Is Polyamory “the New Gay”?
“Fifty years ago the criminal code basically prohibited homosexual relationships. The criminal law is influential. It both reflects and creates social attitudes. If something is criminal, average people fear it. The change in the criminal law was a major milestone in reducing homophobia and allowing gay culture to thrive…leading all the way to the granting of gays the right to marry, adopt children, sponsor immigrants etc.
Section 293 is analogous to the old prohibitions against homosexuality. In the same way that gay activists fought for the repeal of the anti-gay law we are fighting to exclude polyamorists from section 293.
We are doing in 2010 what gay activists did in the 1960s and beyond. And our culture is just beginning to emerge in formal aspects, just like gay culture did in the 1960s. The CPAA is the first formal cross-Canada poly organization. The fight against the law is helping our community come
together, announce ourselves to the wider community, and generally help the process of normalizing poly. This culture-building is reminiscent of the early bloom of gay culture in the 1960s.
We are starting a process that our children’s cohort will benefit from, just like gay youth are benefiting from the activism of the previous generation. In 25 years, thanks to our efforts and that of many others, poly will be as normalized as gay culture is today.” (John Ince, Lawyer for CPAA)
Whether polyamory is a sexual orientation or a chosen behaviour, and the debate and research will continue for years, is irrelevant to the quest for consenting adults to be free to express their love and sexuality with other consenting adults in family structures that are comfortable and empowering for all involved.