POLYAMORY POLITICAL ACTIVISM CONCLAVE
SUNDAY: FEBRUARY 12, 2017
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
Many things are happening in the political arena that potentially have impact on the polyamory community, but most people within the poly community remain largely unaware of them. For instance, on August 9, 2016, a brief was filed with the US Supreme Court by the Kody Brown family, consisting of one husband and his four simultaneous wives, asking for the formal recognition of their polygamous marriage as a legal marriage. The mere fact that the Court accepted the brief does not constitute a ruling in favor of the family, nor does it even mean the court will even officially hear the case. More than likely, it will come to nothing. But then again, it might not.
Many of those on the "extreme right," had long cried that allowing gay marriage would open the door to non-monogamous marriage. Now that same-sex marriage has been legalized throughout the entire Uniited States, we have the opportunity to see if the predictions from the extreme will come true or not. Nevertheless, as witnessed by the most recent Kody Brown case and similar events, all of this seems to have sparked a continuing and intense national debate over whether nonmonogamous marriages should or should not be legalized.
Polygamy and polyamory are of course two different animals, but, for better or worse, the fate and perception of polyamory is intertwined with that of polygamy. (i.e., if laws and/or policies are put in place the punish marriages containing more than two people, that privilege monogamous relationships, or that restrict, discriminate against or criminalize non-monogamous sexual relationships, these things will have an impact on the poly community. Even if the actual target of discrimination is polygamy and not polyamory, polyamorists will still be caught in the cross-fire.
What are the wisest courses of action? What are the best ways for us to respond to the altered political landscape and social environment. Will poly-activism have a greater change of success than it has in previous years? Or will polyactivism merely provoke a more intensively negative "backlash" against the poly-community that it has in previous times?
What should we do, and how should we do it?
Things are moving so rapidly it is it difficult to keep up, let alone predict what will happen next.
Near as I can determine, things of this sort demonstrate that forces are at work in the world which may be operating very differently from how people within the poly community think they are operating. Perhaps all of our assumptions about political activism, the legal system, and the process of social change as it concerns consensual nonmonogamy are inaccurate? Perhaps all of our ideas about what is possible, what is practical, and what is achievable are overdue for re-evaluation? In an environment such as this, none of us can afford to be dogmatic.
Notice this Poly Political Conclave is a distinct event from the Academic polyamory conference. and you must register for it separately. Anyone registered for the main polyamory gathering may attend the Poly Political Summit for an additional $15. Anyone not registered for the conference may register for and attend the Political Summit for $50. No meals or lodging are included
What kind of polyactivism do YOU personally feel inspired and motivated to instigate and/participate in? Please bring your interesting ideas to share with the group!
GENERAL INFO ABOUT THE 2017 EVENT
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM Intro, welcome, selection of chairman
Those in attendance will elect a chairman to run the meeting from among the assembled group of participants. The chairman will preside over the meeting. After the chairman has been selected, the various topics that have been proposed for discussion by the people present will be considered by the group according to relevance and interest. All persons in attendance will be given the opportunity to speak and propose topics. A specific amount of time will be allocated by the group for discussion by the group members for each, and the sequence for the discussion will be decided upon.
What kind of poly-activism do YOU have a passion for? What kind of support do you need from others? What kind of support can you offer to offers?
. What kind of polyactivism are YOU personally motivated to instigate and/or participate in? What kind of a project do YOU personally have some real passion and enthusiasm for? How can we support and assist each other in our individual and joint projects? Please bring your interesting ideas to share with the group!
THE TOPICS LISTED BELOW ARE EXAMPLES OF TOPICS THAT HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED IN PREVIOUS YEARS, AND FOR WHICH THERE SEEMS TO BE A CONTINUING INTEREST AND SENSE OF RELEVANCE. IT IS THUS ANTICIPATED THAT THERE WILL PROBABLY BE INTEREST IN THESE AND/SIMILAR TOPICS IN THIS YEAR'S EVENT. HOWEVER, AT THIS POINT, THESE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ONLY AS SUGGESTED EXAMPLES. THE ACTUAL TOPICS THAT WILL BE DISCUSSED WILL BE A RESULT OF THE TOPICS ACTUALLY PROPOSED BY PEOPLE WHO REGISTER AND SHOW UP FOR THE EVENT, AND BY THE INTEREST AMONG THE REST OF THE GROUP HAVING THE MATTER DISCUSSED.
