Poly Living 2013 early registration discount!

Want to attend the 8th annual Poly Living conference at a super discounted rate? The time to purchase tickets is now! The early registration price of $80 is still available, but will increase soon.

The conference will take place February 8th through 10th, 2013, at the Embassy Suites Philadelphia Airport Hotel. It is an event for learning and connecting with others:

Since 2005 when George Marvil hosted the first Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia, it has been the best place to warm up your winter with fun, learning and polyamory community. Whether you are new to polyamory and wanting to find out more, a professional interested in helping clients or an experienced poly person looking to have fun with old friends, Poly Living is a great place to learn, explore and connect with real people.

Workshops will be facilitated by nationally and regionally known presenters, with a range of topics ranging from the serious to the fun. This year's keynote speaker is Kamala Devi, of Showtime's Polyamory: Married & Dating, who is also an author, coach, activist, and performance artist. She has been practicing polyamory for 15 years.

Get tickets now before the early registration price disappears!

New poly dating and social networking sites

OKCupid has been the go-to dating site for some non-monogamous folks over the years, but a new poly-specific dating site might change that.

KōTangle is a global dating site for the ethically non-monogamous created by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, authors of Sex at Dawn. It's currently in the alpha phase, but new features and functionality are being added soon. The site will eventually include options for content publishing, events listings, forums, and groups.

Ryan and Jethá explain why they chose to embark on this project:

Traveling around the world talking about Sex at Dawn these past two years, I've come to the painful conclusion my audiences were more interested in meeting each other than in watching me give a Power Point presentation about prehistoric sex and monkey balls. Shocking, I know . . . A Sex at Dawn lecture provided an excuse, and a filter, that made it easier for our readers to find each other.

But other than a Sex at Dawn event, where to meet other people who get it? . . . the #1 complaint about our book is that we don't say anything about how to put these ideas into action. Turns out, a lot of people are looking for a sexy, intelligent community without the sleaze and shame typical of many conventional dating or swingers sites.

Ryan and Jethá have big plans for KōTangle. It will be a safe and respectful, Safe for Work community that sponsors regional events and supports sex-positive initiatives. It will be completely free, save for some optional advanced features. These advanced features, which will include access to special events, will be available to anyone who sets up an account prior to the official launch.

Ryan and Jethá are currently looking for recommendations on contributors to the site, as well as suggestions on how best to feature events.

Meanwhile, a Ning-powered poly social networking site called myPolyplace has also sprung up. There are currently over 150 members, with options for blog posts, forums, groups, events, and media sharing.

Share your family with Family Matters

The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance has launched its much-anticipated Family Matters project! Ricci Levy, Woodhull's Executive Director, announced the launch of the project during her opening remarks at the Sexual Freedom Summit in Washington, DC. The website's mission statement says it all, and says it beautifully:

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance's Family Matters project is dedicated to advancing, respecting and protecting the fundamental human right to family by eliminating discrimination based on family structure and relationship choices. This project will raise public awareness of family diversity through the sharing of stories and research using social media, provide education about human rights at conferences and public events, and facilitate collaboration with other organizations to draft and promote model policies and legislation preventing discrimination based on family form.

Family in 2012 takes many forms. Some families are legally recognized and socially respected. Others are not. All families face challenges and all families matter.

If you would like to share your family for inclusion in the Family Matters project, submit your information on their site.

Pennsylvania appeals court sets legal precedent in custody case

Last December, a trial was held to determine the custody of two children. The maternal grandparents had filed a petition asking that either they or the mother be awarded primary custody, which led to the father and mother each filing for primary physical custody. At the trial, it became known that the parents had previously engaged in polyamorous relationships. Despite the fact that the children's' therapist testified that they were not harmed by this, the judge awarded primary physical custody and sole legal custody to the grandparents.

The mother could not afford filing an appeal, but the father could, and did. Just nine months later, he has won, and the court order was overturned -- awarding him full custody of the children.

Nancy Polikoff, a law professor who has worked gay and lesbian family law issues for 35 years, wrote a timeline of the case and how the ruling came to be overturned. It had a lot to do with the appeals court's view that the judge unfairly penalized the father for his past polyamorous relationships.

The appeals court said the judge interjected "artificial morality concerns" into its determination, something not permitted by the list of factors in the custody statute.  Although the trial judge claimed otherwise, the appeals court found that the judge's "general disfavor of polyamory" played a role in the decision.  At the time of the trial the father was no longer in a polyamorous relationship.  They appeals court noted that "while ultimately unsuccessful, his former experimentation with that lifestyle did not harm the children and does not currently affect the children negatively."  The appeals court called polyamory "a nontraditional sexual practice," but considered it analogous to other cases in which a parent's previous sexual conduct was found irrelevant absent evidence of harm to the child.

Sex figured into this case in another way.  The trial court considered the father's wife's friendship with a professional dominatrix and her blog post in which she described herself as a "closet poly."  The appeals court found that "the trial court's preoccupation with these morality issues is improper, particularly where, as here, there is a dearth of evidence to suggest that the sexual practices affected the children at all."

The good news about this is that the court's decision will be entered into Pennsylvania case law, making it an official legal precedent in the state.