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Heather Has Two Daddies and a Mommy

A Newfoundland court holds (relying on a precedent involving a lesbian couple) that children of polyamorous families may have more than two parents, notwithstanding a statute that would not have allowed this.

From In re C.C., a one-judge decision that was dated April 4, 2018, but seems to have been publicly released only a few weeks ago:

J.M. and J.E. are the two male partners in a polyamorous relationship with C.C., the mother of A., a child born of the three-way relationship in 2017. The relationship has been a stable one and has been ongoing since June 2015. None of the partners in this relationship is married and, while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown....

In the present case, the child, A., has been born into what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment. The fact that the biological certainty of parentage is unknown seems to be the adhesive force which blends the paternal identity of both men as the fathers of A. I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child's point of view....

In relation to the CLA [Children's Law Act, which does not provide for more than two parents], it is safe to say that at the time of its introduction approximately 30 years ago, there was no contemplation of the now complex family relationships that are common and accepted in our society.... [T]he main concern [of the statute] was to bring about equal status for children born inside and outside of marriage.... I am of the opinion that when the CLA was enacted in this Province it was never the intention of the legislature to discriminate against any child but clearly to bring about equal status for all children notwithstanding their parentage

I find on the evidence before me that there is [therefore] a gap in the CLA, which was not intentional but which acts against the best interests of a child born into such a polyamorous relationship as is before the Court. To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests. It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interests of the parents....

To remedy the gap I am issuing a declaration that both J.M. and J.E. are the fathers (parents) of the child, A., born of the polyamorous relationship with C.C., the mother of the child.

The court relied on a 2007 case which similarly found a "gap" in an Ontario statute requiring the parents to be of opposite-sex, and which held that the gap should be filled by allowing two lesbian women to be recognized as a child's mothers.

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  • damikesc||

    Boy, I'm glad that the child is secondary to the needs of the parents here.

    The poor child is fucked over with the incredibly terrible parents she has.

    And yet another gem from a country with a judiciary that feels empowered to just decide that a law is what it says it is. Who needs a legislature when a single lawyer in a robe can divine laws out of thin air.

  • jph12||

    "The poor child is fucked over with the incredibly terrible parents she has."

    The judge seems to disagree.

    "what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment. . . . I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child's point of view...."

  • James Pollock||

    That's because the judge has actual experience with the actual people, instead of just deciding without bothering to learn anything.

  • damikesc||

    Yes, more of the "Eh, what's the worst that can happen" mentality that is a GREAT idea with, you know, children involved.

    My Generation is approaching Baby Boomer level of being epic fuck ups.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    damikesc: I appreciate that you obviously feel strongly about this -- but I don't yet see any specific explanation for why you think this child "is fucked over with the incredibly terrible parents she has."

  • James Pollock||

    "I don't yet see any specific explanation for why you think this child 'is fucked over with the incredibly terrible parents she has.'"

    Because intolerant people who assume it is their business will see to it that the child is fucked over.
    You can see them telegraphing it here in their commentary.

  • ||

    It's one of those things that doesn't need explanation.

  • James Pollock||

    "It's one of those things that doesn't need explanation."

    Because some things are just true no matter what those lying facts and evidence say, dammit!
    People who make choices that are different than the ones I make are just WRONG! and there's nothing they can do about that!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Because it has no explanation.

    "It goes without saying ..."

    "Not to mention ..."

  • Purple Martin||

    This is another of those ARWP comments that make me almost believe he really is a liberal performance artist parodying fringe far-righters. I mean...

    "It's one of those things that doesn't need explanation."

    Is this not the perfect distillation of a leftist view of a fringe rightest philosophy? How could a thoughtful, self-aware observer of the human condition say this other than with a sense of mocking irony?

    Almost...almost...but not quite. No, I'll take ARWP at his word that this really does represent his true-to-itself brand of fervent conservatism.

    But if I'm wrong, and it really is a parody, well, "Well played, Sir!"

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Please explain what possible harm could come to a child from having more than two parents.

  • James Pollock||

    Too many Christmas presents. Affluenza.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Getting enough tickets for games, recitals, science fairs, open houses, etc. . . .

  • Gospace||

    Right after someone explains how a child has more than 2 or less than 2 parents, or how the parents are other than one male and one female.

    There are reasons to trace biological descent. It's how one discovers genetic diseases, or predisposition towards some diseases.

  • James Pollock||

    "Right after someone explains how a child has more than 2 or less than 2 parents"

    I'll do the second part first. The child has a biological father and biological mother. One or both of them dies. This gives the child a total of less than 2 parents.

    Now for the first. There are a couple of possible paths. This is not a complete list.
    A) A child is born, having at the time two parents. One of the parents does not stay with the family. A third adult enters the picture, a marriage follows, and an adoption. Voila! Three parents.
    B) A child is born, having at the time two parents. These parents, not being situated economically to provide for a child, place the child for adoption. The child is adopted by two adoptive parents. This gives a total of four parents.
    C) A child is conceived while Wife (W) is married to Husband (H). Two parents. Later, during divorce proceedings, it is discovered that genetic material for child was contributed by Mailman (M). Three legal parents.
    D) Infertile couple makes use of egg and sperm donors. Four parents.

  • Gospace||

    You're playing semantics. In cases where the mailman delivered the sperm- he's the biological parent and the husband is a cuckold. Biology 101 for humans- two parents, one male, one female. Since it's always obvious who the mother is, and since today DNA testing is cheap, perhaps the state should mandate DNA tests for all newborns, with the option for the husband of instant no fault divorce if the child isn't his. With custody of previously born children at his option with her having no say. She's obviously of low moral character...

    I have a friend who didn't rely on the DNA test. The newborn popped up the wrong color. Moved out that day and started divorce proceedings.

  • James Pollock||

    " Biology 101 for humans- two parents, one male, one female."

    You're not on a biology blog, you're on a legal blog, and at law things get more complex.

    " perhaps the state should mandate DNA tests for all newborns... [list of misogynistic statements]"
    You need to do more analysis on your plan, because as it is, there are some serious flaws.

  • santamonica811||

    True. But don't make perfect the enemy of the good. Your point also argues against adoptions, for instance. (Here, of course, since both dads are in the picture; it will be easy to trace the kid's descent, if disease, illness, injury makes that an issue.)

  • Jon Rowe||

    I don't think we should "make perfect the enemy of the good." So I wouldn't argue against adoptions. But, alas, there is data that shows adoptions are likelier to lead to worse outcomes (regardless of the parenting).

    I would advise adoptions be either all or nothing. Either all of your kids adopted or none. I suspect parents, whether they mean to or not, will relate in a comparatively worse way to their adopted as opposed to biological kids.

  • James Pollock||

    " there is data that shows adoptions are likelier to lead to worse outcomes (regardless of the parenting)."

    Worse than what, exactly?
    Leaving them to fend for themselves in the street?
    Housing them in giant underfunded state-institutions (hint: attachment disorder)
    Leaving it to private charity (which leads to giant underfunded religious institutions plus the fend-for-themselves option)
    Round them up via the services of "child catchers"? (Chitty-chitty-bang-bang).

    What are you comparing to?

  • swood1000||

    Please explain what possible harm could come to a child from having more than two parents.

    Black Lives Matter apparently wants way more than two parents:

    We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and "villages" that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

    Some people believe that a move away from the nuclear family and toward a multitude of care-givers would be detrimental to child development and harmful to the fabric of society. You may disagree. The question should be dealt with democratically.

  • gormadoc||

    I understand your pain. She has three parents who want to make sure that each can take care of them, whereas your two didn't bother. Terrible stuff.

    Remember guys, fatherless homes are bad but two fathers outside of a gay relationship or adoption is also bad. The dose makes the poison? It couldn't possibly be prejudice against people who live differently than ourselves.

  • ||

    No, fatherless homes are bad because children need the nurturing that women and men provide. Men and women are biologically different, and thus have different things to offer to children. A home of two gay "fathers" is a motherless home, which is also bad.

  • James Pollock||

    "Men and women are biologically different, and thus have different things to offer to children."

    Men and women are both of the same species. I'm fairly sure you meant to say that they're anatomically different, which is actually true, but it doesn't support your conclusion, either.

  • jjsaz||

    Umm... No.

    I don't agree with the commenter, however sex is a biological attribute.

    "In humans, biological sex is determined by five factors present at birth: the presence or absence of a Y chromosome (which alone determines the individual's genetic sex), the type of gonads, the sex hormones, the internal reproductive anatomy (such as the uterus in females), and the external genitalia."

    Biologically, men and women are anatomically AND physiologically different.

  • James Pollock||

    There are differences related to conception and gestation. There is commonly, but not universally, a difference related to lactation.

    None of which were implicated here.

  • Careless||

    Yes, those are the only differences between men and women.

    Why make a post so ridiculous that literally everyone who reads it knows it's completely absurd?

