Polyamory Panel to Take Public Questions


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 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.

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:
Cora Bilsker

CPAA spokesperson:
Kiki Christie,
250-507-8076 weekends and evenings after 8:00

3 responses so far.

  1. Alan M. says:

    Excellent press release. Good show.

  2. duane says:

    Looks like the polys are in the clear since you practice the “good” kind of polygamy and not the” bad” kind of polygamy (religiously motivated) practiced by “those people down in Bountiful” with the “funny clothes” who “talk weird”. I still don’t understand why everyone is claiming the Bountiful “bad polygamists” engage in massive amounts of underage sex. The 2 year RCMP investigation only found a smattering of 15 year olds who were married, the last one in 1999. They are claiming “that is a crime”, if so why no arrests? I bet the reason is because the AOC in Canada was 14 until 2005 when it was raised to 16. If ony those being prosecuted in Texas had sex in Canada and over half of the states in the US, then they wouldn’t be pedophiles but I digress. Really, instead of going to great lengths to prove “we’s not like dem bad freaky polygamists who do the poly thang cuz of their religion”, just focus on the issues that concern.

    Of course, if poly is ok ONLY if not RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED, would that not be a blatent violation of the Charter? What if a poly household is visited by Mormon missionaries and converts, should they then be subject to prosecution??

    Here is a quote from an informative blog you guys should check out:

    ” Let’s read on as he argues . . .

    ‘. . . the prohibition in s. 293 should be interpreted as follows:
    . . . Section 293 prohibits . . . marriage-like relationships involving more than two persons that purport to be sanctioned by an authority having power or influence over the participants . . ‘

    . . . WHAT? “AN AUTHORITY” LIKE GOD ?????????? Are you grasping this tortured hairsplit? Let’s hear his punchline . . .

    ‘8. The Criminal Code prohibition was and is addressed to the overwhelmingly dominant form of polygamy, [he’s talking about Fundamentalist Mormons and Muslims] and the one most closely associated with demonstrable and apprehended social harms: that is, a patriarchal polygyny that is intergenerationally normalized and enforced through more or less coercive rules and norms of non-state social institutions. Section 293 leaves the balance of multi-partner human sexual behaviour, that which is unrelated to the harms the prohibitions seek to address, unaffected….

    get it now – promiscuity in the form of casual polygamous behaviour is healthy, innocent and worthy of Canada’s full legal protections (like prostitution now is), whereas informal plural marriages inspired by deeply-held religious beliefs and Biblical doctrines are reprehensible and “criminal”.

    So, here is where I get horribly confused – if “most Canadians are polygamous” (at least approx. 18 million of the 33.5 million Canadians), then how can Winston’s and Jimmy’s form of polygamy (practiced by scores of people) be the “overwhelmingly dominant form” ??? (Canadian math?)

    Moreover, if the bad “form” of the two forms of polygamy is the one that purportedly involves higher “authority” and “patriarchy”, shouldn’t all religious, monogamous marriages also be outlawed; – AND, shouldn’t all monogamous partnerships (legally-solemnized or not) – where the male is thought of as the “head-of-household” – be prohibited, too?


  3. duane says:

    Correction: focus on the issues that CONCERN you directly.

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