Canadian polys court publicity as trial nears
With the test case over Canada's 1890 anti-polygamy and anti-polyamory law set to begin in four days (on November 22nd), poly activists with the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) are seeking and getting more good press.
Last night some of them spoke out at a well-publicized forum at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the province where the trial will take place. (Watch the panel on YouTube.) And yesterday CPAA-er Kiki Christie got written up in the Canadian University Press, a news service for more than 80 college papers.
Note the article's beautiful picture of Kiki and her girlfriend and boyfriend. Lesson: if you want the media to show nice pictures of you that convey your message, give them the pictures yourself! Make their job easy.
From the article:
B.C. to review polygamy law
A potential change to the law would affect polyamorists, too.
By Danielle Pope — CUP Western Bureau Chief
Caption: Kiki Christie (top) enjoys a Victoria Pride event with her girlfriend Cora and their boyfriend Pierce. (Provided photo)
VICTORIA (CUP) — The provincial government could soon have a lot to say in the future when it comes to who British Columbians can sleep with.
Starting Nov. 22, the B.C. Supreme Court will review section 293 of the Criminal Code, Canada’s so-called “polygamy law,” to decide whether or not it is constitutional. But the case doesn’t just affect polygamists — it has pulled in polyamorous people across the country, who are planning to take part in the case.
“Most Canadians are decent, fair-minded people who don’t want to lock up their neighbours over harmless personal choices. Society seems to be ahead of the law on this issue,” said Kiki Christie, a bisexual polyamorous writer and educator living in Victoria.
“The polyamorous community builds its relationships on values shared among Canadians, including gender equality, fairness, respect for the autonomy and free choice of all involved and affirmative concern of each for the feelings and well-being of the others.”
Christie, who is the facilitator and founder of Victoria Poly 101, a discussion and support group, says that Canadian society has succeeded in integrating many diverse cultures and worldviews, and “is up to the challenge of giving polyamory its due respect.”
When it comes to decoding the terminology, polygamy refers to multiple marriages, while polyamory implies multiple loving relationships — usually, but not always, romantic in nature. Currently, section 293 prescribes criminal penalties for all multi-person conjugal relationships, and not just those who are formally married to multiple people....
“We’re here because we have a right to live with the people we love, and Canadian law doesn’t seem to recognize that,” said Christie. “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.”
Christie says that while stigma is something that every sexual orientation has to deal with, most of the challenges in polyamory are due to misunderstanding or lack of information.
“We are victims of ‘couple-ism,’ in our society,” she said. “If you have two partners, which one do you bring to the staff party, or take to the Valentine’s Day offer for couples at the restaurant? The restaurant is discriminating, but it doesn't know that. Having multiple, consenting loves is relatively unknown to our culture. Or worse, treated as trivial, which love, of course, never is.”
Christie says that while many polyamorists worry about “coming out” to their families, friends and colleagues, they often find far more acceptance than they expect. Sometimes, those who come out do encounter discrimination or ostracism, she says, but facing this is also part of changing the social stigmas that lock us in — and it's rarer than one might expect.
...“Polyamory is not cheating; it's not acting without responsibility or the consent of one's partners, and it's not about being greedy or selfish. Polyamory is, first and foremost, a choice about who and how we love.”
Read the whole article.
Word is that Kiki will also be on CHEK-TV for Vancouver Island. More is on the way elsewhere.