Canada Anti-Polygamy Law Is Constitutional, Judge Rules

A judge says Canada's anti-polygamy law does not violate constitutional religious freedoms.

British Columbia's highest court ruled Wednesday that the ban only minimally impairs the religious rights of fundamentalist polygamous Mormons. Chief Justice Robert Bauman says criminalization is one way to limit child and spousal abuse.

The case arose after another judge threw out polygamy charges against Winston Blackmore and James Oler in September 2009. The men are rival bishops of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the polygamous community of Bountiful.

They claimed religious persecution and denial of a constitutional right to religious freedom.

Upholding the law could lead to prosecutions.