  • James Pollock||

    I see that you neglected to provide any examples of an inherent difference between a male parent and female parent that would make any difference in raising a child. I'm sure that was just a temporary oversight on your part.

    Female parents do X, which male parents categorically cannot do.

    Solve for X.

  • Careless||

    Keep pushing the goalposts. Meanwhile men have y chromosomes, and a host of biological characteristics that females don't have. And no, you cannot save your silly claims by saying "but there are a few extreme female outliers!"

  • James Pollock||

    "Keep pushing the goalposts."

    If the goalposts look further away, it's because you're running away from them.

    Men have Y chromosomes, which makes a difference at conception. But after conception, what, exactly, is it that men contribute to child-rearing that women cannot, or vice-versa?

    Female parents do X, which male parents categorically cannot do.

    Solve for X.

  • Careless||

    It's not "cannot", of course, it's "usually don't"

    Remember, I already chided you for your future use of "there are a few extreme female outliers!"

  • James Pollock||

    "Remember, I already chided you for your future use of 'there are a few extreme female outliers!'"

    You're being chided for your present use of "I got nothin'"...

    You haven't managed even one example, yet.

    Thousands and thousands of children have been raised by single parents, and by pairs of same-sex parents. What are they missing that they would have gotten if they'd been raised by a hetero pair?

  • Careless||

    One example? Men are more aggressive than women. Men are stronger than women. Men do more dumb shit than women. Men are more heat-resistant than women. Men like casual sex more than women.

    That took me like 12 seconds.

  • James Pollock||

    "That took me like 12 seconds."

    My own damn fault. I forgot to specify that the things have to actually be true.

  • Careless||

    Thousands and thousands of children have been raised by single parents, and by pairs of same-sex parents. What are they missing that they would have gotten if they'd been raised by a hetero pair?

    I don't know. You tell me. You brought that up. I was calling bullshit on your absurd claims about the sexes being identical.

  • James Pollock||

    "I don't know. You tell me. You brought that up. I was calling bullshit on your absurd claims about the sexes being identical."

    So, you're calling bullshit on my argument by admitting that you don't know any reason why it's not true.

    Interesting strategy. Can't wait to see how that turns out.

  • James Pollock||

    " I was calling bullshit on your absurd claims about the sexes being identical."

    I almost missed this.
    You're "calling bullshit" on my "absurd claims" about the sexes being identical.

    I didn't claim the sexes are identical. I claimed they're both the same species. If that's absurd, there have been some discoveries in the field of biology since I last studied any science.

    What I did actually claim is that the differences between the sexes play a great role in conception and gestation, and after that, not so much. Men are fully capable of raising children to adulthood, women are capable of doing so, and so are groups of varying composition.

    If you want to "call bullshit" on the claim I actually made, you're in kind of a hole already. But by all means, if it makes you feel better, dig away.

  • mpercy||

    X=give birth to (half-)siblings of the original child?

  • James Pollock||

    Right. Except, if you scroll upwards, gestation was already conceded.

    Do you have anything that relates to raising children, or not?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Up until recently, it was normal for one or both parents to die young. There's your normal one- or zero-parent household.

    Then there are the three-biological-parent babies, born from genetic manipulation to eliminate genetic disease. Would you rather these kids had two parents and bad genes?

    I wonder what your views on abortion are? It would be pretty funny if you despise abortion and also hate genetic elimination of bad genes.

  • ||

    I am a huge supporter of abortion when used for fetuses with defects. If we could determine IQ in utero, I'd support selective abortions for those with IQs below 100, on the current scale.

  • James Pollock||

    Wow, half the population, just like that.

    We'll miss you.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Google Sean Astin!! He has 4 dads and he is a successful well adjusted Christian in Hollywood!!

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, there you go. No restraints, except maybe non-humans, for now.

  • Lee Moore||

    One gets a sort of Pauli-esque "not even wrong" feeling from the judgment. It's like wrestling with jello.
    It darts about from begged question to legislative intent discerned via a ouija board. The saddest thing of all is that you get the impression that the judge really thought he was conducting some kind of legal analysis.

  • James Pollock||

    Aw, somebody's feelings got hurt because a judge didn't share their uninformed opinion. How sad.

  • Lee Moore||

    :)

    How's your hunt for a third kind of human sex cell coming along ? You know - the kind that isn't a sperm or an egg ?

  • James Pollock||

    You see... more than a little confused. Medication error?

  • Lee Moore||

    Still feels a bit tender then ?

  • James Pollock||

    If you say so.
    Mind sharing WTF you're going on about?

  • Lee Moore||

    I'm sure you remember :)

  • James Pollock||

    Ah. You're high. OK, never mind then.

  • Jon Rowe||

    LOL. I wouldn't tempt the transhumanists. It's not a matter of "search" but rather a matter of manipulating biotech. That's the irony; Foucault et al. were proven dead wrong in one respect: Human nature exists as an "is" that can't be deconstructed, except with one caveat. And we are currently on the brink of the caveat. You have to be able to change the genome, which we currently can do with CRISPR.

    That's where the deconstructionist/reconstructionist human project will take place along the grounds that Foucault et al. argued was theoretically possible.

    We currently can create fertilized eggs with the genetic material of more than two M-F people.

  • California Right To Carry||

    Freaks.

  • regexp||

    You're just jealous that this child is being raised in a stable household with loving parents. Something you never had.

  • California Right To Carry||

    The freak regexp defends the freaks. Why am I not surprised?

  • James Pollock||

    If "freaks" are people who live in nonmonogamous marriages, they're the majority. Or is it just people who are honest about it who are "freaks"?

  • California Right To Carry||

    Freaks who defend freaks are freaks, James Pollock. They are also morons if they need to have someone explain it to them.

  • James Pollock||

    "Freaks who defend freaks are freaks"

    Interesting theory. So I'm a freak because I support your right to continue your fetishized sexual relationship with your firearms?
    Whatever.

    "They are also morons if they need to have someone explain it to them."
    What about your case, where someone explains it to you, and you still don't get it?

  • California Right To Carry||

    James Pollock - I fully understand that you are both a freak and a moron. What is it exactly that I "don't get"?

  • James Pollock||

    I'll certainly give your worthless opinion the full weight it deserves.

    Oops. I tipped my hand a bit, there.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    James Pollock: "live in nonmonogamous marriages, they're the majority"

    No, that's incorrect. Methodologically sound studies tend to find that 20% or so of men who have been married admit to having strayed sexually at least once, with slightly lower percentages for women.

    So, the so-called "freaks" are reasonably common but far from a majority.

  • James Pollock||

    My own not-in-any-way methodologically-sound experience says 20% is WAY low.

    I suggest that you're not even TRYING to account for serial monogamy, which has the advantage of not requiring people to self-disclose; it's public record.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Freaks.

    A gun nut who is also a stale-thinking, right-wing bigot?

    That was hard to predict.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Freaks.

    A gun nut who is also a stale-thinking, right-wing bigot?

    That was hard to predict.

  • Oli||

    So you're not a libertarian?

  • rsteinmetz||

    I believe polygamy is illegal in Canada and this would qualify under the definition as I understand it, which is not well. With an anti-polygamy law on the books it seems this judge is stepping into totally new territory. This kind of thing was predicted by some during the debate on gay marriage and I don't see how you avoid it.

    Some attack polygamy as causing the abuses of some practitioners including "child marriage' and other things, but that's a matter of consent and cultural norms. Some societies operate generally on arranged marriages and have for a long time.

    I don't see any ethical reason why polygamy shouldn't be legal. But I also think government should get our of the marriage business. Courts should simply settle disputes between individuals as they arise, much as they do in divorce and custody cases which these days often involve unmarried or previously married individuals..

  • Voize of Reazon||

    Nobody is married, that's why the judge writes "polyamory" instead of polygamy.
    Polyamory is not illegal in Canada.

  • rsteinmetz||

    That not quite true. Here's the law:

    Polygamy

    293 (1) Every one who

    (a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into

    (i) any form of polygamy, or

    (ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time,

    whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or

    (b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii),

    is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
    Marginal note:Evidence in case of polygamy

    (2) Where an accused is charged with an offence under this section, no averment or proof of the method by which the alleged relationship was entered into, agreed to or consented to is necessary in the indictment or on the trial of the accused, nor is it necessary on the trial to prove that the persons who are alleged to have entered into the relationship had or intended to have sexual intercourse.

    R.S., c. C-34, s. 257.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    rsteinmetz: " any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time,...whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage"

    So this polyamorous threesome is illegal in Canada? Wow. Makes the judge's decision more interesting.

  • James Pollock||

    The child isn't guilty for the sins of the parents. That's the point of this ruling.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    In 2011 the British Columbia Supreme Court took a reference (i.e., rendered an advisory opinion) on the scope of s. 293 and disagreed with your conclusion. Bauman CJ wrote

    In my view, the concept of "conjugal union" in s. 293 is intended to capture a union which is a marriage. That is made plain by the closing words of ss. 1(a), "whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage". It is also made plain by dictionary meanings of the two words.

    and

    [...] I conclude, "conjugal union" is a term of art and the "union" arises only, as the Attorneys General argue, upon the occurrence of some form of sanctioning event [...]

    as well as

    The offence is not directed at multi-party, unmarried relationships or common law cohabitation, but is directed at both polygyny and polyandry.

