Saturday, January 30, 2010

February VP101 discussion

VP101 February discussion: the In's and Out's of Poly Love

How do you love your Poly Valentine?

Thursday, February 25, 2010
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Camas Bookstore
corner of Kings and Quadra


Polyamory means "many loves", but how, exactly do we express and define the love we feel for more than one intimate partner? How is this the same or different from the love we feel for other family members? How important is sex to the expression of love?

Come discuss what love means within the context of poly, ideally and practically.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Upcoming Victoria book launch

Who's Your Daddy book launch

Saturday, February 6, 2010
3:30pm - 5:30pm
Michel Pujol Room, Student Union Building (SUB), University of Victoria


Who's Your Daddy is a groundbreaking collection of writings from queer parents, parents-to-be, writers, academics, lawyers, activists and queer spawn.

Come join the author Rachel Epstein and mingle with students, writers and members of Victoria's queer community. Books available for purchase. This event is being hosted by UVic Pride's Canadian University Queer Services Conference (Feb. 5-7, 2010).

Cost: donation of $3-6 (sliding scale)

Call 250-483-5943 for more information.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association Press Release

For Immediate Release

Polyamorists Announce Court Application

VANCOUVER -- January 28, 2010 -- Members of Canada's polyamory community have applied to become an intervener in the B.C. government's challenge of section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada -- Canada's anti-polygamy law. The application, filed in BC Supreme Court yesterday, is on behalf of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA).

Polyamory, sometimes referred to as responsible or ethical non-monogamy, is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the consent of everyone involved. Section 293 forbids both polygamy and any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time and as such infringes on people's ability to practice polyamory if the relationships involve cohabitation.

"We believe that people should be free to practice polyamory free of any criminal liability, and that the Charter of Rights gives Canadians such freedom," said CPAA legal counsel, John Ince.

"It is not appropriate for a law which prohibits loving, committed, consensual relationships to remain on the books, even if it not presently being enforced," Ince continued.

Newsweek Magazine recently reported that polyamory is a thriving phenomenon in the United States, with over half a million families openly living in relationships that are between multiple consenting partners.1 Polyamory is also a thriving phenomenon in Canada.

The CPAA, whose purpose is to promote legal, social, government, and institutional acceptance and support of polyamory in Canada, has called for people who practice a polyamorous lifestyle to step forward as potential witnesses, particularly if they are cohabiting with multiple partners.

"Trudeau once famously said 'there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation'. Similarly, we believe that there is no place for the state in the kitchens and the front rooms of the nation," said Zoe Duff, CPAA spokesperson.

"Adult women and men should be able to choose what form of intimate relationship they enter into and with whom they want to share their lives, even if it is more than one person," Duff continued.

Polyamory contrasts with "patriarchal polygamy" practiced in religious communities such as Bountiful, B.C. where men have the right to marry or live with several women, but women have no right to marry or live with several men. Polyamory, on the other hand, is grounded in gender equality, self-determination, and free choice for all involved.

If the issues at communities such as Bountiful are alleged abuse (for example: the abuse of minors, abuse of authority, and marriages that are under age), the abuses should be prosecuted using existing laws that address such abuses.

The CPAA anticipates that his matter may go to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More on the Poly Women's Group in Victoria, BC

The first Poly Women's Group meeting in Victoria (Jan. 3) was a huge success!  We had coffee in a great location, some fun and interesting conversation, and got to know each other better.  

The next meeting will be on Feb 7th from 2-4 at Discovery Coffee on Discovery St at Douglas, by Paul's motor Inn, Victoria, BC.  Check out the Victoria Poly 101 Facebook group for more information, or join the new Poly Women's Group on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Creating safe and respectful discussion space

Ok, listen up, y'all,

It's the beginning of VP101's second year in existence as a poly discussion/information/support group and I for one am giving a BIG cheer for how awesome we were in 2009!

One of the things I'm most proud of is that we have been able to create a space for people of all ages, from diverse backgrounds, relationship preferences, gender identifications and tastes in clothing (ok, just had to throw that in there because of the poly pants joke.. ) to meet, discuss and support each other in the exploration of ethical relationship dynamics.

