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Old 12-31-2009, 03:19 AM
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Default Polyamory Rights

There is a lot of discussion about equality and rights in regards to the recognition of polyamorous relationships.
Here in Canada there is a group of intervener’s trying to challenge an archaic law that addresses polygamy but is worded so broadly it could be used against any multi-partner coupling or witnesses to any bonding ceremonies.

The apparent intent of the intervener’s is not to win any form of equality with the traditional marriage benefits/rights, but to merely remove the parts that are so sweeping as to threaten loving families that are outside the traditional monogamous structure. I am considering gay and lesbian marriages among "traditional" structure because they are recognized widely and relate to two person unions.

My question is though: if there is an ideal of equality to be fought for with respect to polyamory, what does that look like? Is it freedom from legal persecution and the practice of discrimination from such real world things as employers?

Is it the granting of the same benefits from government and employers to include multiple partners? This would be my big issue. While I would love to see the wording of the law in Canada changed to remove the possibility of discrimination or legal persecution brought on by "concerned" family members or social services, I personally do not support the idea of expecting government or employers to accommodate multi-partner benefits. Perhaps a division of benefits but not full benefits to each individual. Additionally, what would be the criteria for a valid poly relationship? Co-habitation? A recognized ceremony? A committal period of time?

If I was an employer faced with the potential to have to grant maternity leave to a worker for the birth of his metamours baby, I would be more likely to hire the person with a simpler/more stable and predictable family structure.

So what are we asking for? I say we, because although I’m not polyamorous I have been in a multi-partner relationship for a year and it does involve a child which gives me a vested interest in some aspects of poly freedoms….co-habitation will probably be in our future and I would like to think we will be protected from disapproving neighbours or family who would seek to “protect” Redpepper’s son.

I’m not looking for the usual “acceptance” and “understanding” because those can’t be mandated by law. I’m not looking for anti oppression rhetoric because I don’t identify as a victim in my choice to follow this path. I am talking about black and white rights. The kind that get written down.

Peace and Love
Mono
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I am considering gay and lesbian marriages among "traditional" structure because they are recognized widely and relate to two person unions.
Also, gay and lesbian people are able to marry here.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:28 AM
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Also, gay and lesbian people are able to marry here.
Right! I wasn't sure if it was all across Canada though...hmmm either way. The fight they put up was for two person unions which is much more "traditional" if you will and therefore has a limited affect on real world things like medical benefits and maternity leave. Everything is the same except the same sex aspects.

Thanks for pointing that out
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:38 AM
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Although I'm not in Canada, one of my primary concerns is legal persecution brought on by the presence of children.

I have legal and physical custody of four grandchildren. Believe me when I say that the events these youngsters have been through in their lives would make you weep and let's leave it at that for now.

Yet I have to worry that they could potentially be removed from the only stable, healthy, loving home they've ever known because my boyfriend has another girlfriend.

And believe me, it's a legitimate concern, as their mother once tossed out something along the lines of "that polygamy or whatever the hell it is you do" during one of her threatening moments.

So I'd like to see polyamory recognized as not abusive or neglectful in and of itself as far as a living situation for children.

Part of that may have to be defined in legal terms but I also believe that education of social workers, psychologists, educators etc. will have to take place as well.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:42 AM
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Part of that may have to be defined in legal terms but I also believe that education of social workers, psychologists, educators etc. will have to take place as well.
Great point! The thing is, there are educators in our local poly community who are in a position to offer a broader view of healthy relationships but they can't because they fear prosecution or discrimination.

Children are the key in regards to many legal aspects I think.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:25 AM
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I don't know if anyone here has read any fiction by J.D. Robb. (Nora Roberts by any other name.) Her series is based around a cop in a futuristic NYC - but not too future. Maybe 75 years from now or so.

I mention this because in her world, she has created "cohab" laws. People can marry (gender notwithstanding - m/f, m/m, f/f ... or any variation thereof) if they choose and want the religious or historical significance of marriage. But people can also get a "contract" for Registered Cohabitation. You can live together w/out it, but if you choose to "cohab" as it's called in her world, you have a certain set of rights and responsibilities. Some of them are mandated by law and some of them are optional and are spelled out in the final contract. That includes legal rights, rights of survivorship, insurance coverage (at increased premiums), etc., etc., etc. This applies not only to couples (again, gender non-specific) but to triads, and quads as well. In the series she has not gone into relationships past triads and quads, but based on how the series is written, I'm sure the permutations would be limitless. You can also be Registered Cohabs with someone w/out actually living in the same house.

(Her world also has legalized prostitution - or as she refers to them: Licensed Companions who also have legal rights, and who are mandated to have testing every so many months and to undergo certain psychological tests to receive and maintain a license. But that's another thread. )

Obviously this is a fictional series and it's easy to skim the particulars when you're talking about fiction, but in my perfect world, J.D. Robb's version would be very close to what we'd have.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:34 AM
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I don't know if anyone here has read any fiction by J.D. Robb. (Nora Roberts by any other name.)
.
Sounds like an interesting read! I think I have read some of her stuff under Nora Roberts...time to do some research.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:43 AM
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This is the case from BC, yes, Mono?

The ones that the Vancouver Poly group has been involved with?
http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/V...case-7900.aspx

and a case against presented by a self-styled social activist at http://stoppolygamyincanada.wordpress.com/

Or is this another one?
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:49 AM
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This is the case from BC, yes, Mono?

The ones that the Vancouver Poly group has been involved with?
That's the one I believe. We've been asked to help out but there are publicity issues that I have major issues with. I don't mind taking heat or judgment but will not let my choices affect my other family such as daughter and parents. We would make a good example of a long term MFM "V" though.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I’m not looking for the usual “acceptance” and “understanding” because those can’t be mandated by law. I’m not looking for anti oppression rhetoric because I don’t identify as a victim in my choice to follow this path. I am talking about black and white rights. The kind that get written down.
I have to ask, how are these "black and white rights" going to be written down in law without polyamory being accepted?

If no one understands then what is the incentive to lift "legal persecution." How is this anything but dealing with the symptoms and not the underlying illness.

Laws don't come into being at the governmental level without education and change happening on a social level.

It is ironic that the term persecution is being used when we're not talking of victims here.

Changing the language does not change the reality. "Legal persecution" is institutionalized oppression. Trying to separate it because the term "oppression" offends white male monogamous privileged sensibilities is absurd.

~Raven~
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