    That said, polygamy is a red herring. At issue here are the interests of the child, and the relevant relationships are those the adults have with the child, not with each other.

  • rsteinmetz||

    Except the previous comments left out the wordsv"or constej" which obviously applies to this case.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    Not sure what you meant to say there, but I take it you are sticking to your guns.
    OK, but I'll put my money on a provincial supreme court chief justice being the more reliable authority on Canadian law.

  • James Pollock||

    This case didn't involve the court resolving whether or not the living arrangements of the parents is a lawful one.
    It apparently involved resolving the (legal) parentage of the the child, where the parents have agreed amongst themselves that there are three parents.

  • James Pollock||

    "I believe polygamy is illegal in Canada and this would qualify under the definition as I understand it, which is not well."

    Rape is illegal in Canada, too, but sometimes rapists are parents. Incest is illegal, too, but sometimes produces children.

    "With an anti-polygamy law on the books it seems this judge is stepping into totally new territory."

    It's not as new as you think. We've long had a presumption of paternity for the husband of a woman who produces offspring, but also sometimes there's legal recognition of someone who was not the husband of the woman at the time of delivery. So, there has been a way for a child to wind up with three legal parents... one mother, two fathers. Children who are adopted may have four parents who are legally recognized.

    "This kind of thing was predicted by some during the debate on gay marriage and I don't see how you avoid it."

    This kind of thing WAS predicted during the debate on gay marriage, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with gay marriage. I mean, once upon a time, to be considered "married" all you had to do was consistently tell people you were married, and THAT didn't lead to people marrying their dogs or whatever part of the parade of horribles the anti-gay folks imagined.

  • rsteinmetz||

    Common Law marriage is still legal in a number of states.

    If we agree that any adult may marry any other adult, what is the logical or legal bases for limiting it to two adults? The gay marriage debate pretty much swept all of the possible arguments aside.

  • James Pollock||

    The logical AND the legal basis is the same... that's the way we've always done it, and if you want it different, you need to get a law passed.

    Now, altering the statutes that touch on marriage to refer to "spouses" rather than "husbands" and "wives" is a simple search-and-replace, so fixing the statutory code to allow same-sex marriages is relatively trivial... assuming it was written that way in the first place, which some were not.

    Allowing multiple spouses is MUCH more complicated. A number of rights can be granted automatically to spouses, and that works fine if the number of spouses is either 0 or 1. It gets much more complicated if the number of allowed spouses includes other integers, because now all those rights granted by default to married pairs need to be rewritten to resolve cases where not all spouses are in agreement. This can be done... business partnership law is the obvious outline to work from, but it will be a MUCH more significant overhaul of the statutory codebook.

  • Ben of Houston||

    A more important fact is that this should be done by legislature, not by the courts. Enacting a sweeping and all-affecting change to the law by a single ruling of a single judge is absurd on its face, especially when the plain language of the law goes against this.

  • James Pollock||

    "Enacting a sweeping and all-affecting change to the law by a single ruling"

    We apparently have vastly different understandings of "sweeping" and "all-affecting", since this is a ruling that sweeps up and all affects a total of one person. I don't know how much more the opposite of "sweeping" or "all-affecting" you can get.

  • James Pollock||

    'If we agree that any adult may marry any other adult"

    We don't actually agree on that.
    The three (current) limitations are consanguinity, incapacity, and present state of marriage to another. There's good reasons for all of these limits, though none are inalterable.

  • RoyMo||

    Consanguinity is alterable?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Restrictions on marriage eligibility based on consanguinity are alterable.

  • James Pollock||

    "Restrictions on marriage eligibility based on consanguinity are alterable."

    This, but also what degree of consanguinity is too high for marriage is alterable. Different states already have different standards.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    I've heard it takes a village to raise a child, here is one place the whole village can get credit.

  • Eddy||

    The reformers have their preferred policies, I guess all we need to do is step back and watch the beneficial results pour in.

  • regexp||

    Based on the responses to this article I'm really trying to grasp how reason.com is considered a libertarian news outlet.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    regexp: (1) Volokh Conspiracy authors and readers are not necessarily representative of reason.com authors and readers.

    (2) Volokh Conspiracy commenters are not necessarily representative of Volokh Conspiracy readers.

    (3) Volokh Conspiracy commenters who comment on this thread are not necessarily representative of Volokh Conspiracy commenters generally.

    (4) As best I can tell, there are five commenters before this comment who seem to express some hostility to the judge's decision. Not a lot to generalize from, or find much inconsistency with reason.com as a whole being "considered a libertarian news outlet."

  • Eddy||

    I'm not sure if there's a single "libertarianly correct" response to the government putting its Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on various, ah, domestic arrangements.

    Many commenters at the Hit and Run part of the Reason site were cautiously optimistic about "gay marriage rights" until it became fairly clear that the state was imposing its preference for gay marriage on those who weren't parties to the supposed marriage.

    In short, so long as it could be spun as an issue of "leaving people alone" then there was more support for same-sex marriage. As it developed, it turns out leaving people alone isn't a priority many of the gay marriage supporters and "polyamory" fanciers.

    Specifically, I'm not aware of very many cases where couples (or triples) and ministers were being locked up for performing whatever ceremonies they pleased. There seem to be more cases of compelling third parties to recognize the ceremony and the relationship.

  • Eddy||

    For myself, I've always had a suspicion that (at least for the more militant activists, the ones who rush to court), "leave us alone" was going to morph fairly quickly into "do as we tell you."

    Philosophically, there's no particular reason the "movement" should go that way, but politically speaking, I thought that was what it is ultimately about.

  • ||

    Of course it was, and any conservatives who believed it back in 2003 are suckers.

  • James Pollock||

    Well, conservatives are suckers in general.

    Let's cut taxes! Money will magically appear to balance the budget!

    Let's invade Iraq! We'll be greeted as liberators! It'll all be over in like, 3 weeks, tops.

    And everybody's favorite, Benghazi!

    (Oh, wait, I almost forgot to work Pizzagate into this.)

  • Toranth||

    - Well, after the last tax cut, tax revenues are up over all, so they were right there.
    - The Iraq war in 2003 was over in a few weeks. The ability to screw up attempting to govern a fractious lot of tribe embroiled in millennia of mutual hatred is a different matter.
    - Benghazi was a success for the Republicans. It revealed a conspiracy among Obama and his senior officials to deflect the blame for their own failures onto an innocent civilian. It also revealed the existence of Hillary Clinton's illegal email server, which cost her the election.

    So on the items you chose to list, 'conservatives' aren't suckers, they're correct.

  • James Pollock||

    "So on the items you chose to list, 'conservatives' aren't suckers, they're correct."

    You poor, poor sucker.

  • Toranth||

    An excellent, well thought out argument, with persuasive evidence piled high!

  • James Pollock||

    "An excellent, well thought out argument, with persuasive evidence piled high!"

    You supplied all the evidence needed. It just didn't support the conclusion you thought it did.

    Let's review.

    Premise: Conservatives are generally suckers.
    Evidence: They believe these false things are true
    Evidence: You (by your own statement) believe these things are true.

    Conclusion: You are a sucker.

  • James Pollock||

    QED

  • Toranth||

    Then it should be easy for you to demonstrate that they are false, shouldn't it?
    Fact: Tax revenues are up.
    Fact: Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20th, 2003 and ended on May 1st, 2003 - a few weeks later.
    Fact: The Benghazi investigation uncovered that Obama and Clinton knew that the attack was a preplanned terrorist action, but still went public to blame it on an American film maker. During the investigation of this cover-up, all of Clinton's emails were reviewed and it was discovered that she had exclusively used an illegal private server - as reported by the New York Times in 2015. The investigation in her illegal email server is most likely the final straw that pushed Trump over her in the election.

    Conclusion: On the issues you chose to list, the Republicans were accurate. You are, unsurprisingly, wrong.

  • James Pollock||

    "Fact: Tax revenues are up."

    Neat trick, seeing as how the "tax cuts" (which raised my taxes, BTW) won't take effect until people start filing their taxes under the new tax code.

    Meanwhile, we tried that Laffer curve deal in the 80's, which resulted in... record deficits. They're trying it in Kansas, and they're getting... record shortfalls. On the other hand, the last time the federal budget was in surplus, it was... following a tax increase.

    Fact: People who believe tax cuts lead to revenue increases are suckers.

    "Fact: Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20th, 2003 and ended on May 1st, 2003 - a few weeks later."

    Was the Iraq War over a few weeks later? Were the American forces "greeted as liberators"?

    Fact: Republicans hung a big "Mission Accomplished" banner on a big boat, but the mission remains unaccomplished today.

