Monday, June 20, 2011

So....what happened with the court case...the Polygamy Law stuff?

The decision is in the hands of Chief Justice Bauman. It will take a minimum of three to six months for him to review all the evidence and come to his decision. We have heard no updates on that as of yet. I expect it later rather than sooner as I found Chief Justice Bauman to be very thorough and thoughtful.

So we wait. We go on with our lives next door to you. We are going to work, school and the grocery store as usual. We take our kids to their end of school year activities and plan for their summer camps and jobs with them. We love and are loved. We have our difficult days and our amazingly wonderful days. I think my biggest concern is that in the passing of each day average Canadians are forgetting that it is about more than those Mormon people in the back hills of British Columbia. I was pleased and amazed to hear lawyers and journalists wrapping their lips around terms like polygyny, polyandry, polyamory and understanding the difference. The first step to acceptance is understanding. I don't think it has had time to filter into mainstream thinking though. I want polyamory to stay current in the media and the minds of the public.

On the weekend of June 3,4 5 poly people from across the US and Canada as well as some in Britain celebrated with a Poly House Party Weekend. There were parties in homes and in public venues where we rejoiced in the freedom to love more than one person in an open and empowering fashion. There were facebook pages, much twitter activity (#PHPW)and a website devoted to the event which was a fundraiser for Loving More and the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association. It was a much appreciated support for both of these groups and a terrific flag waving event for the polyamory community world wide. Excellent ground roots organization and very laid back and casual events. A perfect celebration and media event to keep us on the radar of the average person.

Prior to going to the closing days of the court sessions in April, it was necessary for me to "come out" to the management of my current job. I had changed jobs since the opening sessions and this employer was not aware of my possible notoriety if the press decided to notice my attendance. In that discussion with my employers,one of the managers asked what I would do if the court's decision was to uphold the polygamy law as it stands. I was a bit stunned by the question because I'd not thought about what would happen following any decision. So much of my energy and thought for over a year had been on what evidence we could find to present to ensure that the lives of so many loving empowering families in the poly community were protected from this law.

I thought for a moment and realized that we had the attention of the BC AG by providing an affidavit that was quoted in his closing argument. It was clear to me that should the court rule in favour of prosecuting under this law the first prosecutions would be at Bountiful and the next would be looking very closely at us as the only BC people admitting to a polyamorous household. I said,"Well I guess we'd have to split up depending on how the law is being read down. We haven't had a ceremony which is criteria for the AG of Canada so it would depend on how the judge defines it as to whether I, personally, would be prosecutable."

I've thought about this over the past few months and I really don't know what will happen but I do know that it isn't a matter of what I would do but a matter of what we as a family will do. This isn't about naughty behaviour that one should stop. This is about a love shared with two men so deeply felt that the agony of separation from either of them is unthinkable. It is about a family that surrounds us and sustains us as a loving trio. My children have embraced my partners as loving fathers and dear friends in their lives. If you could have seen my children and partners all working together to move my parents across town to a new home. They worked as a team and asked nothing but something to eat and a cold drink. Hard working team and each of them sees the others as key members of their life. Yeah, they gripe and complain on occasion. That's what families do. That isn't despite my naughty behaviour. That is because we are loving and respectful of each other and attempt to provide a good example of an open, honest and empowering household.

Being a poly group organizer and spokesperson is something I am comfortable with and enjoy. I do find it somewhat tiring at times with all the other things in a busy life. If the court rules in our favour, I will be much busier as the road of awareness and political lobbying will open up. That too will be taxing on my relationships. (Yes, I worry too much.)

(Oh by the way, Polycamp Vancouver Island is July 29 to Aug 7 which is longer and with more great workshops and activities. See for details. Let's get together, celebrate community and I'll teach you how to write letters that invoke political change.)

In the end, I can only step forward into the darkness feeling for the light switch and assure you that when I can see the reality of this court decision it will be with that bravery that I have found somewhere deep inside me and it will be hand in hand with my partners, my family and my community.

Yes, I am PROUD to love openly, honestly, ethically and without limit.