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8 Sworn October 14,2010
No. S-097767 Vancouver Registry
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
IN THE MATTER OF:
THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION ACT, R.S.B.C. 1986, C. 68 AND IN THE MATTER OF
THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
AND IN THE MATTER OF:
A REFERENCE BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL SET OUT IN ORDER IN COUNCIL NO. 533 DATED OCTOBER 22, 2009 CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF S. 293 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA, RS.C. 1985, C. C-46
I, Witness No.8, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOW:
1. I have personal knowledge of the facts and matters hereinafter deposed to save and except where the same are stated to be made upon information and belief and where so stated I verily believe them to be true.
2. I am aware of the order of the Chief Justice made September 24, 20 I 0 and I elect to avail
myself of the protections authorized by that order.
3. I am a resident of the State of Arizona, United States of America. I am over the age of 18.
4. The first time I remember wanting to write about my family I am probably ten. I am out in the play yard with my sisters, engaged in an elaborate game of make believe. I clearly remember thinking, "I want to write this-this perfect mix of dreams, mischief and togetherness." The next thing, the words are on my lips and my sisters get into the spirit of how we will write it. We look at the largeness of our lives-the multiple mothers and many siblings and know that somehow the story will have to be fictionalized, put into a context that our readers will get. How about a Catholic orphanage? Each mother could be a nun-then no one would be left out-intuitively we know that no one should be left out-that what we are comes from the all of us together.
5. What we also know at ten is that polygamy CaIIDot show its face on the page-that a chronicle of our version of family with its rich, bold textures will endanger the very foundation that makes our lives beautiful.
6. So, from the beginning, fear and anxiety have shadowed the story ...
7. I grew up in a large plural family. I have many mothers, a myriad of brothers and sisters, and one father. And while it would be years before I would hear terms like "traditional family" and the "nuclear family," I grew up in what I would term the "perfect family." Is that to say we were perfect? No, just that together we had something, that as a child, I instinctively knew was special-a camaraderie and bond, a richness of people, an "unloneliness" that when I became an adult and made forays into the broader society I saw was missing in so many of the lives of those that I got to know.
8. As a child, my friends slept in the same rooms I did. We didn't need to plan sleepovers and play dates. That was my every day life. Paper dolls, dress up, and books mixed with cowboys and Indians (I always got to be with the Indians), wild horses, and sandbox magic. Hot summer days, after the work, we would cool off with water fights, sprinklers, or cold drinks. Warm summer nights were filled with children's voices playing Hide and Seek, Red Light, Green Light, and Mother May 1. On special occasions or holidays, we would put up a big screen and watch reel-to-reel westerns and musicals. Winter nights, in from the cold and snow, we gathered around the kitchen table to do homework or around the fireplaces to shine apples, toast pecans, and talk. Popcorn was the snack of choice for any or all of these events, and we popped it by big bowlsful. And on Thursday and Saturday evenings we would stack on and around each other to watch the Waltons and Lawrence Welk. TV was limited to mostly those two programs unless you were crazy enough to trade Saturday morning sleep for cartoons.
9. The play of my childhood was large and so was the work. Dishes required two sinks and a lot of hands. I learned maI1Y hands make light work. Canning fresh foods for winter use was a daunting task without those same hands reaching in to work together. I learned how important it is put aside yourself, to center on the needs of the whole. Gardening, soap making, laundry, cooking, cleaning-it all disappeared in the togetherness of family. Looking back, I don't remember the physical tasks themselves as the large part of the memory. What I see instead is satisfaction that sang through tired bones, laughing from that tired silly, or the companionship of a shared task. The purpose of some jobs, of course, was simply to teach that we are not the work we are doing, but how we do it. Other tasks taught simple little axioms like "Being a girl isn't for sissies." As a family we worked, and in the work, I learned an appreciation for those who share the tasks as well as the value for pulling your share.
10. At the heart of our family was my father. He was larger than life-bold, courageous, with a wry sense of humor. He approached living passionately. I didn't see him give a half-hearted attempt at anything. His life---centered on service to his god-had the whole of him. He lived generously, gave freely. He served an open table with unexpected guests the norm. I don't remember my mothers complaining, and I don't ever remember going without. When we celebrated, we gathered in large crowds, not I think, because he craved being around people, but more because the looking after people and seeing them have a good time gave him a deep joy.
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Oftentimes, on those occasions, his baritone voice could be heard in the mix of Irish, western, or oldies being sung around the piano.
11. My father valued women. He spoke often of the beauty they brought to his life. He loved mothers. His own mother died when he was less than a year old, and he was fostered by a harsh woman. He spoke of her contributions to his life with appreciation, yet the women who gathered him up and nurtured him had a tender place in his heart, and we revered with him Grandmother Watson, Persis Gibson, and his sister-in-law Clara Marie.
12. Daddy instilled in his daughters a deep sense of female equality. He expected his wives and daughters to know and think for themselves. He taught that the Gospel, and life in general, required the same from men and women---everything. He spoke of God being both male and female, our potential as kings and queens and priest and priestesses. He didn't hold back the gifts of the Gospel from its female participants. Yet, these deep-rooted female learnings also testify of his chivalry, his appreciation of that which ennobles women. I had no want to be a boy when being a woman meant tapping into this deep well of purpose and power.