    Fact: People who believed that the Iraq war would be short or inexpensive are suckers.

    CONT'd

  • James Pollock||

    "Fact: The Benghazi investigation uncovered that Obama and Clinton knew that the attack was a preplanned terrorist action, but still went public to blame it on an American film maker."

    That first part is a fact. That second part is not. You're confusing the attack on the consulate in Libya with the attack on the embassy in Egypt.

    "it was discovered that she had exclusively used an illegal private server"

    It's not illegal to use a private email server. They used private email servers in the W administration, and they use private email servers in the Trump administration.

    The "smoking guns" of Benghazi turned out to be that A) the guy running the show in Libya overestimated the value of his popularity with Libyans. (The terrorists brought in people from outside Libya to carry out the attack), and B) As a result of A, they didn't have enough security, either in terms of the building or the manpower, to defend against terrorist attack.

    Benghazi! is a big nothing-burger.

    So, to recap (again)
    Premise: Conservatives are generally suckers.
    Evidence: They believe these false things are true
    Evidence: You (by your own statement) believe these things are true.

    Conclusion: You are a sucker.
    QED

  • FlameCCT||

    LMAO! Poor Jimmy doesn't have a clue, let alone a "fact".

    "Fact: Republicans hung a big "Mission Accomplished" banner on a big boat, but the mission remains unaccomplished today."

    Truly sad that you twist a fact into a big lie.

    Bush stated at the time "Our mission continues" and "We have difficult work to do in Iraq," he also stated that it was the end to major combat operations in Iraq. Bush never uttered the phrase "Mission Accomplished..."

    It was the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln, not Republicans, that hung the Mission Accomplished banner just like almost all returning military units hang up as THEIR Mission was Accomplished and they returned home.

    I almost pity people like little Jimmy, almost.

  • James Pollock||

    "I almost pity people like little Jimmy, almost."

    Yeah, that guy's an idiot, whoever HE is. Meanwhile:

    "Bush stated at the time 'Our mission continues' and 'We have difficult work to do in Iraq,'"

    Which was NOT the message going INTO the war, where they claimed the war would be over within a couple of weeks, and we'd be "greeted as liberators".

    We were not "greeted as liberators" and the war was not over in a couple of weeks. You're not claiming the Iraq War was over in a couple of weeks, are you?

    " he also stated that it was the end to major combat operations in Iraq."
    He stated lots of things that turned out to be untrue. But the suckers believed them long enough to get us into the war, and that's all that mattered.

    "It was the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln, not Republicans, that hung the Mission Accomplished banner just like almost all returning military units hang up as THEIR Mission was Accomplished and they returned home."

    Sure. Just like all the other ships returning to port hang up their "Mission Accomplished" banners. Or is it just the ones where the President plans to speak from the flight deck? It's definitely one of those two things.

    You're a sucker, too, but also an idiot.

  • James Pollock||

    "I'm not sure if there's a single "libertarianly correct" response to the government putting its Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on various, ah, domestic arrangements."

    That isn't what happened here, though. The judge just finds that in this particular family grouping, the best interests of THIS child are served by acknowledging that there's three parents. Now, if that changes, they can still go on Maury and find out whose genetic materials are in the kid.

    The notion that adoptive parents are "real" parents is not a new one.

  • Eddy||

    I haven't had the pleasure of meeting the family, so I don't know why they want a court order ratifying their arrangements. Were outside parties threatening to break the family up if they didn't get a government seal of approval for their domestic arrangements? With or without a court order, I hope the kid gets through this social experiment and thrives in life - plenty of people have unconventional upbringings but manage fine.

    But what happens when the next polyamorous group comes along? Will they go after the bakers, florists, tour operators, bed-and-breakfast owners, etc., etc., who object to their relationship? If we're talking about the kids, will anyone think of the children of these small business people whose parents are financially hit for following their conscience? Will these kids learn that conscience is an unnecessary luxury?

  • James Pollock||

    "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting the family"

    But the judge did. I'm also going to go out on a limb and guess that the judge has legal training (although the road to bar admission is different in Canada) sufficient to understand the legal aspects of the decision.

    So, absent any other information, I'm assuming that the judge applied the law to the facts of this case and produced a correct solution. Now, it's possible that there are more than one correct solutions, and I am NOT assuming that this is necessarily the best solution. But there's nothing (outside of pre-existing bias) that could lead someone to believing that this is an incorrect result.

    I'd bet that at least 50% of the people who are opposed are opposed without any knowledge of fact or law that would support a conclusion that this ruling is incorrect. It's just not the ruling that fits with their own preference(s).

  • Eddy||

    I'll assume that the judge's legal analysis is absolutely correct, including this part:

    "There is little doubt that the legislation in this Province has not addressed the circumstance of a polyamorous family relationship as is before this court and that what is contemplated by the CLA is that there be one male and one female person acting in the role of parents to the child."

    I'll likewise assume that the judge, based on truly vast legal training, was able to explain why this law was inapplicable, outdated, polyphobic, and generally void and of no effect.

    So I'll confine my remarks to the law actually written by this Canadian province, as authoritatively expounded by the learned judge who properly cast aside naive literalism in order to work a higher justice.

    Would it be wrong for the legislature to pass a law saying "there shall be one male and one female person acting as parents to the child, and this time we mean it"?

  • James Pollock||

    "Would it be wrong for the legislature to pass a law saying 'there shall be one male and one female person acting as parents to the child, and this time we mean it'?"

    Uh, yeah, it really would.
    Also if they passed a law that said "there are no poor people in this province" or "All people who are addicted to drugs at the time of this law's passage are hereby not addicted to any drug, we mean it this time".

    If your legislators write a law that doesn't reflect reality, then the judges who have to apply that law to actual facts get to invent the part of the law that wasn't written down, to cover the situation that wasn't contemplated in the original.

  • Eddy||

    So Canadian judges are like U. S. judges, grooving to the penumbras and emanations, man!

    If it feels good, legislate it!

  • James Pollock||

    Yes, judges have to apply laws to facts, and the fit isn't always nice and clean and simple. In fact, the judges get involved pretty much only to the cases where it isn't.

  • Eddy||

    I wonder why legislative bodies even go to the trouble of adopting written statutes, rather than simply trusting judges to do the right thing.

  • James Pollock||

    It gives them something to do. Heck, we just had the Senate vote, officially, on whether or not the President can impose tariffs in the way he has been, and has stated the intention of doing in the future. They said no, by a more than 8:1 margin..

    In the form of a nonbinding resolution.

  • Eddy||

    Interesting.

    So statutes regarding family law are similarly nonbinding?

  • James Pollock||

    You still high?

  • James Pollock||

    "So statutes regarding family law are similarly nonbinding?"

    I thought you were making random associations. But I see where you were going, now.

    Yes, any statutes passed by the U.S. Senate would, in fact, be nonbinding upon a Canadian family law court.

  • Eddy||

    Really? You suggest that family-law statutes are comparable to a nonbinding Senate resolution, and you profess not to recognize the implications of what you're saying?

  • James Pollock||

    "You suggest that family-law statutes are comparable to a nonbinding Senate resolution"

    Uh, no.
    Please stop conflating the things I said, with the weird stuff you'd prefer to argue against but nobody said.

  • Eddy||

    You brought up the nonbinding Senate resolution.

  • James Pollock||

    "You brought up the nonbinding Senate resolution."

    And you subsequently imagined that I "suggested that family-law statutes are comparable to a nonbinding Senate resolution.

    Please stop conflating the things I said, with the weird stuff you'd prefer to argue against but nobody said.

  • Eddy||

    I have no way of knowing what you were subjectively thinking when you posted, only what you said:

    ME: "I wonder why legislative bodies even go to the trouble of adopting written statutes, rather than simply trusting judges to do the right thing."

    YOU: "It gives them something to do. Heck, we just had the Senate vote, officially, on whether or not the President can impose tariffs in the way he has been, and has stated the intention of doing in the future. They said no, by a more than 8:1 margin..

    "In the form of a nonbinding resolution."

    I suppose you want to give your remarks a living meaning, while, foolishly, I persist in attempting to apply the literal meaning of the words you post.

    But don't worry, I will quit being so literal about what you say, now that I know the literal meaning doesn't apply.

  • James Pollock||

    "But don't worry, I will quit being so literal about what you say, now that I know the literal meaning doesn't apply."

    Please stop conflating the things I said, with the weird stuff you'd prefer to argue against but nobody said.

    Apparently repeating the request isn't working, because you can't figure out what it means.

    It means you should stick to arguing against the things I actually wrote, and you should do that INSTEAD OF what you've been doing, which is arguing against the things you imagined I wrote.

    Quoting me not saying what you imagined I said doesn't help your cause, it just shows that I didn't write what you want to argue against.

    I get that trolls gotta troll. Go troll someone else.

  • EscherEnigma||

    [...] until it became fairly clear that the state was imposing its preference for gay marriage on those who weren't parties to the supposed marriage.


