Polygamy Next Civil Rights Battle, ABC Says

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If you follow the logic of same sex marriage advocates, polygamy (they call it "polyamory") is the next step to their hostile takeover of true marriage. After all, consenting adults should have the right to call anything they want marriage, right? I'm sure the American Psychological Association already has studies out saying four mothers are better than one for children...

Polyamory: When One Spouse Isn't Enough
Some See Polyamorous Marriage as the Next Civil Rights Movement

By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
June 18, 2009

[...]

As polyamorists, the couple belongs to a small group that believes people have the right to form their own complex relationships with multiple partners. The most vocal want the right to marry -- as a cluster.

"We have rights to love any way we want unless we are harming other people," said Love. "Like the air we breathe, we have a right to be and do and say whatever is our full expression, and this to me is a civil right."

The polyamory movement grew out of the communes of the 1960s and the swingers of the 1970s, but today, with gay marriage legal in six states, some, such as Love, say their cause should be next.

This nascent and as yet small effort to legalize group marriage is likely to enrage conservative religious groups that upheld Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage. In hard-hitting ads, those groups charged that allowing gay marriage would open the door to all kinds of nontraditional relationships, including polygamists.


[Image and Article from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/US/story?id=7870884&page=1]


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18 comments:

Secular Heretic said...

Same sex "marriage" is just the beginning of the destruction of what marriage is in society.

How does same sex "marriage" hurt society? It encourages and attempts to justify other bizarre arrangements.

PersonalFailure said...

lulz. Yes, we never saw polgymy before the swingin' 60s- except in the Bible, where any number of God's chosen were polygymous. How many wives did King David have?

op-ed said...

Polyamory is not the same thing as polygamy. Polygamy, by its very name, means "multiple marriages." Polyamory is a single marriage that incorporates more than two members. From the ABC news article:

As polyamorists, the couple belongs to a small group that believes people have the right to form their own complex relationships with multiple partners.

(Which is in large part true, incidentally. They just don't have the right to call whatever "complex relationship" they want a marriage. A multinational corporation, for example, is a "complex relationship" which people are free to form.)

Polygamy takes the exclusiveness out of marriage. Polyamory takes the number two out. Because there are only two sexes, polyamorous marriage necessarily involves some measure of neutered marriage.

Also from the article:

We have rights to love any way we want unless we are harming other people...

Which does not require marriage to be redefined, see above. This is exactly the same argument made by activists for neutering marriage, however, and it is exactly as irrational. Neutered marriagists can only see that when it is someone else making the argument, though.

In hard-hitting ads, those groups charged that allowing gay marriage would open the door to all kinds of nontraditional relationships, including polygamists.

And neutered marriage activists argued those ads were "misleading." By "misleading" they must have meant "prescient."

FreeXenon said...

I do agree that polygamy is going to be the next civil rights fight after Gay Marriage. The arguments for one can mos assuredly be used for the other.

Polygamy and Polyamory are different. They are definitely related, but you can most assuredly have a polygamous marriage that has nothing to do with the polyamorous open an honest precepts as most mainstream examples of polygamy definitely show. You can also have polyamorous relationships that have no marital like arrangement (ie. that are just open).

Marriage is not being destroyed at all. It is merely evolving as it has done since we first concepted it. It has moved from a strictly biblical property arrangement to an arrangement based on love. At first it was only allowed between white people with males having the advantage. Then it evolved into allowing interracial marriage, and then women having equal rights. Not it is evolving to encompass same sex and plural partners, all of which have historical and anthropological precedents.

I write more about it on my BLog: http://www.arionshome.com/social-activism/gay-marriage/

emissary said...

Polygamy and polyamory are very different. Polygamy is still based on the husband-wife relationship. Polyamory can involve people of both sexes. For example, a man married to three women is polygamy. A bisexual man married to one man and one woman is polyamory. Also, three women (or men) "married" together would be polyamory.

FreeXenon said...

Polyamory and polygamy are not mutually exclusive. Polygamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving plural partners, whereas monogamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving single partners and that is it.

Polyamory is referring to a relationship methodology involving plural partners. Polygamy is specific to marriage, whereas Polyamory is not. However, since marriage is a type of relationship and so is polyamory, they can and do meet.

Polyfidelity within polyamory could mirror a polygynous (MFFF) or polyandrous (FMMM) marriage exactly. You could have a polyamorous quad (MFMF) that is married polygamously via group marriage (polygamy). You could also have a Polygynous Quad (MFFF) that was polyamorous. You could even have a monogamous marriage that was polyamorous or more commonly - just an open marriage. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Polygamy is the state of having more than one spouse.

Polygyny is the state of a male having more than one wife.

Polyandry is the state of a woman having more than one husband.

Group marriage falls underneath the general Polygamy umbrella, but it is far less common.

Prosta said...

Ohhh I am glad I know what emissary said now. I was assuming that it would have only opened marriage up to both sexes. Thank you! I'm not looking to force gay marriage on people, buT I do back freedom to marry as many as possible. The fix is just get the ficken government back to the way the founding fathers and let the people govern their own love lives!

