15-Year-Olds Married to Fundamental Mormon Polygamist in Bountiful, BC

The trial for Bountiful polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler began in Creston, BC this week. Each has been charged with one count of polygamy. (Oler has yet to be sentenced for his conviction of cross-border transportation of his 13-year-old daughter for sex.)

Records show Blackmore, now in his sixties, married 24 wives (other sources list more), half of them 17 years old or younger, with some as young as 15. Records show Oler married four women, and possibly a fifth.

In reading the scant media information available on the trial so far, my thoughts turned to a quote from Blackmore to his new wives, the day he married two young teenage sisters he’d just met, “Which one of you wants to go first? We’re in the business of making babies.”

Would you want this for your 15-year-old sister, daughter, niece, or neighbour? The prosecution is arguing for the conviction of Blackmore and Oler to protect all girls and women in Bountiful from this fate. The defence is arguing that its a-okay, all in the name of religion. The defence’s argument reminds me of the girls and women sacrificed on stone alters in ancient rituals. What century are we in again?