    I believe you mean "until they confused marriage and non-discrimination laws". As many states prove, you can allow gay marriage and not include sexual orientation or gender identity in the state's non-discrimination laws. Similarly, most of the non-discrimination cases (including the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop) didn't involve legal marriages.

    When you confuse the two you reveal yourself to either (A) be ignorant, or (B) malicious.

  • James Pollock||

    Yes, it's a small sample size. But the small sample available thus far don't seem to be very libertarian. (Of course, the overriding characteristic of libertarians is that they don't agree about much of anything, including specifically what it means to be "libertarian", so that isn't a complete surprise.)

  • Eugene Volokh||

    Indeed. The Volokh Conspiracy has never been solidly libertarian -- some of our authors are pretty solidly libertarian, some are conservative, some are moderate, and some are a mix (I suppose I'm a libertarianish conservative). Many of our commenters have therefore been conservative, though many have been libertarian, many liberal, and many moderate. And on top of that, my sense is that posts about court decisions often (not always, but often) disproportionately draw comments from people who sharply disagree with the decision than those who think it's sound.

    So of course the sample so far isn't that libertarian -- my point was simply that it has little to do with the characteristics of reason.com as a "libertarian news outlet."

  • James Pollock||

    Plus, of course, actual live people tend to have opinions that are libertarian in some areas, conservative in some areas, liberal in some areas, and indifferent in some others. And they sometimes change over time (gasp!)

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You know what they say. "If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain".

    People tend to evolve over time in their ideology in response to experience, unless they're true fanatics. And I can say personally that having a kid does make you much, much more conservative.

  • James Pollock||

    " I can say personally that having a kid does make you much, much more conservative."

    Not so much, here.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If you want Ted Cruz-style libertarianism, this is the place to be!

  • An Innocent Man||

    It's a Saturday. Real libertarians are drunk and high, not online discussing the nuances of esoteric Canadian parenting laws. Only us freaks.

  • perlchpr||

    Hey!

    I am all three drunk, high, and reading reason.

    Holy fuck I'm a loser.

  • Morbo||

    Not sure how this is all that much different than a regular divorced couple, except for the existance of an amourous relationship between all of the parties instead of just two...

    E.g. Woman A marries Man B, has a child, divorces Man B and marries Man C. Man B continues share custody of the child, and Man C also establishes a parental relationship with the child. In that case, the child would also have two daddies and a mother.

  • Eddy||

    If you like the divorce laws, you'll *love* the polyamory movement!

  • James Pollock||

    If you like taking a voyeuristic interest in other people's sexual activities, you'll *love* the polyamory movement even more!

  • Eddy||

    So if someone asks me to give their relationship a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and I decline, I'm being voyeuristic?

  • James Pollock||

    Are you "Good Housekeeping" magazine?
    No?
    Then that's none of your business, either.

  • Eddy||

    We're all posting comments in an article headlined "Heather Has Two Daddies and a Mommy."

    And you're commenting on the article, I suppose, in order to show how it's nobody's business (except yours and the good prof who posted the article).

  • James Pollock||

    I don't expect anyone to take my word for it. That's why my opinions are followed by facts which (I believe) lead to the conclusion I've reached. Maybe you think facts are important. Maybe you're too attached to your own conclusions to bother following along.

    It may be fun to speculate on the sex lives of other people. All the naughty, naughty things they're doing that we wish we were doing, or all the horrible, awful things they might be doing that we would never ever do. Sometimes both at the same time.

    But they're still none of MY business until the point where one or more people have invited me to join in.

  • Eddy||

    "It may be fun to speculate on the sex lives of other people."

    Like here?

  • James Pollock||

    You've got to learn to keep reading all the way to the end.

    When you answer just the reductio ad absurdem, and don't notice that it's pointed at your own argument, it makes you look sillier.

  • Eddy||

    At least I can spell "reductio ad absurdum."

  • James Pollock||

    whoop de friggen do.

  • santamonica811||

    Canada: Come for the poutine; stay for the extended family households!

  • Longtobefree||

    The big difference is that there is no marriage.
    The court is establishing parent-child responsibilities and relationships. The court said nothing about any combination or permutation of marriage.
    It would be logical that Canada has laws for the protection of children that place burdens on "parents", and now those relationships are established. Basically this ruling adds the non-biological-father male as a "parent" of the child, providing three sources of presumed financial and care responsibilities.
    Most of the "problems" with marriages other than the conventional man-woman is based on financial implications in the tax code, healthcare decisions, and other laws like inheritance.

  • James Pollock||

    More specifically, Canada apparently has a law that expressly declines to differentiate between children born to married parents and children born to unmarried parents, because saddling the kid with that baggage is unfair... the kid didn't have anything to do with the circumstances of their birth. That law didn't take into account an unmarried "couple" that has three people in it. So the judge said "this law exists to destigmatize the children of unmarried parents, and this child has unmarried parents, so the law should be applied to it even though it doesn't specifically explain how it would apply within the text.

  • Harvey Mosley||

    We don't agree on much but we do agree on this. My first reaction was that this decision appeared to be bad law to get a good result. But your explanation makes me think that it might not be bad law.

  • FlameCCT||

    Not legally and if Man C pushes to replace Man B then the child (once older) will quite often reject both Man C & Woman A.

  • jhfenton||

    I read the ruling, and I don't see any glaring problems with it. I have no idea of the legitimate scope of the parens patriae doctrine in a case like this under Canadian law, but I have no problem with the ruling from a public policy standpoint. Just as with same-sex parental adoptions under U.S. state laws where it wasn't traditionally permitted, it makes sense to me for the law to provide for stability and a legal stake in parenting for all of the de facto parents involved.

  • AmosArch||

    As usual the logic here seems to be they say they're a loving family so I'll take their word for it.

    So I've said it before and I'll say it again, if this is going to be our guiding principle why do we arbitrarily pick and choose where to apply it? If the polygamist says he's happy with his 10 wives and they agree what are we doing bothering them? If a cult member wants to marry an underage girl and they say they're wild for each other..who are we to try to stop love? If someone wants to have a relationship with their dog and the dog appears to be happy from all the available evidence,who are we to discriminate against them just because the dog can't speak english? Theres probably just as little statistically rigorous study against all these things as there is for the OP. But I'm reasonably sure a lot of the people pushing 3 parent and lesbian families wouldn't be comfortable with these things.

  • ||

    I also haven't found the requirement that the parties be "consenting adults" to be particularly compelling. Drawing the line at some arbitrary age is just as arbitrary as drawing it with respect to gender or number.

  • AmosArch||

    If you can effectively switch your sex via the orwellian substitute of switching your gender and society agrees that everybody be forced to treat it as a scientific fact. There is absolutely no logic why you couldn't change your age to date high school girls or change your race to go after black only scholarships. According to the current thinking, not only should you not be punished legally for it, its something that should be celebrated with parades, and celebrity tweets, and inclusive corporate commercials.

  • ||

    Exactly. Their goal is the destruction of the West.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Drawing the line at some arbitrary age is just as arbitrary as drawing it with respect to gender or number."

    This is true. However, there is a point at which to draw the line which is somewhat age related and would not be arbitrary. Puberty.

  • ||

    That is more rational than the current system.

  • James Pollock||

    The current system is entirely rational. It's wrong, but it's rational.

    Children are not born with judgment; they learn it as they age to maturity. Different children achieve good judgment at different ages, however. So if we want to prosecute someone for having sexual relations with a person who is not yet capable of deciding this for themselves, we would have to conduct a great deal of inquiry into the actual maturity of the actual alleged victim, which is time-consuming and prone to error. It's what prosecutors have to do with regard to cases of rape of incapacitated adults.

    So, we'll give the prosecutor a shortcut. We'll just set a specific age, and say that anyone below that age categorically is incapable of deciding for themselves whether or not to have sex. It's really, really easy to prove age. Identify the victim, produce a birth certificate or other official document that settles the age question, and poof! The hard part of the prosecution is done. Now we don't have to try and examine the actual person's actual capacity at the time of the alleged criminal act(s)... we just need a calendar.

  • AmosArch||

    Yo Neanderthal. Puberty isn't a binary before and after thing. People exist on a spectrum of puberty so your argument is invalid. Bill Nye the Science Guy agrees with me and since he has science in his name you know he's right. #GETWITHTHETIMES

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Bill Nye wouldn't recognize real science if it bit him in the ass.

    Puberty may not be instantaneous, but before, during, after do have clear biological boundaries.

  • James Pollock||

    Bill Nye is an engineer.

    BEFORE he was the Science Guy, a different character he played on the same show was "Speed Walker", the superhero who fights crime and injustice will adhering at all times to the rules and regulations of the international race-walking association.
    Do a YouTube search for "speed walker almost live". The segments are about 5 minutes long.

  • James Pollock||

    " If the polygamist says he's happy with his 10 wives and they agree what are we doing bothering them?"