Brandon said...

that quote at the top of the web page needs to be credited to Joseph Smith Jun. Founder of the Mormon church, he said that particular quote in his pamphlet he distributed when he was running for president back in the 1830's (i believe that's the year).

Thank you all for your redundant hair-splitting differentiations between polygamy and polyamory. You have convinced me that polyamory is much worse than simple polygamy. A couple of you actually dealt with the issue at hand: Marriage is being redefined in our society from nature's preffered arrangment for raising children to whatever-the-%#@%$-anyone-wants-it-to-be.

Is that your definition of "evolving," FreeXenon? Can you think of any other animal, plant or thing that has "evolved" to variations of itself that work less well or not at all? Can you think of any other successful instance of evolution that has been for the pleasure of the adults but the detriment of the young? No, neutering marriage is not evolution; it is societal self-destruction.

Complete Failure and FreeXenon, I have never heard of a time when marriage was only allowed among white people, love was not allowed and women were only property. Please educate me. Also, please explain to me how the love between one man and one woman can be stretched to suffice in a polyamory "relationship." I hope you are mature enough to understand the difference between a group orgy and a commiteed marriage relationship.

Brandon, your're way off topic (and wrong by the way). The quote sources were named here.

Just a thought, FreeXenon: How far down the line is it until we grant marriage licenses to individuals and their sex-partner pets? Or their favorite sex toy? Or how about individuals who have sexual relations with themselves. Or why make this about sex or relationships at all? Can we redefine the state of California to be a married entity? Then we can give everyone in the state the special benefits that until now have been reserved for married couples. Or a corporation? Your definition of evolution means we must go anywhere anyone wants to. I’m sure everyone will want to be included in the game.

FreeXenon said...

Your irrational hysteria is unbecoming and is definitely part of the problem. =(


Hair-Splitting: There most definitely was no hair-splitting involved. I was correcting emmisary's incorrect definition of polygamy and polyamory.

I continuously find it amusing that conservatives are so fearful of open, honest, and consensual realtioships. It is distinctly societally more acceptable that a person can cheat on their spouse than to have an open an honest relationship with them. This to me is completely baffling. O_o

Nature?: Nature has never defined marriage. Nature has never written a book or a law, or given a speech, or anything else for that matter. Nature is an abstract concept that you are personifying in a vain attempt to rationalize prejudice and fear mongering.

The only thing that nature has wrought via natural selection and necessity (within this context) is that heterosexuality is statistically the genetic majority to ensure that our species is perpetuated. That is it. You are assuming that heteronormity has anything to do with marriage when infact "nature" cares not.

Marriage is a construct of humanity and it is us that cares about heterosexuality or homosexuality. Nature does not. So, do not use some abstraction such as 'nature' as a rationalization and a cover for your prejudice within a humanity's institution of marriage.

Think of the Children : You are making definitively false assumptions about the effect of polygamy/polyamory/SSM on young. You obviously have not actually researched the issue so much. All 3 instances can provide equally stable homes as a mythical heterosexual monogamous nuclear family can. Your fear and lack of understand of the issue will keep you from seeing this.

Children throughout history have not be only raised by your mythical nuclear family, they have been raised by extended families and entire communities. Have you ever heard of the phrase "It takes a tribe to raise a child.".


Sexual Dimorphism: If you also take into account scienctific studies which have shown that the level of sexual dimorphism (size difference between the genders) is directly proportional to the level of non-monogamousness of the species. The larger the difference in size between the genders the less monogamous the species is.

Take, for example, Silverback Gorilla’s whose males are much larger than the females (~50%); they practice harem gaurding. The alpha male takes and protects the females that he wants and the other males get the left-overs.

Puffins, a species of flightless bird, whose genders are the same size, and they mate monogamously for life.

Humans, where males are larger than females, but not by a large amount, are definitely not completely monogamous. Our infidelity stats and the existence of prostitution as one of the oldest occupations tend to speak to this as well.

Monogamy is only found in a small percentage of species of the world.

FreeXenon said...

"Traditional Marriage":

In biblical times marriage was a property exchange. Hell, now even with arranged marriages in China or a few other societies marriage is still a property exchange, albeit marrying for love and out of choice is sometimes still an option, especially as such practices are slowly going away. Some Muslim cultures still have extensive use of dowries as a part of the transaction.

I have a few links that detail marriage throughout history as well as one that deals with biblical examples of what exactly marriage was: http://www.arionshome.com/social-activism/gay-marriage/#TraditionalMarriage

…and there are plenty more if you choose to educate yourself on the topic.


Slippery Slopes:

Pedophilia and Child Marriage: In no court of law is a child is able to engage in contractual arrangement (unless emancipated) or able to give legal “consent”. Not only that, but due to the protection of a child’s physical and emotional well being will this never come to pass. We currently have laws to protect against sexual relations and they are there for a good reason.

Incest: Marital relations with first order relatives is similar to the above. These laws are in place to prevent genetic mutations as well as working with our natural tendencies toward mating outside the immediate familial unit, for much the same reason.

