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The links between polyamorous marriage and same-sex marriage are a lot clearer than Mr. Corvino seems to think. The essential question is not whether one is more socially acceptable or more essential or expensive or more of a threat to “conventional marriage” than the other.
The essential question is which will promote the well-being of consenting adults who choose to engage in such a relationship and the well- being of any children they may have. The answer is: Both.
Saying that polyamorous marriage is different from same-sex marriage is like saying that gay rights are different from transgender rights. The statement is true, but it misses the larger point. Everyone deserves the same rights under the law. If John and Jim raise a child together then they should both be able to act as parents. If John and Jim and Jack raise a child together the same standard should apply. Winning gay rights without transgender rights leaves some members of the gay community unprotected (because they will be seen as transgendered.) Likewise winning same-sex marriage without polyamorous marriage leaves some members of the queer community unprotected.
If, as John says, no one has proposed allowing polyamory then it is about time someone did. All loving relationships between consenting adults should be equal under the law. All parents should be recognized and given their just parental rights. The time has come to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes both in the LGBT community and in the straight community.
Please don’t give in to the Dividers who want to turn minority groups against one another. You can work for same-sex marriage without denying the validity and necessity of acknowledging other family structures, including polyamorous marriages.
For the record I speak only as an ally to the polyamorous community. My relationship is monogamous.
I have appreciated several of John’s previous columns although I strongly disagree with this one.
I would suggest before writing another column on polyamory that John take the time to talk with people who practice it. Among other things he would learn that the word polygamy refers to a husband with two or more wives while polyamory refers to any relationship with more than two partners.