    In actual fact, a good many polygamists remain unbothered.
    If you're talking about a religious ceremony, the First Amendment probably supports it in the U.S. The fact is that religious organizations are free to recognize marriages differently than does the state, and some do.
    There are some reasons to target SOME of these polygamist groups... whether that justifies targeting all of them is a value judgment, which different people will solve differently.
    So, for example, one common arrangement is that a polygamous family will consist of one patriarch and several wives, with one legal marriage and whole lot of extra, "legally" single people who live in the house. The kids in the "unofficial" marriages file for welfare, and get supported by taxpayers.
    When there's a whole community of polygamists, you run into the problem that the young women, upon reaching sexual maturity, are married to elders and become junior wives. The young men... lack companionship, and are often forcibly ejected from the community, effectively without family networks.

    The problem is that polygamists tend to gravitate to the one dude, many wives model, without a corresponding group of one woman, many husbands polygamists to even things up.

  • AmosArch||

    Do you think the guys at Stonewall were satisfied that most gay people were generally left unbothered to the point that establishments that catered specifically to them were around operating semiofficially even in the dark ages of the 50s and 60s? The utilitarian arguments fall flat too since the common approach is to outright reject if they cannot be turned around when dealing with all the things progressives are in love with. For example,practical arguments could be made to force single women into marriage and outlaw abortion and contraception in countries with falling youth populations. But you won't have many feminists finding their pragmatic side if you bring this up.

  • Eddy||

    "The young men... lack companionship, and are often forcibly ejected from the community, effectively without family networks."

    Then they'll have an opportunity to seek their fortune in a more traditional (or *less* traditional, from their point of view) community.

    Don't subsidize or lock up the polys, only step in if there's some actual danger to children, otherwise let them sort things out themselves.

  • James Pollock||

    "Then they'll have an opportunity to seek their fortune in a more traditional (or *less* traditional, from their point of view) community"

    Sure. But how? In the more common arrangement, young men continue to live in their parents' homes until they are self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency doesn't magically materialize, you need work clothes, and a place to change into them, and a way to get from there to work and back again.
    (Orphans and others raised in state care often have the same problem... they age out of foster care but have no resources for self-sufficiency.)

    "Don't subsidize or lock up the polys, only step in if there's some actual danger to children, otherwise let them sort things out themselves."

    Had you read the whole comment, you would have encountered:

    "There are some reasons to target SOME of these polygamist groups... whether that justifies targeting all of them is a value judgment, which different people will solve differently."

    I'm fairly solidly in the "not my business" side unless there's evidence of abuse.

  • Eddy||

    "There are some reasons to target SOME of these polygamist groups... whether that justifies targeting all of them is a value judgment, which different people will solve differently."

    So you're from Good Housekeeping, too?

  • James Pollock||

    Ah. You're high. Never mind, then.

  • Eddy||

    I don't see how your interest in polyamorist sex lives is any more wholesome than anyone else's.

  • James Pollock||

    The "I know you are, but what am I?" defense?

    OK then.

  • Eddy||

    You have shown a great deal of attention to the activities of polyamorists. In your defense, that was the subject of this post.

    You also expressed some reservations about the behavior of some polyamorists.

    Yet it seems you want to believe that it's *other people* who have an unseemly interest in polyamorist behavior.

    I spoke to what the government ought to do with polyamorists, which is generally leave them alone unless they're clearly violating the rights of others (eg, children).

    I also suggested the government should not be promoting or recognizing the various permutations of polygamy.

    Such recognition, if we follow the precedent of same-sex marriage, generally involves telling third parties they must recognize all relationships the government recognizes. Whether you're a baker, tour operator, bed and breakfast operator, florist, etc. And it doesn't matter whether there are other businesses who are willing to serve the polys, there will be poly activists demanding the right to forces specific business to give them service.

    We're already seeing certain hip jurisdictions, like Seattle, forbid discrimination based on politics. Which is suppose is the logical next step if you're *truly* against discrimination.

  • James Pollock||

    "You have shown a great deal of attention to the activities of polyamorists"

    No, I haven't.

    "You also expressed some reservations about the behavior of some polyamorists."

    No, I haven't.

    "Yet it seems you want to believe that it's 'other people' who have an unseemly interest in polyamorist behavior."

    OK. This one is true.

    "Such recognition, if we follow the precedent of same-sex marriage, generally involves telling third parties they must recognize all relationships the government recognizes"

    Not so much, no.

    "We're already seeing certain hip jurisdictions, like Seattle, forbid discrimination based on politics"
    EEK!

  • Eddy||

    "There are some reasons to target SOME of these polygamist groups... whether that justifies targeting all of them is a value judgment, which different people will solve differently.

    "So, for example, one common arrangement is that a polygamous family will consist of one patriarch and several wives" etc.

    "EEK!"

    Should a baker be required to bake the local Klan a cake (kake?). Refusing to do so based on the Klan's politics would be discriminatory, you know.

  • Eddy||

    ""Discrimination" means any conduct, whether by single act or as part of a practice, the effect of which is to adversely affect or differentiate between or among individuals or groups of individuals, because of...political ideology.... "Discrimination" includes harassment, such as racial and sexual harassment, as well as harassment based on other protected classes."

  • Eddy||

    ""Political ideology" means any idea or belief, or coordinated body of ideas or beliefs, relating to the purpose, conduct, organization, function or basis of government and related institutions and activities, whether or not characteristic of any political party or group. This term includes membership in a political party or group and includes conduct, reasonably related to political ideology, which does not cause substantial and material disruption of the property rights of the provider of a place of public accommodation."

  • Eddy||

    "It is an unfair practice for any person to discriminate in a place of public accommodation by:

    "...3. Denying, directly or indirectly, the full enjoyment of any available goods, services, accommodations, facilities, privileges or advantages..."

  • Eddy||

    ""Place of public accommodation" includes, but is not limited to...retail establishments..."

  • James Pollock||

    TL/DR

    What was the point? Was there one?

  • Eddy||

    1) Quoting you saying the kind of stuff you said you didn't say.

    2) Replying to your "EEK" when I mentioned laws against political discrimination.

    Which I suppose is your way to avoid awkward discussions about forcing bakers to bake for the Klan.

    Which you seem to support.

  • James Pollock||

    "1) Quoting you saying the kind of stuff you said you didn't say."

    Correction. You're quoting me not saying the stuff you imagined I did.

    "2) Replying to your "EEK" when I mentioned laws against political discrimination."

    EEEK! (Note. There's one more "E" this time.)

    "Which I suppose is your way to avoid awkward discussions about forcing bakers to bake for the Klan."

    Why are you so interested in bakers and their customers? It's more than a little bit off-topic, wouldn't you say?

    "Which you seem to support."
    You picked that up from 3 letters and a punctuation mark? You're SURE you're not projecting?

    Here's my actual opinion: If you object to baking cakes in exchange for money, then you shouldn't start or join a business, open to the public, wherein you offer to bake cakes in exchange for money.

  • Eddy||

    "Why are you so interested in bakers and their customers? It's more than a little bit off-topic, wouldn't you say?"

    I didn't link those topics, the advocates of alternative lifestyles did. As you know.

    "If you object to baking cakes in exchange for money, then you shouldn't start or join a business, open to the public, wherein you offer to bake cakes in exchange for money."

    So if you're open to the public and the Klan offers you money to bake for their Klambake, you have to do as they tell you?

  • James Pollock||

    "I didn't link those topics, the advocates of alternative lifestyles did. As you know."

    Well, the posts are appearing under your name, so you can see why I thought it was you.

    "So if you're open to the public and the Klan offers you money to bake for their Klambake, you have to do as they tell you?"

    Case in point.
    Will you continue arguing that it isn't you who keeps bringing this up, when you bring it up AGAIN in the same comment where you're saying it isn't you who keeps bringing it up?

    I don't want to bake cakes for the Klan, so I don't advertise my services as a baker nor maintain premises where people can select from the cakes I've baked. Now, if DID want to bake cakes for the Klan, or the ACLU, or the NFLPA, or I was entirely neutral to the prospect, then I would do those things... advertise my services, and maintain premises for the purpose... and those organizations would know that I was at least neutral about baking them a cake from the fact that I was offering to bake cakes.

  • Eddy||

    Your answer is fairly confusing.

    We've seen what happens when the government gives its official approval to alternative lifestyles (as opposed to leaving the practitioners alone). Compulsory cakes are part of the package.

    Should the government compel bakers to bake for gay weddings? Should it compel them to bake for the Klan?

    Or let me put it this way, is there any principled distinction between the two situations other than "the Klan is icky"?

  • Eddy||

    "Will you continue arguing that it isn't you who keeps bringing this up, when you bring it up AGAIN in the same comment where you're saying it isn't you who keeps bringing it up?"

    That's a nice creative restatement. Of course I brought it up, because the advocates of alternate lifestyles have linked government recognition to coercing private businesses. If you want government recognition but deny that it will coerce private businesses, you need to find a way to distinguish the recognition you seek from other cases where it *has* led to that result.

