Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Polyamory, Marriage, and Lesbians

Computer Clipart Images
A woman wrote in to “Dear Sappho,” saying she doesn’t have a personal desire to marry…

At any rate, since I was young and had three girlfriends at the same time I have always felt that all lesbians should be free to love any one by mutual choice with the full consent and knowledge of all parties involved.

That’s polyamory.

Cathy White responded…

Maybe you just haven’t met the right girl yet.

Please tell me that was a joke. I think it was.

She goes on to write about the importance of the same-sex freedom to marry. Then…

Polyamorous affairs may cause so much trouble that most lesbians probably love other women in secret and spare themselves the drama.

Cheating means less drama? That doesn’t sound right to me. Or did she mean it should be kept secret from others outside the relationship? Staying in a closet brings its own difficulties, though.

There is no reason to limit the definition of love to marriage or monogamy only. It is a limited type of thinking. However few lesbians have succeeded at polyamory, women being raised to be faithful wives, and all that. Natalie Barney, an American lesbian who lived in Paris, was one of the few women who did.

The writer is talking about known people. Many lesbians have led happy polyamorous lives and have not published anything about it.

She ends up with…

Your ideology is very evolved and you may be ahead of your time. Yes, I agree, it is a lover’s dream come true, to freely love who ever you love as you really love them. It sounds very good in theory and I wish you the best possible luck with all of your girlfriends, especially any jealous or controlling ones.

The ones who are too jealous or controlling won’t be her girlfriends very long. Not everyone is right for everyone else. That is a big reason why full marriage equality – which would include the freedom to marry any consenting adults, and the freedom not to marry at all, and to divorce – is such an important thing. Some people do best in unmarried polyamory. Some others ache to have their entire polycule enter into a legal marriage or marriages (polygamy). It should be up to them, not outsiders.
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