Polyamorists hope to gain same legal recognition as other Canadian couples

By Vivian Luk, Vancouver Sun

While Canada’s polyamorists — people with multiple partners outside a religious context — do not face criminalization as do polygamists, it is not enough for them to be considered “just not illegal,” they said on Sunday.

As the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association wrapped up its three-day convention, the first of it’s kind to be held in Canada, the association’s director and conference chair Zoe Duff said polyamorists hope to one day gain the same legal recognition as other couples.

“It would be nice…to have households where our spouses are equal under the law, and moving forward in terms of pensions, and inheritances and property division,” she said.

Unlike polygamy, there is no law in Canada that specifically bans polyamory. Polyamorists also distinguish themselves from polygamists, saying that while polygamy consists of men taking multiple wives usually within a religious context, polyamory is consensual, secular and egalitarian.

“There’s informed consent between the partners, so you can have multiple partners but they all know what’s going on, they most often know each other,” said Duff. “There’s back-and-forth input in terms of what people are comfortable with at the get go. None of that will be found in polygamy at all.”

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