Thursday, October 27, 2011

Solving Problems Through the Freedom to Marry

Charing Ball is an ally for the polygamous freedom to marry, and she explains one reason why. Prompted by the show “Big Love”…

Some friends, mostly women, and I have been having this on-going discussion about polygamy and whether or not we could see ourselves available to two or more spouses.

It is good that the show got more people talking.

Of course that is an extreme example but the idea of two, three or four consenting adults coming together in perfect matrimony is not so foreign. Despite the natural impulse to curl your lips up in disgust, I have been stunned by the number of female friends, who have said that they are okay with the concept of sharing their husbands.

It is only “natural” for some people to have an impulse towards disgust.

We have all heard the statistics: 42 percent of American black women have never been married, compared to 21% of white American women. Between 1970 and 2001, the black marriage rate dropped by 34%, compared to 17% in the general population. African-American women are the least likely group to get married in the United States. And if we do wed a black man, those couples have the highest divorce rate in the United States. Not to mention the higher incarceration rates for black males, which also play a role in the decrease in the availability of marriageable Black men.

So with those statistics threatening the future of the institution of marriage, could marrying in the plural be the answer to not only saving the black marriage but also stabilizing black families?

Full marriage equality will be good for many people of many backgrounds, without a real downside. There will be more people who won’t have to hide, more people protected from discrimination, more stability, more weddings. People will be happier. Fewer people will be treated as second class citizens.

I was surprised to discover that many of these women were very well-rounded, educated and logical in their practice of polygamy. Some were stay at home mothers but the vast majority of these women had careers and lives of their own, outside of their unions. They didn’t view their sister wives as competitors but rather helpmates in their family. And more importantly, they took no crap from their husband.

While it is logical to believe that men are the ultimate beneficiaries of polygamy, the reality is that any man, who takes up more than one spouse has to be financially and emotionally stable enough to carry the load of responsibility.

An adult, regardless of gender, should be free to marry any one person or persons of any genders, as long as they are consenting adults.
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