Polyamorists want legal recognition in Canada

A group of polyamorists say they want the same legal status as other relationships, following the group’s first national convention in Canada.

Polyamory involves intimate relationships between three or more people at the same time.

Canada redefined marriage in 2005 and saw a major legal case involving polygamy in 2011.

Equality

The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association intervened in the case and now says it wants to see polyamorous relationships treated on the same legal footing as others.

The Association’s director, Zoe Duff, said she would like to see “households where our spouses are equal under the law, and moving forward in terms of pensions, and inheritances and property division”.

The group defines polyamory as having “more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved”.

The group say they “live all gender combinations”, and are “queer-friendly”.

Controversy

One panellist at the convention said she took home two partners to a family event last year, and claimed that polyamory is a viable alternative to monogamy.

In October last year in Canada, a poster which promoted polygamy caused controversy when it appeared in schools.

The poster declares: “Love has no gender” and shows a variety of relationships including an image of one man and two women, and two men and one woman.

Exploit

At the time, the Toronto School Board faced criticism for using the image.

Writer Daphne Bramham said: “But by being so stupid and so blind how the image reads to most people, the Toronto School Board appears to be promoting a practise that leads almost invariably not only to the sexual exploitation of girls, the expulsion of boys, but poor educational and health outcomes.

“At very least it needs to recall all of the posters and stickers that have been distributed and take it off its own website.”

A spokesman from the board said it “does not support polygamy” and added: “The images in question were meant to support an individual’s right to choose whom they love, regardless of gender.”

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