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RECOGNIZE! The 25th Anniversary celebration of the inclusion of ‘Sexual Orientation’ into the Ontario Human Rights Code

November 26th, 2011 No comments

Queer Ontario would like to cordially invite all members of our LGBTQ communities to come to RECOGNIZE! The 25th Anniversary celebration of the inclusion of ‘Sexual Orientation’ into the Ontario Human Rights Code. It promises to be an evening full of merriment and remembrance.

Special guests Tom Warner and Susan Gapka will be present to speak about recognition struggles past and present; and we will be presenting the John Damien Award for Outstanding Activism to an individual or group that has caused a major stir this year.

So please, come on by, bring your guests, and celebrate with us.

When: Sunday, December 4, 2011. 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Where: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
    12 Alexander Street, Toronto, ON
Note: The Program is set to start at 8:00 PM

Visit our Facebook event page for further details: https://www.facebook.com/events/267604516625048

Special Thanks to our sponsors:

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives

Xtra!

Queer Ontario Responds to BC Supreme Court Ruling on Canada’s Anti-Polygamy Laws

November 24th, 2011 No comments

After careful review and discussion, Queer Ontario releases its statement on the illogical British Columbia Supreme Court ruling on Canada’s anti-polygamy laws.

Queer Ontario Denounces Court Decision on Criminal Code Section 293

The statement can be found below.
The ruling can be found here.

Queer Ontario’s Non-Monogamy Policy Statement

November 24th, 2011 No comments

November 2011
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Queer Ontario Supports Non-Monogamous Relationships

Queer Ontario’s work towards queer liberation includes advocating for people in non-monogamous romantic and sexual relationships. We call upon all supporters of non-monogamous relationships to join Queer Ontario in creating a freer and more pluralistic society.
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What is non-monogamy?

Non-monogamy is the practice of casual or ongoing commitments to more than one person at any given time.  Some forms of non-monogamy are:

  • Open relationship: Any relationship where the partners have agreed to allow romantic or sexual involvement with individuals outside of the relationship. The term is widely used by people of all orientations.
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  • Open marriage: A married couple that has an open relationship.
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  • Swinging: Couples having casual sex with other people. The term usually refers to heterosexual or bisexual people who are emotionally monogamous, but have recreational sex with other couples or individuals.
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  • Polyamory: Having many partners simultaneously, in ongoing relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners. The term refers to egalitarian relationships between people of all genders, orientations and religions, in structures such as triads, Vees, quads, and networks. Some polyamorous relationships are marriage-like unions, formalized with a ceremony or agreement.
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  • Polyfidelity: A form of polyamory in which three or more people have a sexually-exclusive relationship.
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  • Polygamy: In sociology and anthropology, polygamy refers to any marriage-like relationship involving more than two partners of any gender, practiced in various cultures. In popular North American speech, polygamy usually refers to one man married to multiple women, within patriarchal and/or religious cultures, with the women’s knowledge but not necessarily their consent.
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  • Polyandry: A form of polygamy with one woman married to multiple men.
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  • Polygyny: A form of polygamy with one man married to multiple women.
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  • Bigamy: The criminal act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. The spouses may be unaware of each other.
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What kinds of relationships do we support?

Any kind of consensual relationship between any number of people, including monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. They need not be recognized under the law.

  • We support non-monogamy when practiced honestly and consensually, meaning that all partners:
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    1. Are aware of and understand the conditions of the relationship;
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    2. Are able to negotiate the originally-accepted terms as a key member of the
    relationship;  and
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    3. Are free to leave the relationship whenever they wish, for whatever reason.
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  •  This includes talking about and practicing safer consensual sex, and respecting the sexual, sensual, and emotional boundaries of all partners.
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  • We vehemently oppose coercion, oppression, and abuse in any form of relationship.
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Why do we support non-monogamous relationships?

  • Because people should be free to love whomever they please.
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  •  Because people should be free to engage in any consensual sexual activity.
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  • Because people should be free to live with whomever they please.
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  • Because people should be free to establish whichever relationship they please.
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  • Because no-one should be forced to hide their love for a partner, or the nature of their relationships, or the conditions of their living arrangements, from anyone.
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  • Because monogamy is an unnecessary restriction that limits people’s lives and liberties.
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Why is non-monogamy important to queer people?

  • Because queers have historically been able to witness, experience, and articulate social inequalities; and have historically challenged and broken social conventions.
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  • Because queer communities commonly accept open relationships and non-monogamous casual sex.
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  • Because non-monogamous relationships often involve queer people.
    That is: even when all participants are heterosexual, they may be subject to homophobia or bi-phobia.
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Why do we support relationships of more than two people?

  • Because we see no logical reason for government of society to privilege monogamous relationships above all others.
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  • Because we believe that the individual should be the basic social unit in a fair and democratic society. Meaning that people should not be required to get married, or live with a partner, to obtain the rights, recognitions, and benefits afforded to married couples.
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  • Because everyone should have their relationships recognized by government and society, including those individuals living in  multi-partner and same-sex or same-gender relationships.
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What legislative changes do we demand?

Among the demands outlined in our We (Still) Demand statement are:

  • The decriminalization of consensual conjugal unions involving multiple partners, by striking down Section 293 of the Criminal Code (the anti-polygamy law).
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  • The amendment, by all levels of government, of Human Rights Codes to establish ‘relationship status’ and ‘living arrangement’ as prohibited grounds for discrimination.
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  • The recognition of multi-partner relationships for purposes of spousal rights and benefits.  For example: so that a polyamorous triad can adopt a child together, and claim life insurance benefits when a member of the triad dies.
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  • The adoption of all the recommendations put forward  by the Law Commission of Canada in 2001  to find more equitable ways of supporting dependents in any family structure.
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  • The extension of universal health benefits to all essential medical care, including prescriptions, dental care, and vision care.  Employer-paid health plans are unavailable to many Canadians, and discriminate in favour of people with one spouse.
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What societal changes do we advocate for?

  • That health care practitioners be supportive of non-monogamous people and be aware of their physical, mental and sexual health needs.
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  • That landlords not discriminate against groups of more than two adults applying for rental accommodation.
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  • That multi-partner relationships be recognized by society’s institutions, such as in government forms, school curricula, and research studies.
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  • That society should recognize non-monogamous options in everything from dating websites to wedding invitations.
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For more information about non-monogamy, please see:

Law Commission of Canada report Beyond Conjugality:  Recognizing and supporting close personal adult relationships, 2001
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The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association
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Frequently asked questions
about polyamory from Loving More, a US-based organization supporting polyamory and relationship choice
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The book The Lesbian Polyamory Reader: Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Casual Sex
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Kevin Alderson’s article citing many studies about the open relationships of gay men.
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The Couples Study of gay men in open relationships
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Serolynne explains Polyamory vs. Polygamy and Polyamory vs. Swinging

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