On mainstream TV: "Polyamory: Redefining love's boundaries"
People watching the local news in western Michigan a few minutes ago saw this wonderful, five-minute report profiling a committed quad and an outspoken triad. The report dwelt on expanding views of marriage. It couldn't have been more respectful. And the station serves a mostly Republican region.
From the transcript:
The United States legally defines marriage as "one man and one woman." But what if that definition of love is not enough? That's the case for members of one West Michigan group. They want to define love for themselves instead of the government doing it for them.
...This married "quad" is redefining commitment. Its called polyamory. Claire says, "Polyamory means many loves, the ability to love more than one person."
Claire and Mike met Emily and Victor by chance online both liked each other's blog responses on relationships and the four agreed to meet.
Victor says, "We were just like they're really great people, let's see more of them, we started to, and it just grew from there."
There was an obvious attraction, when a conversation opened up all agreed to make the friendship intimate.
...Now 20 months into marriage, the newlyweds try to balance their affections.
Mike says, "What happens as far as sleeping arrangements, is Claire and Emily switch beds every other night, but Claire and Emily also sleep together too one night, because they need that bond as well."
As for the men, they are emotional spouses, but don't share beds. Like any other relationship, sex is just one aspect of daily life. The quad pools everything finances, chores, and decision making.
...As a group, they also do something society, even family, are deeply critical of: they raise two children. It's the reason this family does not want to be identified.... "They're being raised with open minds, questioning minds, and I think they'll be better for it in the future."
While this quad isn't ready to show their faces, a polyamorous trio is. Michael and Katie live together but both date Monica. They're coming forward in hopes of making a social change.
Katie says, "As long as you're not infringing on anyone else's rights you should be able to do whatever is right for you."
...Katie says, "I don't think the government has any part of a relationships, who you love, regardless of if you're gay or straight, love one person or 100, the government shouldn't be able to put a name on that."...
Watch the show, or read the whole transcript (May 25, 2011). It's also now on USA Today Videos, here.
Anybody reading this know the backstory? How did you get the TV station to do such a good job?
Update next day: So some Michiganders did get upset! From the town of Fremont north of Grand Rapids, the American Decency Association ("Marking the difference between the holy and the profane") writes to its members,
Last evening local Grand Rapids TV news affiliate, WZZM-13, featured a lengthy segment during their 6:00 dinner hour news that would turn your stomach. No, it wasn’t about a gruesome accident or a violent crime spree. The nausea-inducing news story was about the topic of “marriage” – entitled, Polyamory: Redefining love’s boundaries....
Read the whole missive. It tells members how to complain to the station.