Thursday, December 04, 2003

Slippery slope, indeed

Social conservatives are oftenm criticized for reading ominous precedents into court cases. Well, the precedent being set in this Washington Times story doesn't apply in Canada, but it can illustrate what sometimes happens with these sorts of issues:

A Utah man with five wives is in court fighting to get his bigamy conviction overturned on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that decriminalized homosexual relations....
....On Monday, an attorney for [Tom] Green — who has spent the past two years in prison — argued to Utah's Supreme Court that the Texas ruling should invalidate laws against polygamy.
"It doesn't bother anyone [and with] no compelling state interest in what you can do in your own home with consenting adults, you should be allowed to do it," attorney John Bucher told the Utah court, according to the Associated Press.
In August, Green, the father of 30 children, filed an appeal of his 2001 conviction on four counts of bigamy.
He is serving a five-year sentence for that conviction and another for criminal nonsupport of his offspring. In addition, Green faces up to life in prison after being convicted of child rape for having sex with one of his five wives when she was 13.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Texas case also has been cited by attorneys for Rodney Holm, a former police officer in Hildale, Utah, who was convicted in August of bigamy and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
"Holm raised the issue [of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Texas case] before his trial, but the trial court denied it," Laura B. Dupaix, Utah's attorney general, said in a telephone interview yesterday.....