Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What’s Next For Canadian Polyamorists?

jbash notes the lack of appeal of Chief Justice Bauman’s November 23 decision denying the polygamous freedom to marry, and asks for input.

The good news: without litigation setting an agenda for us, we can set our own, taking a fresh look at what Canada’s poly majority needs. We’re free to think about the long term, and we’d like your help.

If we really are done in court for now, in the coming weeks and months we’ll look at where the CPAA should go next: what our principles should be, where our priorities should lie, what services we should provide, what strategies we should use, who our allies should be, how we’ll be funded, and how we should organize ourselves. We can reinvent the CPAA completely, if that’s what needs to be done.

A reminder of where things stand…

Section 293’s threat has been weakened; it could have been read much more broadly. The lines aren’t as sharply drawn as we’d like, but it applies only to formal, institutionalized multi-partner marriages, clearly not to informal “common law” style relationships.

Still, the CPAA believes that major parts of the finding are legally wrong, and that Section 293 violates the Canadian Charter of Rights. Charter aside, we believe it’s an unwise and harmful law, for our community and for others. Innocent people are at risk, and there are much better ways to address the abuses its supporters are concerned about.

Eliminating Section 293 entirely is still a CPAA goal, but we’ll have to lay a lot of groundwork to do that. And other issues may be as pressing, or more so, for our community.

You may not be polyamorous, and you may not be Canadian, but we need solidarity to reach full marriage equality. Canada has rightly embraced the (limited) same-sex freedom to marry. This will make it more likely that the US an other nations will move towards full marriage equality as well. Right now, there are adults in Canada denied the freedom to marry simply because they are more than two of them. Two of them might want to marry the third, or or three may want to marry. And, there are adults in Canada who want to marry who are denied because they are close biological relatives. They are consenting adults, and they shouldn’t be denied the right to marry.
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