Is It Time for Poly Marriage?

I’m going to make an exception to my usual rules and talk politics for a bit.

Chief Justice Roberts, in his dissent from the ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, laid out why, in his opinion, once gay marriage is legal there is no reason not to make poly marriage legal. He even specifically mentioned polyamory several times in his dissent.

A lot of news outlets and poly folk have picked up on this and are asking the same question

Is It Time for Poly Marriage?

Several things have changed since the last time I attempted to answer this question, but overall my answer hasn’t changed.

Poly folk aren’t ready for a battle about marriage. The mainstream LGBT community has an internal structure, access to legal resources, coordination, and public support that the poly community can only dream of. So, this isn’t the right time to start this battle.

We would do far better to throw our resources and support behind the LGBT community’s push for non-discrimination, and in the process both strengthen our alliances and give us the time and opportunity to build the structure, coordination, and public support that will be needed when we are ready to start fighting for the rights we deserve.

Tactical and strategic thinking sucks sometimes. It’s easy to look at the sudden talk about poly marriage in the media and think about how much you want to marry your spice and say “LGBT got it, it’s our turn now!”

Real life doesn’t work that way. Real life means taking the time to have our shit in order before charging into the breach.

Real life also means realizing that “poly marriage” the way the talking heads are using the term isn’t what we need anyway. Group marriage will not be an answer for the poly community. Our relationship structures are too varied for that. What we need, and honestly what a shit-ton of folks outside the poly community need, is a path to have all families legally recognized, no matter what their structure.

6 thoughts on “Is It Time for Poly Marriage?

  1. Why is it so hard to get involved with poly? I have been wanting ever since I laugh when I say this BIGLOVE. I have prayed about it and I believe I am meant to live that life. Being my ethinicity I have not had any luck talking to someone who lives it. I would be grateful if I could speak to someone and learn more. I am beginning to think the color of my skin is an issue.

    1. Poly is hard for anyone to get into, but it can be harder for people who already part of a minority group. You don’t mention what your ethnicity is, but the Black & Poly facebook group might be a good place to start connecting with folks who’ve had similar experiences.

      How have you tried to connect with poly folk in the past? For general discussion I find polyamory.com is a great site, and for in-person gatherings, you can often find a local poly group on Meetup.com

  2. Why is it so hard to get involved with poly? I have been wanting ever since I laugh when I say this BIGLOVE. I have prayed about it and I believe I am meant to live that life. Being my ethinicity I have not had any luck talking to someone who lives it. I would be grateful if I could speak to someone and learn more. I am beginning to think the color of my skin is an issue.

    1. Poly is hard for anyone to get into, but it can be harder for people who already part of a minority group. You don’t mention what your ethnicity is, but the Black & Poly facebook group might be a good place to start connecting with folks who’ve had similar experiences.

      How have you tried to connect with poly folk in the past? For general discussion I find polyamory.com is a great site, and for in-person gatherings, you can often find a local poly group on Meetup.com

  3. Good one. I agree that jumping to group marriage isn’t a good idea yet. Marriage isn’t about the governmental sanction of a romantic relationship.

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