That said, I know there are quite a few new members (yay, welcome new members!!) who perhaps aren't accustomed to being in such an open, non-judgmental space and are unsure of how this works. So.. as my first poly service announcement of the year, I want to go over my very few but firm facilitator rules for poly discussion:

1. What is said in the room stays in the room, no exceptions unless you have explicit permission from the person speaking to discuss what they said with others.

2. Listen respectfully to what everyone has to say. Agreement is not necessary, respect is essential.

3. VP101 discussions (4th Thursday of the month) are not dating meetups. If you wish to pursue a social connection with someone at the meet, please wait until after it's over to do so.

While VP101 social events (we have started having one of these a month) are less strict about rule number three, please be aware that anyone soliciting attention in a disrespectful manner will be asked to stop, and possibly asked by the host to leave if they are making other people uncomfortable. Please refer to rule number two about respect. There are poly dating groups in town and I'd be happy to let you know when they're happening if you want to attend a mixer!

One of the aspects about being polyamorous is that people tend to form relationships and date within our community. Something I greatly admire is the ability of poly community members to rise above the desire to engage in "high school" drama and politics when dealing with former partners who are members of the group. While you may not wish to attend a social event because your ex is there, please do not feel you cannot attend a discussion for this reason. Your facilitator has a zero tolerance policy for drama during discussions.

Please remember that there is no *right* way to practice polyamory. Let's honour the qualities of respect, honesty, communication and compassion which we have so successfully nurtured in our discussions this past year. We are, in case you weren't aware, a shining example to other poly groups in BC and in North America.

Way to go, folks! Looking forward to celebrating your awesomeness on January 28th.

Polyishly yours,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Update on the legal situation in British Columbia as it pertains to practicing polyamory

In December, 2009, the BC Supreme Court agreed to answer a reference question put to it by the provincial Attorney General as to whether Canada's Criminal Code s. 293 is inconsistent with the Charter of Rights.  That section makes it illegal for more than two people to be in a conjugal relationship, whether formally married or not, and carries a 5 year sentence.  It also similarly criminalizes anyone else celebrating or assisting in a rite involving a multiple conjugal union or marriage.
The section was originally (1890's) aimed at Mormon polygamists and there is social pressure in British Columbia to again apply the section to the Mormon subsect of polygamists in Bountiful BC to address alleged abuses going on there.
While only one person has ever been found guilty under s. 293 (over 100 years ago, an aboriginal man), and only one person has been charged (unsuccessfully) under that section in the last 100 years, the fact that the section is there affects how polyamorists conduct their lives. It also affects other aspects of government policy, including immigration laws.
In response to the pending litigation, Vanpoly moderators and members have started an ad hoc working group to intervene in the litigation to present the case of polyamorists as to whether the section infringes Charter rights.  We put out notices to various Canadian poly yahoo lists requesting potential witnesses who could attest that they are living in multiple conjugal relationships.  We have been contacted by some poly families interested in acting as potential witnesses, though we are still interested in hearing from you if you are interested (please email for details).  We have been joined on the working group by fellow polyamorists and moderators from VanIsle Poly and from Montreal and are now working on forming a Society, tentatively named the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association, and preparing the formal documents for the application to court. These documents are due into court on January 28, 2010.
We will keep you posted as things progress.
Carol (Vanpoly moderator and ad hoc working group member)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Poly New Year!

Victoria Women's Poly Group - first meeting

My friend Megh is hosting a very informal women's poly meet this Sunday here in Victoria. Come for coffee and chat! (Look for the parrot on the table... ) ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Discovery Coffee, 664, Discovery Street. Across from Paul's Motor Inn.

We thought it would be great for women who identify as polyamorous or the like to hang out together sometimes... perhaps monthly. I for one would welcome support and would be a willing listener and supporter of other women also. I don't know if we need to be formal about that, but just see where it goes and what comes out of getting us all together.