Canada polygamy/polyamory court case update
A few days ago the CPAA applied to become an official intervener in the court case. So have 15 other groups and individuals including an ex-polygamist who fled the breakaway-Mormon group at the center of the case, children's-rights advocates, Catholic organizations, a free-speech group, and others. Here's a mainstream-media article on the intervener applicants. Update: Here's another.
Polyamorists have a dog in this hunt because the law unenforced for many decades, and perhaps in violation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms outlaws not just polygamy, but any type of multiple "conjugal union" even if it makes no claim to be a marriage. It also criminalizes any person who merely assists at a multiple-marriage-like ceremony, such as by bringing potluck food to a Pagan handfasting. The penalty for any of the above is five years in prison.
Here is the law in its entirety (scroll to Section 293).
CPAA has issued a press release explaining its position. The group seems to be laying the groundwork to argue that the law criminalizes a far greater number of non-abusive, egalitarian polyamorists than actual polygamists and that laws should target the alleged abusive behavior, not any and all committed multiple loving relationships.
The CPAA is calling for more witnesses, volunteer helpers, and donations. The group writes,
We are currently looking for:
-- Legal researchers and academic researchers to help us identify and compile legislation, legal precedence, and academic research in support of our arguments in support of polyamory. Our arguments need to be grounded in the best evidence and research available where that exists.
-- Canadians who practice a polyamorous lifestyle to step forward as potential witnesses, particularly if they are cohabiting with multiple partners.
-- We are very fortunate to have a number of legal recourses available to us at little or no charge, and a legal counsel who has had experience in mounting this type of legal action. Our legal counsel is polyamorous himself. However, court filings and copying does cost. And down the road there may be travel costs as well. If you want to support us monetarily, please send a Paypal payment to donate(AT)polyadvocacy.ca, or email donate(AT)polyadvocacy.ca for instruction on how to send us a donation by cheque.
Our media spokespersons are John Ince and Zoe Duff. John Ince is also our legal counsel.
No court dates have been set, and Chief Justice Robert Bauman has not yet reviewed the applications for intervener status.
For more information see the previous coverage here. And check for news updates.