    "if you think that you can think about a thing inextricably linked to something else without thinking of the thing it is attached to, then you have a legal mind." - Attributed to Thomas Reed Powell

  • James Pollock||

    I see you've abandoned the "it isn't ME who keeps bringing this up" line, while keeping the "I'm going to keep bringing this up" element.

    Since you'd prefer to talk to yourself, anyway, I'm going to let you do that.

    "Let them eat cake!"
    --Marie Antionette

  • Eddy||

    "I see you've abandoned the "it isn't ME who keeps bringing this up" line"

    I see you enjoy creatively rewriting my remarks.

    "abandoned" = never held in the first place - I said the *linkage* of the subjects was due to alternate-lifestyle activists, so I discussed that linkage, to your apparent embarrassment.

  • Eddy||

    And you have cause to be embarrassed, because your principles lead to compulsory Klambakes - but when you realized that implication you found a reason to drop the subject.

  • James Pollock||

    This apparently needs saying again.

    Please stop conflating the things I said, with the weird stuff you'd prefer to argue against but nobody said.

  • Eddy||

    No, you're thinking of you.

    What I'm arguing against is this:

    "If you object to baking cakes in exchange for money, then you shouldn't start or join a business, open to the public, wherein you offer to bake cakes in exchange for money."

    Even if you want to make money from selling things, you should still be entitled to be selective in whom you sell things to.

    Your principle allows no exceptions for people who want to bake for the Kiwanis but not for the Klan. Apparently it's all or nothing.

  • Eddy||

    Really, all you have to say is "a business person, even a business person who SELLS things for MONEY, has every right to refuse to sell to the Klan." Period.

    Just say that, and I'll cheerfully acknowledge I misunderstood you.

  • James Pollock||

    This apparently needs saying again.

    Please stop conflating the things I said, with the weird stuff you'd prefer to argue against but nobody said.

    In fact, just leave me out of the argument you'd like to have with yourself, entirely.

  • Eddy||

    I'll just let you have the last word, by quoting your eloquent words in defense of forced association:

    "If you object to baking cakes in exchange for money, then you shouldn't start or join a business, open to the public, wherein you offer to bake cakes in exchange for money."

    and again:

    "I don't want to bake cakes for the Klan, so I don't advertise my services as a baker nor maintain premises where people can select from the cakes I've baked. Now, if DID want to bake cakes for the Klan, or the ACLU, or the NFLPA, or I was entirely neutral to the prospect, then I would do those things... advertise my services, and maintain premises for the purpose... and those organizations would know that I was at least neutral about baking them a cake from the fact that I was offering to bake cakes."

  • James Pollock||

    If you'll stop wearing your Klan robes into the bakery, they'll sell you a cake.

  • ReaderY||

    You mean polyandrists? Gametes are female; polygamy involves multiple gametes.

  • James Pollock||

    In English, the words mean something other than what you think they do.

  • Krayt||

    ===polygamy involves multiple gametes.===

    So what a lonely boy does on Saturday night is monogamy?

  • Voize of Reazon||

    Both sperm and egg are gametes. The Greek root of the word means "marriage".

    Fun fact: in humans the sperm determines whether the offspring is male or female, but in birds the egg does.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "without a corresponding group of one woman, many husbands polygamists to even things up."

    Because that would be polyandry not polygamy.

  • James Pollock||

    Polyandry IS polygamy.

    When you mean one wife with many husbands, that's polyandry. When you mean one husband with many wives, that's polygyny. Both polyandry and polygyny are polygamy.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The kid may eventually care who is the sole biological father, when genetics come into play. The kid will probably eventually learn one way or another, from blood type, genetic testing, or surgery.

    In the meantime, it's always surprising how many people think it is any of their business.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Based on what information do you think that the parents either don't know which male is the biological father and/or would conceal that information from the child.

  • James Pollock||

    Well, the judge said so.

    "The fact that the biological certainty of parentage is unknown seems to be the adhesive force which blends the paternal identity of both men as the fathers of A."

  • turco||

    Many decades ago, it was common to mix the sperm of an infertile husband with that of a sperm donor when doing artificial insemination to maintain the *possibility* of the husband being the biological father.

    Similar logic applies here. I think the judge made the right call .

  • ReaderY||

    When "the best interests of the child" trump mere biology even when the biological parents have always been in the child's life, poor people don't stand a chance against rich people who want to take their children away from them and can convince a judge they can offer them a better life.

  • Eddy||

    It won't work that way because intentions.

  • James Pollock||

    You didn't recognize that? It's a Simpsons episode.

    Mr. Burns decides he needs an heir, and that he likes the cut of Bart's jib, so he begins adoption proceedings.

    Spoiler Alert:
    Bart's back on Evergreen Terrace by the end of the episode.

  • Eddy||

    And isn't it reassuring that life is basically a sitcom where everything works out after 30 minutes?

  • James Pollock||

    Except for when it's Law & Order, and they have time to investigate AND prosecute the crime, in an hour, with time out for advertising AND scenes from next week's episode!

  • EscherEnigma||

    It won't work that way because we do not have a shortage of kids for rich people to adopt.

  • Stumble||

    Despite all the vitriol below Louisiana ha allowed a child to have multiple fathers since adoption of the Civil Code, prior to it becoming a state. Even now children with multiple legal fathers are reasonably common. To date I am aware of no major issues with this scheme other than it can make visitation a bit difficult as to who gets the kid for major holidays.

    Our law makes a presumption that the spouse of a child is a father of any child born during the marriage (or within 300 days of its termination), and once that presumption has been in place for more than a year (IIRC) it becomes irrefutable even if the spouse is not the biological father of the kid. But the biological father can still sue for parental rights if they so choose.

  • Eddy||

    Louisiana was French. Ze French, zey understand zees things.

  • James Pollock||

    Zey don' understan' how zees t'ings work.

    At least, not according to every Pepe Le Pew cartoon ever. SHE'S A CAT! WITH PAINT ON HER BACK!

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Or, on a higher cultural level:

    "In the state of Louisiana, we have the Napoleonic Code according to which what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa..."

  • Sanctimonica||

    We need to stop rolling our eyes at slippery slopes. Also for inheritance purposes I wish I had nine or ten parents.

  • James Pollock||

    " for inheritance purposes I wish I had nine or ten parents."

    No problem. Go down to the old-folks' home and pick some out. Now fly to one of the many states that allow adoptions of adults.

    Be careful, though. Some of those states will turn around and expect you to pay the warehousing costs for your new parents in that old-folks' home. You'll want to run your plan by a lawyer or two.

  • Jerry B.||

    Two men and a woman want to form a family and raise their child.

    Why should I care?

    Why should any of you care?

  • Jerry B.||

    So two men and a woman want to form a family and raise their child.

    Why should I care?

    Why should anyone care?

  • Dadlobby||

    And when she gives one of them the boot is he on the hook to pay child support to the remaining couple? And when she gives BOTH of them the boot she gets the windfall of TWO payers! And doesn't a child have a right to know who their biological father is, in this day of DNA testing, how is "the biological father of the child unknown"? It's a mixed up world...

  • James Pollock||

    "And when she gives one of them the boot is he on the hook to pay child support to the remaining couple?"

    Not necessarily, no. It's possible that the remaining couple owes child support to him.

    "And when she gives BOTH of them the boot she gets the windfall of TWO payers!"

    What a windfall! Because it makes SO much difference if your child support comes in the form of two checks a month instead of one!

    "And doesn't a child have a right to know who their biological father is[?]"

    Where, exactly, would this right come from, and who would be responsible for providing it?

    "in this day of DNA testing, how is 'the biological father of the child unknown'?"

    The parents of the child haven't done any DNA testing (surprise... it's not free, and they don't need or want to know, apparently) and running DNA tests on other people and their children is a pretty significant invasion of privacy. That's why you either have to get consent, or a court order, to run someone else's DNA.

    So, these three people showed up in court, having decided not to investigate the genetic heritage of their child, which is their right. The court COULD order a DNA test, if there were a good reason to do so, but the court expressly determines that there is no such reason, and rules accordingly.

    CONT'd

  • James Pollock||

    So, you have an infant with three parental units. This would be shocking, if step-parents hadn't been a thing for, oh, a couple of centuries at least. Lots and lots of families are made up of people who aren't genetically related to all the other members of the family.

    A modern family might have siblings, step-siblings, and/or half-siblings in it. And that isn't even counting adoptions, so you can have siblings who aren't genetically related to you.
    I have a sister, a half-brother who isn't related to me by blood, one who is, and two different sets of step-siblings who are no longer step-siblings.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "The parents of the child haven't done any DNA testing"

    As if DNA testing were the only way for the parents to know which male was the biological father.

  • James Pollock||

    Consulting a psychic will give you results, but they aren't admissible in court.

  • ||

    "And when she gives BOTH of them the boot she gets the windfall of TWO payers!"

    What a windfall! Because it makes SO much difference if your child support comes in the form of two checks a month instead of one!

