"Will Polyamory Come
Out of the Closet Next?"
This week the Supreme Court should issue its long-awaited rulings on two landmark gay-marriage cases. Right, left, and center are wondering, and sometimes ducking the question of, what comes next?
On PolicyMic ("amplifying excellent unheard voices... the first democratic online news platform to engage millennials in debates about real issues"), recent law-school graduate Kjeld Lindsted looks at us face-on. Expect more like this coming soon.
Relationship Status: It's Complicated. Will Polyamory Come Out of the Closet Next?
By Kjeld Lindsted
...I hear more and more about how we are about to win the battle for marriage equality. As a legal scholar I'm not entirely convinced that the court is going to do anything truly paradigm changing, but I'm cautiously optimistic. So, with gay marriage tentatively "in the bag," the big question on my mind is "what comes next?" I propose polyamory.
...The polyamory movement didn't gain real steam until the late 1990s. Since then it's made a surprising amount of progress, perhaps in part because of the space created by the junction of secularism, LGBT campaigns, and the sex-positive movement all of which embrace a more open and individualized approach to sexuality and romance.
For anyone new to the term, polyamory comes in as many varieties as there are participants.... If there is any sweeping feature defining polyamory it's probably communication. In fact, while very little research has been done (though this is starting to change) the available data strongly suggests that polyamorous individuals are actually better at maintaining (and navigating) relationships than most monogamous people; and herein lies the golden egg behind the movement's growing success.
The failure of monogamy as a social construct is perhaps conservatism's worst kept secret....
Ironically, however, there is something of a disconnect in the LGBT community when it comes to recognizing polyamory. Standing on the edge of success (or perhaps tipping into success) the gay rights movement has been hesitant to embrace other forms of relationship freedom for fear of tossing free ammunition to conservative opposition. While there is some merit to these fears, giving into them ultimately undermines the legitimacy of both movements. Some LGBT proponents have even gone so far as to suggest that polyamory is a "choice" while being gay is genetic. Oh how the tables turn....
...The gay-rights movement has sought to liberalize our culture with the understanding that alternatives exist and that these alternatives bring much needed new life to our romantic encounters. Polyamory is the next step in the right direction. Build your-own-relationship models are here to stay and this is a good thing.
The polyamory movement signals a new and profound change in our understanding of sexuality and romance. While the Feminist and LGBT movements each brought new sexual definitions into common usage, thereby expanding romantic conventions enormously, the polyamory movement is, even if unintentionally, seeking to blow the box wide open....
Read the whole article (June 24, 2013).