Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

December 28, 2006

German Green Endorses Poly; Brouhaha Ensues

"There's an interesting development in German politics," Johannes N. writes to us from that country. "Non-monogamous and alternative families are getting into the light of public debate, much more rapidly than we did anticipate."

The reason: a brash new member of the German Green Party's governing council has called for laws and a culture "that gives equality to other forms of relationship and community," including non-monogamy.

Johannes writes: "While still very few people here know the word "Polyamory" (or "Polyamorie", the adapted German spelling), we have a young, free-spirited, and courageous woman who has entered the second-most important committee of the German Green Party, the Parteirat, by a quite unexpected election result. Her name is Julia Seeliger [photo].

"She became famous quite rapidly because of the sentence: 'Monogamy isn't the solution,' [in] a press release from February by the influential Green Party's youth organization, Gruene Jugend. Basically, the declaration suggests to abolish all positive discrimination favoring heterosexual marriage, and to treat it equal to all other forms of living together, because social realities have changed."

Here is a Times of London article about Seeliger (Dec 17, 2006). Excerpt:

‘Longstocking’ seduces Germany

By Nicola Smith

A fiesty 27-year-old student, whose youthful energy and fondness for miniskirts and knee-high boots have led her to be nicknamed “Pippi Longstocking”, is poised to shake up the dowdy world of German politics.

Julia Seeliger, a journalism student and film-maker from Berlin, has shot from oblivion to national fame in a matter of weeks after her surprise election to the governing council of the Green party earlier this month.

She was dubbed Longstocking after the fictional nine-year-old children’s heroine, who lives without any sign of adult supervision, is unconventional, assertive, rich and extraordinarily strong.

In her first few weeks in the job, Seeliger has already raised hackles and made headlines with her views on legalising drugs and turning the country’s traditional marriage laws on their head.

“This Green wants to abolish marriage,” screamed the headline of the country’s biggest-selling tabloid newspaper, Bild, which claimed she wanted to put an end to monogamy and then decriminalise magic mushrooms.

The former charge has been denied by Seeliger, although she admits she would like radically to change attitudes towards relationships and marriage.

“I would like to abolish tax incentives that favour marriage and discriminate against having children out of wedlock. These laws are made by conservatives,” she said in an interview.

“In Germany, there is still the traditional view that women stay at home and do the housework while men go out and make money. We need to break these stereotypes and create a culture that gives equality to other forms of relationship and community.”

Seeliger has barely been out of the German press since her election and has sharply divided the columnists.

She has been described by some as a “small sensation” and “young, cheeky, funny and pretty”, while others have depicted her as naive and a sign that the Green party, which won 51 seats in the Bundestag in last year’s election, is dumbing down.

Her appointment came after a fiery and provocative speech in which she promised to shake-up the party and “argue with the politicians”.

To many, even those who disagree with her views, she seems a breath of fresh air who could challenge the plodding, middle-aged, dull world of the German political elite....

Here is the German text of the declaration on marriage.

Johannes continues: "The German yellow press is reacting, uhm, a bit hysterically. To cite Bild writer F. J. Wagner: 'To have multiple men, multiple women, for me is the end of love, and the end of the world.' (article, in German. And here's another Bild article.)

More about the press coverage, and Seeliger's positions, is in her own blog. And here's an article by her that appeared in Welt am Sonntag.

Continues Johannes: "In the next months, we (that is, the German-speaking European polyfolks) may have good use of some advice on how to deal with press and political campaign. If you know somebody in Europe who would like to meet one or two dozen poly activists in January in Switzerland, please drop a note to me. We try to coordinate beginning European poly-activities at http://tribes.tribe.net/polyeurope ."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Julia Seeliger - it is exciting to see a young adult step up and tell it like it is from a position of power. It is also encouraging to see continued growth of global poly activism.

December 28, 2006 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot!

love your cheers!

January 16, 2007 5:12 PM  

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