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  #31  
Old 10-17-2010, 03:23 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Default CPAA - We need YOU now!!!

We need YOU now!!!
Oct 16th, 2010 | By Zoe

Quote:
Poly Love may be Criminalized in Canada. The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association is asking for both funds and community support to resist this attack on our community.

Please fundraise or donate! Consider holding a poly community pub night or event for the CPAA. We have been operating a very tight, totally volunteer driven campaign on a very limited budget and we’re now starting to have expenses in excess of our $1,100 of seed money. (see below for more info on what we’ve managed to do on those funds! Holy cow!) For continued effective and more fulsome representation on this issue, a donation of any amount would be very helpful. Please send a Paypal payment to donate@polyadvocacy.ca or send email to support@polyadvocacy.ca for instructions on how to send a cheque.
Trial begins November 22! Consider organizing a community event that day or the weekend before to celebrate polyamory and show your support. Send us pictures or a blurb. Talk with your MLA or your MP about polyamory and tell them that loving families should not be criminalized just because they involve more than 2 adults in a marriage-like relationship. Our governments need to know that ordinary Canadians do not want poly to be criminal.

Background: As many of you will recall, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) was formed by well known people in the polyamory community to advocate for polyamory in the Canadian court case on Canada’s criminal law against multiple, conjugal living arrangements and polygamy (s. 293 Criminal Code). The court is going to be giving its opinion on whether the law breaches the Charter of Rights and is unconstitutional.

The CPAA’s view is that the law absolutely affects the fundamental freedoms and rights of polyamorists and should be struck down. Loving, families should not be criminalized just because they involve more than 2 adults in a marriage-like relationship.

While the law has seldom been enforced (and was recently aimed at fundamentalist Mormons in BC), scarily it promises 5 year jail sentences to participants, and those assisting/attending celebrations. Visit the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association facebook page or our website at polyadvocacy.ca for more information.

Litigation activities and updates: A small group of us got together and formed the CPAA. We got:
-donated seed funds of $1100, now spent on activities (see below)
-a volunteer pro bono lawyer (for a limited amount of time)
-obtained “interested person” status in court
-did a survey of the Canadian poly community which we put into court as evidence
–found 5 witness families from across Canada to swear affidavits about their family stories into court (more volunteered too, thank you!)
–made a pre-trial application to ask the governments to clarify whether they believe polyamorous families’ are criminals under the law (application refused BUT the good news is that the application helped us clarify to media and others that polyamory is very different culturally and in practice than in religious, patriarchal polygamy).
-put into court a 500 page brief of expert and social science evidence as well as 4 books

We are now preparing for the court dates beginning November 22. This includes identifying the witnesses we propose to call and to cross-examine and preparing 2 statements of submission.

Government position: The governments of BC and Canada have so far refused to say that polyamorous conjugal households are not criminal under s. 293. Canada has said nothing about its position on the law but is expected to argue that it applies to polyamorous relationships and is constitutional. BC says s. 293 does criminalize polyamorous households. However, if necessary (if the court thinks 293 breaches the Charter of Rights), then BC might take the position that the law should not be applied to polyamorous relationships. That doesn’t make us feel very safe. Even worse, BC has since put forward evidence and made statements at the pre-trial hearing indicating it might argue that polyamory should be included in the criminal law, particularly polyamorous households in which there is one man and more than one woman (polygnous arrangements).

Please feel free to email us if you have any questions or concerns (support@polyadvocacy.ca). We also have forums open on our website
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  #32  
Old 10-18-2010, 03:06 PM
Athena Athena is offline
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Default May be helpful?

http://www.weddingguideuk.com/forums/forumchat.asp

At this site you can find links to what is legal in the UK for weddings, including (the fairly limited list of who is excluded from marrying - mostly relatives to whom relations most people would consider incestuous), and legal age limits.

I think if those laws are the only ones from whom one is excluded from marrying, one could argue that then, that one can marry anyone or anyones who are not in those categories. Canada is part of the British Commonwealth. Don't know how much it will help you, but you could argue that as a member of the Commonwealth, the marriage laws have to match up?

