Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yes, Poly People Will Have the Freedom to Associate, Marry

Peter Tucci, an editor at The Daily Caller, writes in this piece that Americans won’t have polygamous freedom to marry soon, but the title is even more negative: “Why the polygamist rights movement will never succeed.”

I will explain below why he is wrong.

One of the problems is his perception of polygamists, buts let’s take it from the top.

Until 38 years ago, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual listed homosexuality as a mental disorder. Today, gay marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, and 53% of Americans think gay marriage should be legal everywhere.

That’s progress, and momentum is on the side of marriage equality, and that momentum is increasing.

The gay marriage fight isn’t over, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that gay marriage activists have already won. It’s just a matter of time before gay marriage is legal nationwide.

Let it be true!

But on to poly…

After all, if the government has no business telling people who they can or cannot marry, why can it tell people how many people they can marry?

It is actually the same question. “How many” is still “who.” Some people love more than one person, and they should not be forced to choose one over another when it comes to legally marrying if all are agreeable.

He cites Brown lawyer Turley’s opinion piece and the Canadian poly trial.

But social conservatives shouldn’t fret, because polygamy won’t be legal in America anytime soon.

He’s going to eat those words.

One problem for polygamy supporters is the fact that there are only, at most, a few hundred thousand polygamists in the United States.

This is not true. There are a few hundred thousand people who practice what they consider religiously-ordained plural marriage. There are many, many more people who are de facto or self-identified polygamists or polyamorists (poly people).

People who practice lifetime monogamy are a minority. There are nonmonogamists who aren’t polygamists or polyamorists, but some of those would be polygamists if they actually thought it through or were really free to be. Asserting monogamy as the only way is increasingly shown to be a position that can not be maintained.

The small size of the polygamist population means that polygamists can’t sway elections by themselves - they lack the money and votes.

If the monogamist LGBT population did it, so can poly people, a group with includes heterosexuals and LGBT people.

To succeed, the polygamist rights movement would have to rely on the sympathy of non-polygamists. But that sympathy doesn’t exist.

The sympathy is growing, because people understand that civil rights aren’t reserved for the majority, and freely chosen polygamy is beneficial rather than harmful.

The gay rights movement has benefited tremendously from the fact that most Americans have a friend or family member who is gay. However, that dynamic isn’t present in the polygamy debate. In part because of the small number of polygamists and in part because polygamists are concentrated in religious communities that are isolated from the rest of America, few Americans know a polygamist personally.

This is what I meant by the writer’s perception of polygamists. Poly people (whether seeking legal marriage or not, whatever the gender makeup of the polycule) are everywhere, and just about everyone has a friend or family member who is poly, whether they know it or not. As more poly people come out, this will become obvious.

Conservatives oppose polygamy for traditional reasons.

Some conservatives. “Tradition,” fear, ignorance, prejudice, or envy keeps some conservatives from supporting a freedom to marry.

Liberals oppose polygamy because they think that polygamist relationships subjugate women.

Some liberals. Others realize the polygamous freedom to marry, and full marriage equality, is all part of human freedom and equality.

It can happen. It will happen. We’re moving towards full marriage equality, and those who are afraid of that need to get over it. They are wasting life worrying themselves and scaring others for no good reason. They can either join the loving, life-affirming celebration or they can flee to self-imposed exile and stare at the dour faces of their fellow fossils. Some of them are actually repressing their own gay/lesbian or poly tendencies, and it turns them into bitter people. Everyone needs to just relax and let adults share love, sex, residence, and marriage as they want to. We’ll all be so much happier.
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  1. To succeed, the polygamist rights movement would have to rely on the sympathy of non-polygamists. But that sympathy doesn’t exist.

    Yes it does. I'm not poly, and I'm sympathetic.


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