Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

May 25, 2011

On mainstream TV: "Polyamory: Redefining love's boundaries"

WZZM TV-13 (Grand Rapids, MI)

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.


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Anonymous Sarah Taub said...

I bet that the "get government out of our lives" aspect is what is selling it now in Republican country.
Great job to everyone involved! It felt almost surreal to hear the two anchors lead into the piece with an invitation to consider what happens when more than two people love each other.

May 26, 2011 2:05 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

> I bet that the "get government out of our lives"
> aspect is what is selling it now in Republican
> country.

Also, notice that the program profiled groups who are in serious, committed, marriage-like relationships: i.e. familiar wine in a new bottle.

May 26, 2011 10:29 AM  
Anonymous cloaking_device said...

I happen to know the people who were interviewed. The quad are hosts of a polyamory discussion group that my wife and I belong to, and two of the three triad members belong to the same gaming group that we do.

I'll forward this on to them; maybe they'll drop by.

May 26, 2011 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Awesome video, nice to see poly reported in an positive light without also being chuckled at.

May 26, 2011 4:12 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

American Decency Association. What a bunch of prudish haters.

May 27, 2011 1:55 PM  
Blogger Jess PJ said...

It's nice to see some positive media coverage. I'd also be interested in how the story got to the station and how it got network/producer approval.

American Decency Association, very interesting group

June 01, 2011 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in West Michigan and moved to the SF Bay area 2 years ago- cannot imagine seeing this on TV there! Thank you to those involved for sharing your story, wow!

September 10, 2011 4:04 PM  

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