    Because the amount ('quantum' in judicial lingo) of child support depends on the income of the payor, not just on the needs of the child, two payors always pay more (a larger amount of) child support than one. See this.

  • James Pollock||

    "Because the amount ('quantum' in judicial lingo) of child support depends on the income of the payor, not just on the needs of the child, two payors always pay more (a larger amount of) child support than one"

    I don't care enough to look up Canadian law, but in my state, there's a table, which is the statutorily-presumed child-support amount for the number of kids. The court then takes the parents income, relative to each other, to determine how much of that amount will be assessed to each parent. So, for example, when I got divorced, I made twice as much money as my ex-wife did, so they took the number, multiplied it by 33%, and that was her child-support amount. The other 67% came from my income. Now, if there'd been two of her, and together they made half what I made, then I would get 16.5% from one and 16.5% of the other, and I'd still be expected to contribute the other 67%. What a windfall!

  • ||

    in my state, there's a table, which is the statutorily-presumed child-support amount

    Are you saying that in your state, the amount of child support to be paid is independent of the payor's income? That someone who makes $20k/year pays the same amount of child support as someone who makes $120k/year?

    Here it says:

    How is child support calculated?

    Child support is formulated at the state level, but some federal guidelines exist under the Child Support Enforcement Act. Because each state sets up its own child support system, there is considerable variation between states in how they calculate child support. However, most states evaluate the following criteria at a minimum:

    The financial needs of the child, including education, day care, insurance or any special needs
    The income and needs of the parent with custody of the child
    The income and ability to pay of the parent who is paying child support
    The child's standard of living before any separation or divorce (although court's typically understand that it is difficult to maintain the same standard of living)

    Parents are often obligated to detail their financial situation to the court, including monthly income and expenses.
  • James Pollock||

    "Are you saying that in your state, the amount of child support to be paid is independent of the payor's income? That someone who makes $20k/year pays the same amount of child support as someone who makes $120k/year?"

    The presumptive amount is, yes.
    It's rebuttable, so that either side can present arguments that the amount set by the court should be higher, or lower.
    I don't know how often the court deviates, or by how much.

  • ||

    [...] either side can present arguments that the amount set by the court should be higher, or lower.
    I don't know how often the court deviates, or by how much.

    Well, then it is at least possible that a mother with custody of a child can get more child support from two (separated) fathers than one; and the difference can be called a windfall.

  • James Pollock||

    A windfall for the lawyer, who gets paid to prepare and present the arguments, perhaps.

  • ||

    A properly cynical remark, but no proof that two (separated) fathers would necessarily pay the same amount of child support as one, even in your state.

  • James Pollock||

    Of course not. No two cases are the same, and even the same case can change over the time a child-support order is in place.

    But the presumptive payments are set (and that's part of the federal system, so it's not just one state, either.)

  • mydisplayname||

    To me, the most important part of the case is the fact that the three parents were the ones who brought this before the Court; that is, the government didn't tell these folks that they couldn't continue the relationship with the child but rather said [correctly] that there are two and only two biological parents (one male and one female) of a human child.

    There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the relationship [as the judge correctly concluded] but there does seem to be something wrong about the government shifting from recording biological-fact to recording who-purports-to-love-you-at-this-moment.

    Why do we keep birth records anyway? In my short life, I've become aware of many, many, many birth certificates which erroneously record the name of the father. But who actually cares? And do we go back and correct the erroneous records? To be honest, I find it refreshing when I encounter a woman under age thirty who can whittle the potential paternity list down to three or four names: many women cannot.

  • James Pollock||

    "there does seem to be something wrong about the government shifting from recording biological-fact to recording who-purports-to-love-you-at-this-moment."

    So you're anti-adoption?
    This reads like you don't want legal recognition of adoption.

    "Why do we keep birth records anyway?"
    To prove age, and citizenship.

    "To be honest, I find it refreshing when I encounter a woman under age thirty who can whittle the potential paternity list down to three or four names"

    This says something about you, and that can be summarized as "you need to go cruising for babes at better bars".

  • mpercy||

    What I got out of this was that mommy has two men she can screw over for child support when she decides to leave this relationship. Those men were stupid to seek this ruling without DNA checks. Sure, they all think they're in mutual love now, and everyone loves the kid, sure. But wait until she gets tired of it all and just wants the money. At least the non-biological daddy had a chance of getting out clean.

  • James Pollock||

    "What I got out of this was that mommy has two men she can screw over for child support when she decides to leave this relationship."

    Stretch your imagination. Mommies don't always receive child support. Sometimes they pay it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Not very often they don't.

  • James Pollock||

    I got custody of my kid. If you didn't, whose fault is that?

  • lulz farmer||

    Less than 5% of those who pay, but sure. "Stretch your imagination, maaaaaan!"

    Stretch your credulity.

  • James Pollock||

    I'm terribly sorry that the court decided you were the less fit parent.

  • great Unknown||

    Is discovering gaps in the law the Canadian equivalent of our Supreme Court pastime of discovering umbrae and penumbrae?

  • Eddy||

    ...formed by emanations.

  • jdgalt1||

    I can't fault a word the judge says, except "that at the time of its introduction approximately 30 years ago, there was no contemplation of the now complex family relationships that are common and accepted in our society..."

    Right off the top of my head, Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1975) so contemplated.

  • James Pollock||

    A fine novel, and a Hugo Award winner, if I recall, but not a legal text.
    Also, Heinlein was positing a society that grew out of a 20:1 male:female population, which produces some interesting results but isn't really similar to present day.

  • Longtobefree||

    Upon further reflection, it occurs that neither of the males in the relationship is certain to be the biological father. At this point, nobody knows, assuming the female may be more promiscuous than the two in the suit.
    Not that it matters in this case, just pointing out a major assumption taken without proof.

  • James Pollock||

    "Upon further reflection, it occurs that neither of the males in the relationship is certain to be the biological father. "

    Motherhood is a fact. Fatherhood is an opinion.

    "At this point, nobody knows, assuming the female may be more promiscuous than the two in the suit."

    I'd like to assume that one person knows how promiscuous the mother is, and was.

    Courts do not, as a rule, turn away people seeking to claim paternity. The problem is usually with the deniers, who must be brought forcibly into their children's lives.

  • CrispyBacon||

    In Section 45 (1), the law sets out situations where a man is "presumed" to be a father, including, "at the time of the child's birth or conception the man was cohabiting with the mother, whether or not they were married to each other."

    But in 45 (3):
    "Where circumstances exist that give rise pursuant to subsection (1) to conflicting presumptions as to the paternity of a child:
    (a) no presumption is to be made as to paternity; and
    (b) no person is to be recognized in law to be the father by virtue of this section."

    I didn't read the whole statute, let alone am I familiar with Canadian law, but that appears fairly conclusive that there can be "no person...recognized in law to be the father" because there are conflicting presumptions.

    I think even in Canada it would come as a surprise that polyamorous relationships are "common and accepted in our society." If that were the case, of course Canadians could change the law that the judge could then apply. The purposivist approach of the judge here appears to be foreclosed by the plain text. In seeking to adjudicate in favor of the "best interest of the child," I don't think that can include the judge explicitly amending the law.

  • CrispyBacon||

    The statute additionally provides in Section 43:

    "(5) The court may make a declaratory order of paternity where:
    (a) either:
    (i) there is no man recognized in law pursuant to section 45 to be the father of a child or circumstances exist that give rise pursuant to section 45 to conflicting presumptions as to the paternity of the child; or
    (ii) the presumed father is found not to be the father of the child; and
    (b) the court finds on the balance of probabilities that a man is the father"

    There too, the judge's discretion is limited and foreclosed. Where neither man could be deemed the father under 45, that doesn't permit deeming both men under 43. It defies language and logic to say that because neither man can be the father pursuant to the statute, both probably are, as a matter of fact.

  • swood1000||

    Present social conditions and attitudes have changed. Advances in our appreciation of the value of other types of relationships and in the science of reproductive technology have created gaps in the CLRA's legislative scheme. Because of these changes the parents of a child can be two women or two men. …

    Further, even if the CLRA was intended to limit declarations of paternity and maternity to biological parents, that would not answer the question of whether there is a gap. Advances in reproductive technology require re-examination of the most basic questions of who is a biological mother.

    So it looks like courts in Canada can use the doctrine of parens patriae to modify legislation if they believe that social conditions and attitudes have changed. As Scalia pointed out, once courts have invalidated laws specifying that marriage is between a man and a woman there's no reason marriage has to be limited to two people, and no reason that laws against adult incest should prevent marriages between consenting adults.

  • CrispyBacon||

    And the nifty thing is that judges don't need to tie their rulings directly to the precedent of same-sex rulings. Instead they refer generally to social conditions having changed. Thus the judge says "the now complex family relationships that are common and accepted in our society" because it sounds true-ish, not because there is broad acceptance of polyamory, let alone as it relates to determinations of what's best for children.

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