Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
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Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
A bit of an old article now but still interesting for the example it offers of the widening definition of family within the context of human rights. :/

A word about polygamy and Odinism though: it is not a common occurrence. I actually never heard of it being condoned by the Odinic Rite. If anything, the members of the Odinic Rite advocate monogamy. They have never advocated bigamy nor polygamy to the best of my knowledge.

Quote:Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case

An American woman who worships Norse gods has won the right to stay in Britain because of her “family life” with her boyfriend and his wife.

The 25-year-old now shares Alan and Anne-Marie Caulfield’s marital home in south-east London with his two children - one by each of the women

By David Barrett and Claire Duffin
7:00AM GMT 18 Dec 2011

Home Office officials told Emily DiSanto, 25, that they would not grant her permission to stay in Britain because the law bans what are in effect polygamous relationships.

But now she has won an extraordinary legal case in which she was allowed to remain here on the basis of her human right to family life.

The 25-year-old now shares Alan and Anne-Marie Caulfield’s marital home in south-east London with his two children – one by each of the women.

The American's lawyer told the court that their religious beliefs bar the Caulfields from divorcing.

Immigration judges were also told that forcing her to leave the country would affect the wellbeing of Mrs Caulfield’s son, as well as her own young daughter.

The case is the latest example of how human rights laws are being used to overturn the decisions of civil servants and ministers in immigration cases in what critics say are dubious circumstances.

It comes as pressure mounts on the Government to reform human rights laws, which many Conservative backbenchers say are threatening to make permanent and undemocratic changes to the rule of law in Britain.

The latest case shows the definition of family life is now widening far beyond the conventional couple with children and has implications for immigrants who believe in polygamy, which is still practised in parts of the Muslim world and – illegally – by breakaway branches of the Mormon religions in the United States.

Miss DiSanto’s application succeeded after the Home Office dropped its objection on the grounds of bigamy, and she made two appeals.

In the course of the appeals, her lawyer said the Caulfields no longer had a sexual relationship but could not divorce on religious grounds, as all three worship the Norse gods, including Odin and Thor.

Odinists claim to follow the beliefs practised by Vikings in Britain and Scandinavia, and some Anglo-Saxons in Britain, before Christianity became the sole religion in the course of the Dark Ages.

Followers worship Odin, the chief god of Norse mythology and worship in groups known as Hearths, performing ceremonies called Blothars in which their gods are honoured by drinking mead – an alcoholic drink made from honey – from an animal horn and reciting poetry.

The main branch of British Odinism – the Odinic Rite – does permit divorce, but it is unclear if the three follow its beliefs or have their own variation on them.

It is believed civil servants simply could not prove Miss DiSanto was involved in polygamy when they tried to fight her appeal.

Ian Macdonald QC, president of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, said: “There is no law against threesomes. For many people such a thing may be morally objectionable but it is not unlawful.

“I think the original decision to cite polygamy as a reason to refuse permission was probably that of a junior official which, further up the chain, was recognised to be unsustainable.

“It would have been kicked out by any court.”

Miss DiSanto, from Chicago, arrived in Britain on a visitor’s visa in December that year, already pregnant with Mr Caulfield’s baby. They met in April 2008, but it is not known how.

She gave birth to a daughter in July the following year and now lives with Mr Caulfield, 29, and his 28-year-old wife, who works as a nanny, in a three-bedroomed semi-detached property in Eltham, south-east London.

When her visa expired, she applied for permission to remain and claimed her family life would be disrupted if she was forced to leave.

The Home Office pointed out that she was at least three months’ pregnant with Mr Caulfield’s child when she came to Britain, which “cast doubt on your intention to leave in time”, and refused her application.

Officials said their decision was justified because “polygamy is illegal in the UK and the Secretary of State is entitled to prevent de facto situations arising which are akin to polygamous marriage”.

Miss DiSanto launched an appeal, which the Government won.

The American citizen then brought another appeal to the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

There, judges were told Mr and Mrs Caulfield were no longer living as man and wife, but continued to share a home because their Odinist beliefs prevent them from divorcing.

Her lawyer argued the judge failed to take into account how their family life would be affected if she was required to go back to the United States and make a new visa application.

Upper Tribunal Judges Bernard Dawson and Catriona Jarvis ruled that it would be disproportionate to require her to leave Britain.

All three declined to comment on the court’s ruling.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the court’s decision in this case.

“For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of immigration offenders above the rights of the British public.

“This is why we will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.”

The 2001 census recorded 40,000 pagans in Britain but it is not known how many of those categorised themselves as Odinist.

~Be the Virtuous Man or Woman you are meant to be.~
2012 Oct 15 18:01
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RE: Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
Our 'Law' is a laughing stock. An excellent precedent has been set for all manner of Afghan tribal bollocks here.

Quote:Tacitus further discusses the role of women in Chapters 7 and 8, mentioning that they often accompany the men to battle and offer encouragement. He says that the men are often motivated to fight for the women because of an extreme fear of their being taken captive. Tacitus says that the Germans are mainly content with one wife, except for a few political marriages, and specifically and explicitly compares this practice favorably to other barbarian cultures, perhaps since monogamy was a shared value between Roman and Germanic cultures. He also records that adultery is very rare, and that an adulterous woman is shunned afterward by the community regardless of her beauty.

"And now if a whole nation fell into that? In such a case, I answer, infallibly they will return out of it. For life is no cunningly-devised deception or self deception, it is a great truth that thou art alive, that thou hast desires, necessities: neither can these subsist and satisfy themselves on delusions, but on fact. To fact, depend on it, we shall come back: to such fact, blessed or cursed, as we have wisdom for."
Thomas Carlyle
2012 Oct 15 19:00
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RE: Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen said in a speech that polygamy should be considered a human right, while Miriam Cooke wrote that polygamy can be "liberating and empowering." Rolleyes

I don't sympathize with sexual rights rhetoric, or different types of sex rights claims. The argument for personal autonomy and freedom from state interference with consensual adult sexuality is one thing, but invoking "human rights" over such an issue is sheer madness.
2012 Oct 16 13:24
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RE: Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
We've got enough nutters. She should have been deported instead of encouraging dysgenics.
2012 Oct 16 20:20
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RE: Pagan wins 'family life' human rights case
As if one wife wasn't more than enough already.

Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 16 23:22
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