"Get Ready for Group Marriage"
Elizabeth Marquardt directs the Center for Marriage and Families at the conservative Institute for American Values, and she edits the institute's FamilyScholars.org. With a Canadian court about to rule next week on Canada's anti-polygamy and anti-polyamory law, Marquardt has posted an article at the Huffington Post blogs. It's more descriptive than argumentative:
Get Ready for Group Marriage
Is the prospect of group marriage far-fetched? Probably not. There are several avenues that could soon lead to legal recognition of unions involving three or more people. The efforts come from the fringes of the left, from the darkest corners of the fundamentalist right, and from the laboratories of fertility clinics and hard scientists around the world.
From the fringy left: Polyamory
Polyamory describes relationships of three or more people -- it literally means "many loves." Polyamorists say they practice "ethical non-monogamy," or relationships that emphasize open communication, respect, and fair treatment of one another.
The debate about legal recognition of polyamorous relationships is already well underway....
...If polyamorists are too busy juggling multiple intimate relationships to have time to push for marriage rights, their supporters might fight the battle for them. In an influential document, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families and Relationships," released in 2006, over three hundred gay and lesbian activists and their supporters--including attorneys, academics, grassroots leaders, and luminaries such as Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, and well-known professors from the Ivy Leagues--called for "legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families" including "households in which there is more than one conjugal partner."
From the radical right: Polygamy....
From the labs: Three-person reproduction
Another route to legalized group marriage could evolve via new court decisions and expert proposals that recognize group-parenting arrangements. Judges in the U.S. and Canada have already given legal parental status to a sperm donor father whose offspring had two legal mothers -- resulting in the first instances ever in which a child has three legal parents....
...All of which begs questions: How do children feel when they are raised by three or more persons called their parents, especially when those people disagree? If their three-plus parents break up, how many homes do we expect these children to travel between?....
Get ready for the debate. And in the meantime, wedding planners: start figuring out how many brides and grooms you can fit down that aisle.
Read the whole article (Nov. 15, 2011).
The article is a condensation of her recent report One Parent or Five: A Global Look at Today's Intentional Families, issued by the Institute for American Values's Commission on Parenthood’s Future. Here's a critic taking it apart for superficiality and weak scholarship.
Labels: critics of poly