Saturday, November 14, 2009

Support Scarleteen and Comprehensive Sex Ed for Teens

One of the causes I consider very important is comprehensive sex education for minors, and putting an end to abstinence-only sex ed, which is both irresponsible and ineffective. I'm passionate on this subject because I don't want to see any of today's youth be led down the f***ed up road I was led down, where I was given zero positive messaging about sex and some very damaging sex-negative messaging that it took many years to correct so that I could have a healthy sex life and happy relationships.

My friend Heather Corinna founded and runs the Scarleteen website which furnishes comprehensive sex education and related resources to thousands of kids who would otherwise get their sex ed the old fashioned way - either from their ill-informed friends or from elders who are too uncomfortable or too blinded by their own skewed values to manage to do more good than harm.

Like so many sex-related non-profit groups, Scarleteen is run pretty much completely by the passionate commitment of one or more people to whom the subject means a great deal, and in this case that person is Heather. Scarleteen's budget is meager and doesn't provide much in the way of financial support necessary for someone like Heather to be able to devote the huge amounts of time and effort it takes to provide the services she provides. If it were better supported, it would be able to do even more to help today's teens. Without Scarleteen, they would be left pretty much in the dark, abandoned by our society to ignorance and having risky sex and all the dangers that implies.

So I urge you to please join me in supporting Scarleteen. I'm sending in a $100 donation now - won't you do what you can, too?


Call for Intervenors - Canadian Polyamorists Set to Challenge Anti-Polygamy Law

We US poly activists will surely be watching this case very closely. If you are poly and Canadian, please consider responding to this call - you have an opportunity to make history here both legally and socially and help ensure relationship freedom for yourself and your brother and sister Canadian polyamorists. And though this won't set a legal precident here in the US, its success will surely be helpful in working toward global acceptance of our kind of relationships.

Although this is no laughing matter, I couldn't resist including this campy picture and a link to the Onionesque article that describes it.  These three are Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and his supposed second and third brides. 

But back to business.  Here's a hearty "huzzah!" to the Canadian poly activists who are undertaking this important effort.


Call for Intervenors

November 13, 2009

Court case: Upcoming BC Government’s Court Reference on the Criminalization of Polygamy and Group Marriages

The BC government will shortly put a question to the Court to test the constitutionality of section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada which criminalizes people who practice polygamy or enter into any kind of “conjugal union” (i.e. a common-law marriage) with more than one person at the same time. Intervenors will have as little as 3 weeks to respond with court applications and affidavits.

It is important that polyamorists who are interested in being married to more than one person, or are living with more than one person, make the court aware of their interests and the legal arguments that the law is unconstitutional, because it infringes their Canadian Charter rights of association, religion (i.e. Wiccan or Pagan), equality, and the life, liberty and security of the person. It is not appropriate for a law which criminalizes loving, committed, consensual relationships to remain on the books, even if it is not presently being enforced. The more polyamorous interveners there are, the more strongly the court will hear this position.


Who are we?

We are individual members of the Vancouver polyamory community and are active members or coordinators in Vanpoly (www.vanpoly. ca), who have joined together to coordinate an intervention by polyamorists so that the court can hear our stories and arguments. We have experience in organizing politically and legally. One of our members has offered to act as pro bono legal counsel and has successful experience in mounting constitutional challenges to Canada’s criminal code. We are also liaising with other civil and legal rights groups who are also following the BC government closely in this matter.

What are the steps in the process?

First, and as soon as possible, we need to identify potential intervenors and get their stories. When the government asks the court about the legality of this legislation, we want to be ready to finalize the sworn statements of intervenors and apply to the court within the 3 week period. If our application to the court is accepted, we will then prepare legal arguments in support of the above position, that it is not appropriate for a law which criminalizes loving, committed, consensual relationships to remain on the books. It is expected that this process will need to go very quickly.

Qualifications of an Intervenor

We are in immediate need of identifying as many potential intervenors as possible so that polyamory can be properly represented.

If you are a Canadian Resident:

1) currently living with multiple partners in a conjugal (marital or marital-like) relationships, or

2) have engaged in polyamorous relationships either in the past or currently AND have a desire to live with multiple partners in a conjugal (marital or marital-like) relationships in the future

then we ask you to email us.
While we are interested in hearing from ALL people who fit the above criteria, we are especially interested in having at least one female in a MFF (male-female- female) grouping.

What would it mean to be an intervenor?

1. You would need to give legal counsel some facts as to your polyamorous lifestyle which would be written up in a statement, which you will be asked to swear on oath is true. This statement would be filed in court. Your name and your address along with the statements in your affidavit would then be public. However, you would NOT need to name your partners.

2. You may find that your name and other information in your affidavit is in the news. You would NOT need to speak to media or answer their questions as you could refuse to respond to any media enquiries.

3. You would NOT need to incur court costs. You would need to pay for the affidavit to be sworn if you are in a city other than Vancouver. (If this is a concern, please advise and we will look for donations toward the cost.)

Who do I contact for more information or to offer to be an intervenor?

Please email Melly at ms.mellyn@gmail. com.

Thank you for your attention to this.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monogamy vs. Polyamory Debated on Live

Within the last week Live hosted an excellent debate on monogamy, polyamory, and human instinct. Representing the polyamorous viewpoint by telephone were Family web series creator Terisa Greenan and one of her partners, Scott Campbell. Terisa and Scott did an excellent job of answering questions and clearing up some common misconceptions about polyamory.

By the way, you can see the most excellent season finale of "Family" at the link I just provided complete with de rigueur cliffhanger ending. Fun seeing Chris Bingham of Bone Poets Orchestra and Gaia Consort before that, who with his partner in love and music, Sue Tinney, write and perform the fine Family soundtrack.

Back to the CNN piece. Also in the clip is Nisa Muhammad of the Wedded Bliss Foundation. I must say that though some of her statements are fairly accurate, much of it is, at least from my experience and personal perspective, total crap. But I admit that I'm biased. Still, she almost by rote makes all the BS claims put forth by the marriage movement, i.e, those determined to perpetuate the fairy tale that does so much damage by creating false expectations about marriage and monogamy, that is that traditional monogamous marriage, preferably between one man and one woman, is the only legitimate option, the only way to find sexual and emotional fulfillment in a relationship.

Also interviewed but sadly not included in this clip other than their images are Drs. David Barash and Judith Eve Lipton, a married couple, researchers and authors of books that include The Myth of Monogamy. What they had to say went a long way toward debunking the notion that monogamy is "natural." I appreciate their candidness and their willingness to take the risk of saying what is true but also controversial. I particularly appreciated their affirming that monogamy and polyamory are both choices, neither perfect but both legitimate.

According to Barash's Wikipedia page, he "has been named one of the country's '101 Most Dangerous Professors,' by right-wing writer David Horowitz." Sounds like my kind of guy.

Here's the clip is making available - enjoy!