THUS, THE TOPICS ARE BY NO MEANS LIMITED TO THIS LIST BELOW. ANYONE WHO REGISTERS FOR THE EVENT MAY PROPOSE A TOPIC, WHICH MAY BE EITHER ONE OF THOSE LISTED BELOW OR SOME ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MATTER OF THEIR OWN CHOSING.
The general pattern is that discussion of any specific topic shall not more that 30 minutes, but exceptions can by the vote of the group according to the level of interest and perceived relevance of the topic. Note that just because one person has proposed to make a presentation on a given topic does not mean that other people cannot propose to given another presentation on that subject, and similar subject, or present a different perspective on the same topic.
POLYAMOROUS DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS:
CAN THEY BECOME A REALITY IN THE UNITED STATES?
Domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar "marriage-like" arrangements which include more than two people have been legally recognized in at least two countries (The Netherlands and Brazil). Can they ever be made legal in the United States and elsewhere? What might be gained from activism focused on this goal? What are the obstacles?
THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PASSES AND RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF POLYAMORY
On November 19, 2016, at a meeting of the executive committee of the Libertarian Party of California, the council passed a resolution in support of Polyamory. This was the first official political party in the United States to pass any resolution of this type. A small step - but an important one. Hear the details of how this happened. Discussion of how we might extend this victory to the Libertarian Party of other states, and to other politcial parties and organizations throughout the country.
THE MOVEMENT TOWARDS LEGALIZED POLYGAMY
The possibilty of the legalization of marriages that contain more than two people has been the subject of abiding interest among at least some people. In recent years, developments related to this subject have arisen and change rapidly, and might be expected to do so.
"But what about the children?!"
A highly emotional flashpoint in the discussion of polyamorous relationships has always been on issues connected with children which are born into and/or raised within such "non-traditional" families. What is happening on this front?
Although they have not recieved much publicity (yet), there have been a number of child custody cases involving polyamorous families. Most of these have been settled in favor of the polyamorous people. Even so, the matter if far from settled. There may be changes afoot in the future.
FREEDOM TO MARRY or FREEDOM FROM MARRIAGE?
While some have advocated polyamorous domestic partnerships, and others have argued for legalization of poly marriage, others have argued for a third approach: pressing for the removal of all legal privileges to married person, and the bestowing of all rights, benefits and privileges currently reserved for married persons to be granted to all people, regardless of whether they are married or not.
CIRCULATION OF PETITIONS IN ENACT NON-DISCRIMINATION LAWS/POLICIES RELATED TO PEOPLE INVOLVED IN CONSENSUAL NONMONOGAMY
Preliminary efforts have been made to circulate petitions and enact two ordinances that will prohibit harassment and discrimination against polyamorous people. This will be an update on these activities.
Update on the Legal Struggles of Sue Heale to Save Her Music School
Sue Heale established a very successful music school. Sue happened to be involved in polyamorous relationship, and some of the employees at the school used this as an excuse to commit numerous unethical actions intend to steal assets from the school. In what has been a long and grueling legal battle to get these assets returned and to save her music school, Sue continues to fight on. Although there are numerous legal issues under contention, in essence, this struggle is about whether the involvement in polyamorous relationships makes it acceptable to use illegal and unethical tactics to steal from them - or whether even polyamorous people are entitled to equal protection under the law. Sue Heale will be present in person to provide the latest update on this continuing legal battle.
Dinner 5:00 - 6:00 PM
"A revolutionary is a person who is willing to work to create positive social change. A person who simply whines, gripes, and complains constantly that life is not fair (especially not to them personally) is just an unhappy person, not a revolutionary.
An anarchist is a person who is willing to give other people permission and freedom to do what they want. A person who merely does what they want without regard to the desires, safety, and well-being of others is just a reckless person, not an anarchist.
A Marxist is a person who is willing to generously share what is theirs with others. A person who simply demands that other people be generous with them is just a freeloading bum, not a Marxist.