FOR RELEASE NOVEMBER 08, 2010
Polyamory Panel to Take Public Questions
Should the government decide who we sleep with?
That’s just one question on the minds of members of the growing polyamory movement, who feel they are under attack by a Canadian law that is under review this winter. The controversial law is considered a tool to target polygamists, but it could also be used to send others to jail, says Kiki Christie, a spokesperson for the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA).
Polyamory is a practice in which consenting adults can have more than one romantic partner, but it is fundamentally different from the polygamy that is causing concern for lawmakers and the public, says Christie. For example, it does not give special rights to men, assign spouses to underage people, or teach its customs inside closed communities. That’s just the beginning.
“Polyamory is a post-modern, ethical and compassionate relationship style that begins by assuming that love is not limited,” says Christie, who acknowledges that the practice is not well understood, with outsiders frequently comparing it to swinging or cheating. “Polyamory advocates are making waves in the upcoming court case, but many people still don’t understand how polyamory is different from polygamy.”
A panel discussion at UVIC entitled “What is Polyamory?” on November 17th aims to dispel myths and raise awareness for the movement. The media, students and public are invited to find out more and bring their questions.
Hosted by Poly 101 on Campus, a UVIC student society club, the event will feature polyamory-supporting service providers, counsellors, polyamorous people and people in relationships that are polyamorous.
The panel comes at a time when curiosity about such relationships is building. On November 22nd, the BC Supreme Court will sit for at least 40 days to hear witnesses and re-examine the law, Criminal Code s. 293, which criminalizes relationships with more than two people as soon as they choose to make a formal commitment. The CPAA will be on hand to represent polyamorous people across Canada, and to argue for clarity in the law.
With only volunteers, a part-time lawyer and a small amount of funds, calling and interviewing witnesses will be hard without last-minute support, says Christie. Those who wish to support CPAA financially may donate at the event or www.polyadvocacy.ca/donate
“What Is Polyamory?” panel takes place on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 7 pm, at the University of Victoria, in the David Strong Building, Room C103.
POLY 101 ON CAMPUS
Poly 101 on Campus is a UVSS club that evolved from students attending a local discussion group called Victoria Poly 101 to meet, discuss and support each other in the exploration and the practice of ethical consensual non-monogamy.
CPAA advocates on behalf of Canadians who practice polyamory. It promotes legal, social, government, and institutional acceptance and support of polyamory, and advances the interests of the Canadian polyamorous community generally. Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada purports to outlaw polyamorous people living together as families. It penalizes us as soon as we make a serious commitment to one another.
CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE S. 293 FULL LEGAL TEXT
Confirm in context at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-46/page-6.html#codese:293
(1) Every one who
(a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into
(i) any form of polygamy, or
(ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or
(b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
Evidence in case of polygamy
(2) Where an accused is charged with an offence under this section, no averment or proof of the method by which the alleged relationship was entered into, agreed to or consented to is necessary in the indictment or on the trial of the accused, nor is it necessary on the trial to prove that the persons who are alleged to have entered into the relationship had or intended to have sexual intercourse.
Polyamory Panel Discussion organizer:
250-507-8076 weekends and evenings after 8:00