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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.

4/02/2013

Marriage Equality


Last week, as the Supreme Court heard arguments on California's proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the modified, red marriage equality logo went viral on social media.  An amazing number of people turned my Facebook feed red, expressing their support for the idea that people ought to be able to marry and form families without facing discrimination.  

Of course, predictably, the advocates for fairness and gender neutrality with regard to marriage rights wanted nothing to do with arguments for the same fairness for those of us who are denied the right to marry based on the number of our loves.  

I am thrilled that there may be a day in the not very distant future when LGBTQ people will be able to marry; to enjoy all the same rights and benefits as heterosexuals do.  I am distressed that those same LGBTQ folks are willing to throw those of us who love in multiples "under the bus."  I understand the "slippery slope" argument that has been used for years and years to derail the fight for equal access to marriage, but I cannot understand why those who have had to fight that battle would leave others behind rather than confront the fallacy of that "slippery slope" logic.

Even harder to comprehend is the view among some in the poly community that "we" don't actually want the right to marry anyway.  They reason that since poly is about changing and challenging the social norms, there is no need for us to choose to marry; to accept the views of society about how intimate relationships might be structured.  I can follow the argument, and I'll grant that to those who feel that way, but they do not speak for me.  

I would marry if I could.  I would be glad for the legal status and the legal protections.  I would be happy to stand in the public eye and be able to openly claim my life and my loves without having to fear the potential for legal consequences along with the loss of my livelihood.  I doubt that will ever happen in my lifetime.  There is too much embedded cultural bias.  Too much cultural momentum to ever be turned around.  

There will be legalized same-sex marriage throughout this country.  It is coming, and the change may happen soon.  But it will remain an institution reserved to "one" and "one."

swan

10 comments:

  1. Hope so swan!

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  2. According to Lawrence O'Donnell (I haven't actually read the bbok) there is no place where the Bible says "marriage is between one man and one woman," which one reason the right can never actually cite a biblical text in support of their claim that one (and only one) form of marriage is biblically mandated.

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  3. Not that the Bible should be our automatic go-to source for social issues.)

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    1. Actually, plural marriage was quite common in the Bible, so from the plural marriage perspective, they don't have a leg to stand on.

      The closest the bible comes to a command on the subject is to say that if someone is going to go into the pastoral ministry that he should be "the husband of one wife"... but that only applies to pastors, not to the general population, and it goes to show that at the time, plural marriage was common enough that they thought they needed to make a rule about it.

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  4. While I support LGBTQ marriage *and* plural marriage, I also support the idea of not muddying the waters.

    The plural marriage question already had it's day in court over a hundred years ago, and it would be a shame to see them throw out LGBTQ marriage question because it got back-door bundled with something that would be so easily discounted by the majority. I don't see it as being "thrown under the bus", so much as taking the matter one step at a time.

    Personally, I would like to see the government get out of the marriage business *entirely* and deal with being a normative agent in interpersonal affairs at the same level that they are in the business community, and just as anyone that chooses to can form a corporation, any group that chooses to could file Articles of Incorporation and choose to co-mingle their assets as they see fit - as defined in their charter - and receive the same legal protections that we currently reserve to the institution of marriage.

    "Marriage" could still exist, but it would be defined socially or religiously (depending on the individual or group that was referencing it) rather than on governmental grounds.

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    1. Well clearly since plural marriage already had its turn, we don't need to re-evaluate. Not much has changed in the past hundred years anyway.

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    2. If the proponents of plural marriage had been working as hard as the proponents of gay marriage have been working to get this chance, I would say yes, by all means, let us do just that...

      ...the problem of course, is that most of the proponents of plural marriage are members of the LDS who for most of that time would have gone out of their way to condemn anyone from the LGTBQ community.

      By all means, let us re-evaluate, but at this point it would be a matter of trying to ride in on someone else's coattails.

      ...if the victory was assured? Sure, no problem... pile on, but the victory is far from won, and until it is we need to take our victories one step at a time, instead of trying to overreach ourselves in dragging our less enlightened brothers and sisters into the current era.

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  5. I'm so sorry that you're getting the type of feedback you are, swan. I don't have many friends in the poly community, so I haven't had much discussion about how "plural marriage" (I dislike that term) would be affected by any decisions made on the gay marriage front. While they are two distinctly separate issues, the kind of thought process needed to accept one is also needed to accept the other. I have a feeling that the reason poly marriage hasn't been talked about as much, is that the poly folks just don't tend to make as much noise as the queer folks do.

    One battle at a time, sure, but let's all try to remember not to leave our comrades behind.

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    1. Would you prefer that folks use the term Polygamy as opposed to Plural marriage? I am sure that tying gay marriage to Polygamy would make gay marriage all kinds of more palatable to the unwashed masses...

      I am not suggesting that we leave *anyone* behind... I am merely suggesting that at the moment, getting gay marriage rights is the thinner end of the wedge, and that trying to do it all in one fell swoop is like trying to split a log with a sledge hammer and no wedge at all.

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  6. I haven't researched it but I don't think there are anything like the numbers in poly relationships that there are in same-sex relationships. Can you quote figures, sue? So if there are fewer, there's going to be less noise.

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