Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Solidarity (or the Lack Thereof) Between LGBT and Poly asks, “If You’re For Consenting Adults’ Committed Relationships, Do You Support Polygamy?” But the essay doesn’t really answer the question. Perhaps that was deliberately left for comments?

One argument in support of gay marriage goes like this: committed loving adults should be allowed to enter into consensual marriages as long as no one else gets harmed. So does that mean that gays should also de facto support loving, consensual polygamist marriages? After all, if it’s not hurting anyone, what’s the harm, right?

Not only isn’t it not harmful, it can be beneficial. The essay mentions the Brown’s lawsuit.

Joe.My.God. blogmaster calls their lawsuit, “a political gift to anti-gay groups nationwide,” but who really gives a s---? Anti-gay bigots have said that homosex leads to polgamy, bestiality, and child rape for decades. They could have pointed to Sister Wives for proof; now they’ll just point to the Sister Wives lawsuit for proof. It doesn’t really change the fact that homosexuality has no direct link to polygamy.

Same-sex monogamous marriage is, by definition, not polygamous. But there are LGBT people, just as there are heterosexual people, who would like to marry someone who is already married or marry more than one person.

But back to the original question: If queers support marriage equality, shouldn’t they also support marriage equality for adult women who want to marry men with more than one wife? In short, no, not really.

They should. As evidenced by this essay and the comments, not all do.

Here’s why: First, not all queers want marriage equality. In fact, a lot think that it’s just a privileged, heteronormative, waste of resources diverting our attention away from health care, gender equality, and other more important social issues.

There are people of any sexual orientation that don’t care about getting married, but they should support equal rights anyway.

Second, even though some queers are polyamorist, polygamy is not specifically a polyamorist or gay rights issue—it’s a sex rights issue. Sex rights battle include decriminalizing all sorts of “victimless” sex acts including legalized prostitution, repealing nudity censorship laws to foster healthier attitudes about sex and body image (in contrast to the orgiastic violence we see on regular TV broadcast), the decriminalized sale of sex toys (in Texas it’s illegal to call dildos “dildos”), access to condoms in prison, and contraceptives in public. Sex rights issues cut across the lines of sexual orientation.

Is it just me, or was there not really an excuse provided to opt out of solidarity? In other words, I see no reason why the writing isn’t strongly promoting solidarity and discouraging throwing other people under the bus.

I’ve been thinking about writing up the arguments against solidarity and my responses to them, much like I have done with this page of arguments against marriage equality. This is a perfect example. Somewhere around 90% of people say they are heterosexual. Actually, more probably say they are, but they aren’t being honest. What if heterosexual allies for the same-sex freedom to marry or the freedom to merely live together or simply be out of the closet took the attitude of “let this be their fight, not ours?” Same-sex monogamous marriage wouldn’t be legal anywhere. It would still be illegal to be gay. Forget about serving in the military, or ENDA.

If we’re going to be serious about things like the notion that consenting adults should be free to love each other and to marry each other, that has to mean an adult being able to pursue love, sex, and marriage with any consenting adults.

On to the comments.

Zee is an ally…

Yes. It’s not for me, but all are of age and know what they’re entering into. It doesn’t affect me in any way and no kids are being abused. I don’t see an issue with it.

Kamuriie is too…

I do support plural marriage. There’s very little reason for a secular government to prohibit it. That being said, I would not want one for myself. Monogamy for me, please.

christopher di spirito is too…

It’s none of my business how people live.

Zach, Adam, and others wrote similar things as allies.

Phillip gets it exactly right…

By your argument an African American might say its not really a civil rights issue like ours, “Lots of [gay] and [lesbian] folks who practice [gay sex] can band together and fight in the political arena if [gay sex] means that much to them; let this be their fight, not ours.

Its a case of adults who love each other wanting that live to equal standing under the law. We should support any idea that adheres to those principles

Jeffree shows a lack of solidarity…

Let them try to get that right, but I sure won’t be marching in their parade or fighting for their form of marriage equality.

Michael is right there with Phillip…

Yeah, you’ve got yours, why should anybody else get their’s? I suppose the racial minorities who distance themselves from women (and queer folk too) were perfectly justified?

There are plenty of queer folk in polyamorous relationships; those who are married are polygamists (look up the word). Polyamory/polygamy are no more or less gay issues than monogamy. Some people don’t want what you want, just like you don’t want what straight folks have. Why are you less of a bigot for opposing freedom of choice?


There is a huge difference between having the right to choose the one person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and the right to multiple spouses.

Ah, Discredited Argument #8. Others are invoked as well. No good reason to deny the polygamous freedom to marry was provided in the comments, at least at last check.


Poly issues are gay issues, just like gay issues are straight issues. Because we’re all human. And whether it’s a lifestyle we lead or not, we should support other forms of marriage that (let’s face it) are criticized even more than gay marriages. This article, which seeks to separate gay rights from poly rights, isn’t doing a service to anyone. It’s like when the HRC wanted to leave trans people out of hate crime legislation. Way to make us queers more palatable to the right wing – I don’t want any part of it.

Thank you!


It is pretty obvious from previous comments that there are those in our LGBT community that subscribe to fear mongering, bigotry, and deny those human rights which they claim is theirs, to others.

Some of the arguments against polygamous marriages can be said of gay marriage (just replace gay for polygamy). For example, the evidence of violence that occurs within homosexual relationship are greater than heterosexuals.

And what about those polygamous relationships that are healthy, loving, supportive, and raise children that are healthy?

I have personal gay friends that were married but are separated due to adultery and abuse, does that stop gays from wanting, fighting, and getting married?

Take a look in the mirror. Stop the hate.

Thanks! Heterosexual polygamists and polyamorists should be supporting LGBT monogamists, and LGBT monogamists should be supporting polyamorists and polygamists. An adult should be able to pursue love, sex, cohabitation, and marriage (or not) with any consenting adults. Equality just for some is not equality.
Lots of straight and bisexual folks who practice polyamory can band together and fight in the political arena if polygamy means that much to them; let this be their fight, not ours.
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