Bestiality and Animal Marriage: The marriage of animals is prevented by a lack of a precedent that allows any of these animals to consent or to sign a contractual agreement in the court of law.

Inanimate Object Marriage: This logic here is the same as above and it is about consent and legal recognition - not possible.

FreeXenon said...

Starvation Model of Love:

The entire conservative and Christian precept of love is based off of the Starvation Model of Love (ie.. you only have so much love to give. If I love her and her then they both get 50%, so I am not loving either of them “fully”, or I love one 70%/30%. It is therefore not possible to love them equally, but differently.

This is something that conservative religions love to teach, because it is a convenient tool that greatly assists in controlling the masses through guilt and penance, especially because it runs counter to our natural evolutionary instincts, and abilities to love.

Using this pervasive “logic”… it must follow that you can only love one person, therefore, if you love your wife you must not love others, surely because you can only love one person. You must not be able to love your children, your parents, your grandparents… aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and best friends then. Fortunately this is not the case.

Then it must class based. You must only be able to love one person in each specific class…. hmmm… that does not seem to be true either – you love both parents, and potentially more than one child. So, that is not correct either. It seems that you can love as many people as you want as long as you are not romantically or intimately involved with them. That is quite the convenient limit. =( Unlimited in all areas except romance and intimacy.

Humans have an infinite ability to love, but we are not taught how to do that. We are taught that fear and possessiveness is OK. The fact that we do love more than one person proves this that we can– parents, children, friends, etc. We are just afraid to love and embrace intimacy with more than one person, because we are taught that it is bad, which really makes no sense. To have more intimacy and romantic love in your life is a wonderful and empowering thing. Love begets more love.

It is fear, and lack of communication and openness, that destroys out ability to love. We can love more than one person romantically, but it is difficult to do especially with what we are taught and our societal and religious teachings, and because we have limited time. Time is what we are limited with, and not love.

Secular Heretic said...

One of the purposes of marriage is to provide a stable foundation for the raising of children. All the research I have read about points to the idea that children raised by both biological parents seem to do best in our society.

Families which have separated, children with half siblings and step parents, appear to be in a less than ideal situation for the raising of children.

This situation applies to everyone regardless of his /her marriage situation.

Love is an excellent virtue but so is faithfulness. When a husband brings home a new woman to share his love with his brides, I'm sure it must make the first wife feel real special.

FreeXenon said...

Whether or not they fare better with both of their biological parents is not really relevant to the discussion, unless you plan on working towards abolishing single parent families, divorce, or adoption. It is very interesting statistic to know, and it makes perfect sense.

From an evolutionary psychology standpoint, biological parents tend to invest more into children they are raising when they are the biological parents.

These numbers do most likely have a bias or assumption that the parental relationship is semi-healthy and stable, since there most assuredly are families with both biological parents that result in physical, psychological, sexual, and emotional abuse of the children. Monogamy is not immune to the foibles of being human. Our divorce rate and incidents of domestic violence speaks well to that.

Your statistic could definitely be used in support of polyamory, for if the poly family also includes the biological parents it is even better for the children. =) Poly can help to stem divorce rates and maintain families.

FreeXenon said...

A very strong case can be made for poly families providing a more stable home than monogamous families due to an increase in adults to meet their attention needs, an increase in role models, plus, assuming a healthy relationship between the spouses, good role models in relationship techniques.

If the couple were polyamorous he would have been faithful to their relationship covenant, and she most likely would not care, since she may have a lover of her own. Polyamory is not necessarily patriarchal as you are seeming to imply. It is egalitarian in nature, and women are most definitely participate and have intimate partners of their own.

You may be surprised to find that there are a lot of women authors for polyamory, since it concentrates on emotional intimacy and openness. Jenny Block's book Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage is a good example. Most of the poly books I have read are written by women.

Ultimately, what will matter is the example that their parents set.

The current method of separation for many families results in anger and bitterness towards their ex-spouses, so of course, children in marriages with their biological parents tend to fare better, but if the result of the separation were not vitriol laced, and they separated on good terms, you might find things are a little bit different.

Cura_te_ipsum said...

FreeXenon,
Clearly you have not understood the underlying message here. It appears you just wanted a soapbox to spread bigoted statements about "conservative religions". For example, your statement about the starvation model of love goes against everything that any conservative religion should teach. We understand that giving more love increases one's capacity to love. We know that God's love is not limited. There is nothing about "controlling the masses" in that. In fact, what you're saying sounds more like an anti-religion bias talking than anything else. As for the intimacy and romance you mentioned, those can be elements of lust. They are largely physical and can result in getting pregnant, a very serious decision and commitment. That is why the line is drawn there, not some "convenient limit" as you say.
All else aside, it should be obvious that humans desire and need a committed love that lasts. If you look at statistics, a one on one relationship last the longest. Practically, a monogamous relationship also offers the greatest allowance for commitment of time, energy, and focus--all of which ARE limited in our everyday lives. Funny, all of your posts cause me to wonder about the state of your relationships/love life as commitment and all its counterparts are not something that you've been mentioning as a cornerstone of love.

I've moved this topic to a new post.

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