I leave it up to your pro bono attorney to yea or nay the idea, but thought it was worth mentioning! Good luck!
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  #33  
Old 10-20-2010, 09:14 PM
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Athena, I am not sure how far that one would go, since polygamy is quite expressly illegal in the United Kingdom. I have been searching for some sort of official legal reference online for this, but have run out of time.

Instead I have to revert to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygam...United_Kingdom
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  #34  
Old 10-20-2010, 11:06 PM
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Also as much as british common law can still serve as a precident on occasion, the constitution and statues still belong to Canada.
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  #35  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:05 AM
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The BC reference case on S. 293 of Criminal Code of Canada is now underway. Here's a few articles and blogs relating to the case after the first day.




Dear Polly Amorie
On being a woman practicing polyamory in Canada

Monday, November 22, 2010
Polys in Court - first hand report - day 1
Quote:
....
When Justice Bauman entered the room you could feel a ripple of excitement pass through the courtroom of some 150 people. The huge number of lawyers present caused them to have to seat a few lawyers in the jury benches. Justice Bauman spoke about how historic this reference question case is and that we are on a journey together into new territory.
....

Standing Tall for what you believe
Quote:
In all fairness, I've never been one to stand by and allow situations that are an affront to my sense of right and wrong to pass without some comment or action. I've advocated for mental health consumer survivors, non-profit housing, single parents, battered women, and victims of sexual abuse. I have taken on the woes of the bruised and broken-hearted and made some attempt to help, support and sustain them. I firmly believe as Sonia Johnson said,
“One determined person can make a significant difference; a small group of determined people can change the course of history.”
....

Media

Esquimalt woman practises polyamory with live-in male partners
By Sandra Mcculloch, Times Colonist November 22, 2010

Quote:
...
In a trial that gets underway in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver tomorrow, provincial and federal justice officials are seeking a ruling confirming the constitutionality of the polygamy law. Its intent is to address the situation in Bountiful, where men claim a religious right to have multiple wives.

...

Landmark polygamy case lumbers into motion

Quote:
And so it began Monday with more than 30 robed lawyers in Courtroom 55 before Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the B.C. Supreme Court.

It is the reference case to determine the constitutionality of Section 293 of the Criminal Code, which outlaws polygamy. And there are so many lawyers in the courtroom that Bauman pleaded with them -- at least in the early going of the two-and-a-half-month proceeding and until he recognizes them all -- not to change seats "for the sake of my sanity."
...
B.C. says polygamy laws shouldn't target women with multiple husbands
By: The Canadian Press
Date: Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010
Quote:
The British Columbia and federal governments disagreed Tuesday on the exact definition of polygamy, with the province suggesting the law against multiple marriage doesn't apply to women with more than one husband and Ottawa insisting that it does.


Polygamy's on trial? How about monogamy?
By Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun November 23, 2010

Quote:
...
But it is an argument for the proper application of the Criminal Code. Punish crimes where you find them, not by sexual or matrimonial preference.

Because if we must, and we believe that by outlawing polygamy we will, at a stroke, do away with abandonment, confinement and physical and sexual abuse in those communities, shouldn't we, if only to extend that logic, be looking at criminalizing monogamy, in which the vast majority of the above crimes are committed?


Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA)
S.293 reference starts. We give you ALL the documents
Quote:
Oral arguments are beginning. We’re celebrating the first live action in the reference case by opening up our internal archive of court documents. This includes practically every court document filed by every party to the case.
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  #36  
Old 11-24-2010, 02:11 PM
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I've been reading docs from the Google Docs folder... Not ALL of them, mind you, but I tried reading all the opening statements.
It's very interesting, and I'm very excited about it all, although at the same time worried. I really don't know which way it will go in the end.

