Loving More responds to Newt Gingrich news
Some commentators (such as Stephen Colbert this morning) are saying, "At least he was enough of a gentleman to ask permission." This misses two points that, if Marianne is telling the truth, make the episode an awful example of unresponsible non-monogamy:
1) He carried on the affair for six years before asking, and
2) Apparently it wasn't a discussion, it was an ultimatum: open marriage or divorce.
Last night Loving More director Robyn Trask issued a press release:
Polyamory as a Right and an Issue Enters the Mainstream and GOP Presidential Debate
...Loving More is both pleased and concerned to see the issue of polyamory and open relationships coming into the mainstream conversation.
It is about time this important issue is being discussed. What is of concern to polyamorist leaders is a true understanding the definition polyamory and open relationships, as well as some people associating polyamory open honest non-monogamous relationships with cheating.
Gingrich cheated on his wife and then after the fact offered to open his marriage. Polyamory is defined on Loving More Nonprofit's website: "Polyamory refers to romantic love relationships with more than one person, honestly, ethically, and with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned." A full FAQ can be found at the Loving More website as well as commonly used terminology.
Loving More recommends people be honest and communicate with their partner when they are even considering open relationships or polyamory. Cheating and then asking for openness almost never works. Trust, which is so essential to a healthy relationship, is undermined when we deceive and lie to a spouse or partner.
Polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy are about being honest, authentic and transparent with our partner/s; it is about commitment and honoring agreements. Very few human beings are truly monogamous and it is time that people begin to understand that with billions of people in the world, relationships can come in many shapes and sizes. Monogamy is a beautiful choice for many, but it is not for everyone. Loving More recommends people be honest with who they are....
We'll see if Robyn gets any traction in the press.
All this is sure to make for interesting discussion at Loving More's upcoming Poly Living conference in Philadelphia February 1012. (I'm the keynote speaker.) I hope to see you there.
For the record, here is Loving More's statement of what it's about:
What we believe
Loving relationships and healthy families can come in many beautiful and valid forms. How people choose to experience relationships and love is an individual and personal choice. Through education about polyamory and other relationship or love styles, we hope to allow people the freedom to be open and honest about their personal love and relationship choices, without fear of the prejudice or hardships that being non-traditional can bring. Through education, publicity and research, we intend to open the door to freedom and safety for those who choose polyamory as individuals and as families.
Loving More® is a national non-profit corporation and 501(c)3 charity, educational website, online community, and magazine dedicated to the support and education of polyamory and polyamorous issues, supporting the polyamorous community both nationally and internationally for more than 25 years....
UPDATE: Here's a nice item: a press release from the Institute for Public Accuracy, which is headquartered in the National Press Building in Washington, DC, and bills itself as offering "Reliable Independent Sources for Breaking News":
Friday, January 20, 2012
SARAH TAUB, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.sarahtaub.com
MICHAEL RIOS, email@example.com, http://www.michaelrios.com
Taub and Rios teach workshops on relationships including on open relationships and polyamory and are frequent presenters at polyamory conferences, such as those put on by Loving More, a national polyamory organization, which just released a statement on Gingrich: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2012/01/loving-more-responds-to-newt-gingrich.html
Taub said today: "Successful open relationships are consensual and based on trust, mutual respect and lots of communication. It’s very difficult (though not impossible) for a cheater to 'come clean' and create an open marriage with his or her spouse, because the initial situation is inherently non-consensual and trust has already been broken. Some extraordinary people can make it work, but the cheater must have a huge amount of humility, patience and respect for the other partner, including respecting his or her right to say 'no.' This is not how Marianne Gingrich described Newt Gingrich’s approach."
Rios said today: "Open marriages are consensual, honest and based in love. Saying 'let me have an affair or I'm going to divorce you' is not consensual -- it’s coercive. Being married and then waiting to come clean until after you've started an affair is is not open or honest. If Gingrich had approached his wife with his feelings beforehand, perhaps she would have said, 'yes, well, actually I’ve been thinking about that possibility myself,' and then they could have honestly had a healthy, open marriage. But what we're hearing about is an affair that started in deception and ended in coercion -- and that's neither loving, nor honest, nor consensual. It's not an open marriage or polyamory by any stretch of the imagination.”
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
As a result of this, writes Sarah, on Saturday
Michael and I are scheduled to be on a radio talk show with Michael Zwerling of KSCO Santa Cruz, CA. It's the "Saturday Special" show, 10 am to 12 noon PST -- that's 1 pm to 3pm EST.
You can listen to the show live online -- the link is buried below the fold, on the left, at http://www.ksco.com
The number to call in is 831-479-1080.
Wish us luck! Zwerling seems to be a right-wing libertarian, so it should be lively.
Lots more stuff is flooding my inbox. New post soon.