other people have sex with behind closed doors? Give me a fucking break.

Oh well, something has to keep the religious conservatives busy.
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Old 12-21-05, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
OldDude, surely you know better than to take one sentence from a legal opinion, as reported in a news article, and attempt to extrapolate the entire opinion's reasoning.
True, if the sentence is not in keeping with the rest of the article. I would argue that all the sound bites are very much the same argument. There is really quite a bit quoted. Not a substitute for reading the whole opinion, of course, but as much as we can glean from a news media article.

Besides, my article has to be a bit of a stretch if it is going to get kvrdave all wound up.
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Old 12-21-05, 08:08 PM
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Can't wait for the "Montreal votes to change its name to Gomorrah" announcement...
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Old 12-21-05, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave7393
In the 21st century, some people still get bent out of shape about whom other people have sex with behind closed doors? Give me a fucking break.

Oh well, something has to keep the religious conservatives busy.
Exactly.

I find it puzzling and irritating that these people can't keep from sticking their noses in every else's business.

As Pierre Trudeau stated:

"The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."
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Old 12-21-05, 08:30 PM
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The full opinion can be found here.

While I have no moral opposition to the legalization of polygamy, I think it does pose logistical issues in terms of trying to apply laws designed around bilateral relationships to multilateral relationships. In terms of whether the Canadian opinion necessarily leads ot the legalization of polygamy, I think there's a difference between the decriminalization of private acts, on the one hand, and state sanction of legal relationships, on the other.
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Old 12-21-05, 09:17 PM
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Consensual sex among adults behind closed doors is a private matter. Poke whoever you want, there's enough HPV for everyone.

Marriage is, among other things, a government enforced legal contract. It's a whole lot more than fucking.
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Old 12-21-05, 10:21 PM
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I have a libertarian view of what goes on behind closed doors. It is a private matter. None of my business and have fun.

However, I still don't understand the rationale for being a proponent for same-sex marriage while being opposed to polygamy.

(I don't believe those that fall in this category do so because of the complicated legal ramifications.)
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Old 12-21-05, 10:40 PM
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I beleive government should get out of the marriage business altogether, but since that seems unlikely, I have no problem with same-sex or polygamy. I do share JasonF's concern with regards to making sure the legal ramifications of more than two spouses are well thought out before implementation.
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Old 12-21-05, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Prostitution, pot, and now orgies.
Add bondage clubs to that list and you'd have one heck of a night.
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Old 12-22-05, 02:23 AM
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The United States Supreme Court ruled that sodomy was legal. Can federally-recognized, nationwide gay marriages be next??
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Old 12-22-05, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
Marriage is, among other things, a government enforced legal contract. It's a whole lot more than fucking.
Sometimes it's a whole lot less.

Polygamy would cause problems in too many other areas of public interest for it to be legalized. For instance, when someone is in the hospital and incapable of making medical decisions, what happens when the multiple spouses disagree on the course of treatment? Do all the spouses count as legal guardians of all the children born to any spouse in that marriage? When one spouse out of many decides to get a divorce, how does the court divide the assets? There are too many legal implications to polygamy which would invite a plethora of litigation.
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Old 12-22-05, 09:01 AM
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Morally, I don't care one way or another about this or polygamy. Legally, however, I'm opposed to polygamy because it would clog an already backed-up court system, which likely means for federal money. You can do what you want behind closed doors, but keep it out of the courts please.
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Old 12-22-05, 09:06 AM
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I'm always amused when American members of this forum get worked up over what our Candadian neighbors are doing. Surely there are bigger issues in the world then a few bilingual gang bangs?
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