I can't believe people are talking of making it legal to have several male partners regarless of your own gender, but illegal to have several female partners if and only if you're a male.
And what about MFF vees with a female as the hinge? Would they count as polygyny? And if they don't, what would prevent people from going around the law by claiming the female partners are involved with one another?
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  #37  
Old 12-01-2010, 08:48 AM
quentinparker quentinparker is offline
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Default Poll

There is a poll right now about the law that makes poly criminal in Canada

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/.../?from=1819823

Hint the correct answer is "struck down"
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  #38  
Old 12-01-2010, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I can't believe people are talking of making it legal to have several male partners regarless of your own gender, but illegal to have several female partners if and only if you're a male.
And what about MFF vees with a female as the hinge? Would they count as polygyny? And if they don't, what would prevent people from going around the law by claiming the female partners are involved with one another?
The MFF Vee is an interesting question...and one that I doubt the court and the media haven't really got around to considering yet.

I take some comfort in that it only took a day for the argument to develop a sexist polarization. Other than sexism itself being against provisions of the charter to begin with, The anti-polygamy side's argument hinges on polygamy being the cause of harm in order to be justified in overriding charter rights. If these harms are apparent in polygyny, but not polyandry, then it goes to follow that the harms are not a result of polygamy. Rather it's more to do with things like patriarchy and associated control and disfranchisement of women...which was just as much of a problem with monogamous culture throughout most of the last century...and the laws to change that are still in place.

Now the CPAA and other intervenor's against 293 just have to convince the court...
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  #39  
Old 12-01-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
The MFF Vee is an interesting question...and one that I doubt the court and the media haven't really got around to considering yet.

I take some comfort in that it only took a day for the argument to develop a sexist polarization. Other than sexism itself being against provisions of the charter to begin with, The anti-polygamy side's argument hinges on polygamy being the cause of harm in order to be justified in overriding charter rights. If these harms are apparent in polygyny, but not polyandry, then it goes to follow that the harms are not a result of polygamy. Rather it's more to do with things like patriarchy and associated control and disfranchisement of women...which was just as much of a problem with monogamous culture throughout most of the last century...and the laws to change that are still in place.

Now the CPAA and other intervenor's against 293 just have to convince the court...
it sounds like that could take some time, but its at least hopeful. According to those that have been in the court room, the judge is fair and knowledgable of polyamory. He doesn't express his own opinion, but has obviously done his homework and has asked in court how certain things will effect the poly community. He doesn't seem to tolerate anyone who is trying to insert their agenda and makes that known. He is looking for facts and what is fair even though the court was over whelmed with people who are are ill educated and think we are polygamists by the sounds of it.

Lots more to come it seems. This could go on for awhile.
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  #40  
Old 12-01-2010, 08:19 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Other than the MFF vee, there are other very weird possible situations. Relationships aren't fixed in time and codependent, so we can absolutely assume that over, say, ten years, a MFM vee could turn into a MFMF N (one of the male partners getting a second girlfriend) and then a FMF vee (the male partner who didn't have another girlfriend breaking up or even dying or something).

What happens then? I've had two boyfriends for ten years, eight of which one of my boyfriends had another girlfriend. For whatever reason after ten years the other relationship is coming to an end. Am I really faced with the risk of turning my other boyfriend into a criminal if I break up with the first one? Am I forced to stay in a relationship that is no longer healthy? Is my boyfriend forced to break up with his girlfriend of eight years through absolutely no fault of his or her own?

And for that matter, what about a FMF vee with mono women? Are they forced to take on another partner when they are monogamous? Surely people can see that's way more abusive than allowing them to remain monogamous. Or would mono/poly relationship be forbidden, purely and simply? Would there be a relationship segregation between monos and polys?
But then, what about polys who just haven't found another partner? Right now I'm in a relationship with two poly males, neither of which has another partner at the moment. Would that be illegal too if our genders were reversed? Are they seriously planning on forcing women to take on extra relationships they're not really for, comfortable with or happy with?

I can't be the only person who sees all of these problems. I hope they can be raised during the hearings.
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