13. My mothers are strong women who showed me in the walk oftheir daily lives the power of unconditional love and the potential of character in the change wrought from intentional living. While I occasionally heard a sharp word, I rarely saw my mothers have differences of opinion in public, yet as an adult today, I know that they had to have had them. Their examples have shown me that character can triumph over humanity-that the Savior's teachings have real application beyond a lovely Sunday School lesson. On the other hand, as I write this, I realize I don't want to speak for them, layering over their lives, with assumption of how it must have been for them, my own shortcomings. Instead I would rather speak to what as a child I experienced.
14. I watched my mothers learn to love every child, not just the ones they had given birth to. For some that journey didn't take long, they loved and served effortlessly. My favorite memory growing up is coming home after school to my Aunt Shari. She would meet us at the door with a hug and an after school snack. I can still see her beautiful hands, work worn, cutting a loaf of fresh bread. When I expressed an interest in learning to make bread, it was she who put my hands in the dough and walked me through that learning. For others of my mothers, while service and care were never withheld, they struggled with favoritism. I learned equally well from both of those lessons what I did and didn't want to do once I was grown up.
15. Each woman took a part in the lessons of my life, from everything involving the how to do something to the larger, more important aspects of living. One lesson that has stayed with me was watching one of my mothers discipline another mother's child (not that I categorized the child that way as I watched her, but in the passing years, that element has become an important part of the story for me.) When she was finished, she wrapped her arms around this little girl, kissed her, and told her she loved her. She looked up and saw me watching her. "Remember," she said, "The Savior taught to show forth greater love afterwards." That lesson has walked with me through my own efforts to learn to love as the Master loved.
16. I saw my mothers specialize. Each woman took areas of interest or family need and became very good at what she did whether that was in the home or on the career front. The duties of working outside the home, sewing, shopping, housework, gardening, cooking, and childcare-
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the realities of raising a large, self-sufficient family-were divided up among the ladies. So as a child I saw the many aspects of Woman done well, brought together in the harmony that comes with working for one another's interests. While it is perfectly selfish and speaks to my gluttonous self, I see Thanksgiving as the epitome of this coming-together experience. The tables were laid with fresh-pressed linens, sparkling crystal and china, centerpieces and place cards. Moist, herbed turkey and ham, flaky, buttery rolls, hors d' oeuvres, dressing, candied yams, and steaming vegetables vied with the fragrant pumpkin, lemon meringue, coconut cream, banana cream or pecan pies topped with vanilla ice cream. We children, pressed and dressed to the nines, would just submerge ourselves into the bliss of it. Then my brothers (following dad's instruction and in the earlier years example) would don aprons and do the clean up. It was in the sparkle of the crystal, the delectable bites of dinner, and the quiet conversation that I saw life come together as it should be in that little piece of heaven.
17. My mothers were women of faith. Their individual stories speak of women who have a deep belief in plural marriage made evident in word as well as deed. While the stories are too numerous to retell here, one that particularly speaks of this individual commitment to plural marriage happened after the 1953 Raid on Short Creek. My mothers had scattered to various western cities so my father had a difficult time seeing to their needs. On a visit to the family in Phoenix, Arizona, he was quietly going through the cupboards to see what they had for food. When the cupboards were only able to offer up a few cans of beans, he turned to my Aunt Alice with tears in his eyes and told her he was sorry that she didn't have more. She turned to him with fire in her eyes and told him in no uncertain terms that this was her religion too.
18. My father led our family in a belief that faith must be followed with action. Family prayer was a twice-daily gathering, and on our knees, we approached a benevolent Father, who could and would help us through the day's events, who would protect us from harm, and who could be called upon to bless the sick and the needy. Rising from our knees however, I realized over the years, that my parents believed in a "faith without works is dead." Crises in our family were met with the "doing that could be done," and I also watched my father and mothers serve our community with the same tirelessness that they served our family. Community events saw my mothers with their sleeves rolled up. Families grieving over the death of a loved one could expect to see them there with food and help. And families in poor circumstances often had a quiet visit from one or more of my mothers who had slipped out of the house with a few of life's necessities.
19. My mothers were sisters and friends. My father's duties took him away a lot, and my mothers created a circle that took care of each other, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and the quiet moments together. I saw them work at those friendships with care whether it was in what they did for one another or in what they chose to say. I remember watching the care they gave to my mother Francis as she went through the months of decline before her death. I saw her gently fed, bathed and tended to. She was in that circle when she died, and I saw them weep. I found in their lives a lesson about creating the happiness you want rather than waiting for others to make you happy.
20. My role changed through those years of play from the little girl who was invited into the wondrous world of make believe to the older child who reached out to the younger children and tried to help create that world for them, and then on to the woman who examined her own heart
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to ask what it was she wanted for herself. And though the roles changed, one thing in my life remained constant: a beauty that spoke from the simplicity and love of large hearts, made possible by following principles established by our Father in Heaven. lowe it to daddy and my mothers that I wanted to be a member of an established plural circle. From their examples and teachings, I too believe in the power of a life examined and a heart given to service-a world I saw growing up, a richness of heritage, a wealth of love.
21. Today I want to create that same world for my own children and do the work of the Gospel for myself. I want to become one of those wise, strong women. I should have the right. And though I am still on the journey, still working to overcome myself and my imperfections, I embrace a plural life because as Thoreau so eloquently states, " ... I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I can not learn what it has to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I have not lived."
On the _14th_ day of October, 2010, personally appeared before me the signer of the foregoing instrument, who being duly sworn acknowledged to me that she executed the same and the contents thereof are true and correct.