Trio eyes land­mark polygamy case

B. C. court to weigh in on con­sti­tu­tional is­sue


ESQUIMALT, B. C. — The cal­en­dar at Zoe Duff’s house is full of im­por­tant dates. There are the work sched­ules for her govern­ment job and for her two part­ners — Jayson Hawksworth, a gro­cery worker, and Danny Weed, a se­cu­rity guard.

Date nights are im­por­tant, so they’re logged on the cal­en­dar as well.

Duff, 51, has reg­u­lar nights out with Hawksworth, 54. She also has nights out with Weed, 44. Then all three go out to­gether on dates, and they all date other peo­ple as well.

When the day is done, the three go to bed — a big one with Duff in the mid­dle.

“ They’re both heat-seek­ing mis­siles and I’m the heat,” jokes Duff, who is from the Vic­to­ria-area com­mu­nity of Esquimalt.

Duff de­fines polyamory as “ many loves,” an eth­i­cal non-monogamy — lov­ing more than one per­son at a time in an emo­tion­ally and/ or phys­i­cally demon­stra­tive fashion.

In a trial that gets un­der­way in B. C. Supreme Court in Van­cou­ver on Mon­day, pro­vin­cial and fed­eral jus­tice of­fi­cials are seek­ing a rul­ing con­firm­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the polygamy law.

Duff says she’s wor­ried about the pos­si­ble crim­i­nal­iza­tion of her way of life.

It’s an ar­range­ment all three say works for them. Their chil­dren — Duff has two teenage sons — and ex­tended fam­i­lies — both men are sep­a­rated — seem to have no prob­lem with their polyamorous triad.

A prin­ci­ple of the “ poly” life­style is open­ness and hon­esty among those in­volved, she says.

Polyamory is dif­fer­ent than polygamy be­cause all part­ners are con­sent­ing, says Duff. She says the hall­marks of the life­style are re­spect, in­tegrity and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Duff, twice di­vorced, says Hawksworth and Weed “ are both very gen­tle men and big-hearted. They al­low me to be who I want to be.”

Hawksworth agrees: “ We push her to do what she wants to do. She wants to be more open in her life­style but she also wants to be able to write down things. She’s a bud­ding author, and she’s a won­der­ful lady.”

Hawksworth says the triad ar­range­ment “ makes me more open, makes me want to try new things.”

Duff en­cour­aged Hawksworth to take fly­ing lessons and try ball­room danc­ing.

“ Our re­la­tion­ship is pretty much about em­pow­er­ing each other to do stuff we want to do,” says Duff.

Hawksworth says the three deal with pos­ses­sive­ness and jeal­ous­ness openly.

“ I’ve grown to where it doesn’t bother me,” he says.

“ You have to com­mu­ni­cate on a level that’s kind of scary some­times. You have to put ev­ery­thing out on the ta­ble and be hon­est with your­self, which is re­ally hard.”

The two men get along so well that Duff jokes they are on a man-date and they just use her for cover.

But they are both het­ero­sex­ual, so Duff is their only sex­ual part­ner within the house­hold.

Duff also has a part­ner in Seat­tle and the men have part­ners apart from Duff. They do not keep se­crets from each other nor from oth­ers who ask, says Hawksworth.

“ Our moth­ers al­ways told us to share. That’s ba­si­cally what we’re do­ing — we’re lis­ten­ing to our moth­ers,” he says. “ We’re just shar­ing more than what other peo­ple would share.”


Zoe Duff, with part­ners Jayson Hawksworth ( right) and Danny Weed, says she’s wor­ried about how polygamy rul­ing could af­fect their re­la­tion­ship.

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