Marriage Equality

Congrats to the GLBT Community for a very hard fought battle and a well deserved win in Same Sex Marriage.  You deserve that right as much as anyone else.

The page now turns to the next chapter int his the “Fight for Equality”.  What will that next battle be?  Some are saying Poly Rights to Plural Marriage.  And it is very conceivable that is where the conservative fight will lean.  Trying to stop us before we can ever get a good footing.

The liberal and conservative media are already talking about it.  Yesterday I was privileged to be a part of a panel of Poly folks on Huffington Post Live.  We discussed Chief Justice Roberts Dissent, beginning on p. 40 of the pdf,  and how he made the argument for Poly marriage. He says in part, (pgs.59, 60 of pdf)  “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 21 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” ante, at 22, serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships? See Bennett, Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution? Newsweek, July 28, 2009 (estimating 500,000 polyamorous families in the United States); Li, Married Lesbian “Throuple” Expecting First Child, N. Y. Post, Apr. 23, 2014; Otter, Three May Not Be a Crowd: The Case for a Constitutional Right to Plural Marriage, 64 Emory L. J. 1977 (2015).”

Now do I mean to say that it is time now for all Poly’s to band together and fight for the right to marry?  Not quite.   I think now is the time we join the fight for equality.  In asking for Marriage Equality we are asking to be afforded the same privileges and benefits as all other married people.  But the system is not set up to handle plural marriage.  There is a lot of case law against it and monogamy was a founding principle of the country.  In fact, most states when joining the country were required to put anti polygamy laws and anti bigamy laws on the books.  So I don’t think that Plural Marriage is going to work out for us in the traditional sense.  Not yet.

What do we do then?  How can we fight for equality and freedom?
We fight for Family.

I think our conversation needs to be about the individuals choice to structure FAMILY as they see fit.  Giving the individual the power to build what works for them.  Not all families look alike. Not all families work the same way. But by ADDING a system that grants equal right and protections to those who choose to be bonded in a way different than that which exists.  With over 1100 protections and benefits that are granted to married people, our focus should be on getting those same protections for all people. Many of which, about 600, can already be gotten through various contract laws.  HOWEVER, not all state honor all other states contracts, medical directives, etc.  They can still discriminate against us. ESPECIALLY in the South where “Right to serve” States are the majority.   I agree with Andy yesterday on Huff Po Live,  We should be working towards HUMAN equality. I think that there are LOTS of people (66% of the 4000 poly people polled by Loving More 2012 link to survey) who do want Marriage Equality for Plural Marriage. Those who don’t want marriage for their relationship choice also have a voice and we should listen to them, stand with them, and work together.   I also think that the rest of those folks out there deserve the same protections, should they want them,  even if they dont want a “Marriage”.  Creating a system that protects people no matter their relationship choice will benefit ALL people. Not just Poly people.
Advocating for a system that ONLY protect and benefits a class of people is harmful to us all.  By “Class” I mean a specific group of people that want a specific look and feel to legitimize their relationship structure.  If we are going to advocate for Relationship Choice and empowerment of all styles of relationships, then we need to do so in ALL things.
I invite you to engage me in respectful conversation.


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