Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

January 31, 2017

Openly poly candidate runs for Minneapolis City Council

Justin C. Adams

At the Women's March on Washington, Michael Moore reeled off a list of things for progressives and resistance fighters to do in the coming times. He declared, "The next thing that you have to do, is run for office! Yes! You!" He meant local office in particular, where barriers to entry are often low, and where you can develop as part of a farm team for bigger leagues.

Justin C. Adams, 37, was already on the case. A longtime reader of Polyamory in the News, he has announced as a progressive Democrat-Farmer-Labor candidate for Minneapolis City Council, Ward 3.

On his campaign homepage we read,

Perspective – I am polyamorous, queer and agnostic. I have student debt, my family survived foreclosure, and we have benefited a lot from public programs. I’m a white man, and it’s true that I enjoy privilege – I’m seldom harassed by police and I have a good job helping people. I also have shared experiences with many of this city’s marginalized communities, and a solid record of advocacy and action. I would add to the diversity of perspective represented on the Minneapolis City Council.


Values – Local government is the best way progressives can achieve economic and social justice goals, like a livable wage, stronger worker protections, and community-based criminal justice reform. I reject the idea that the already powerful know what is best for regular people. Together, we can build a city to be proud of.

Elsewhere on his site:

Justin appeared on the ballot in North Minneapolis as a far-left independent candidate for state representative in 2006. He sought [Democrat-Farmer-Labor] endorsement for the same seat in 2010.

Since rejoining the party in 2008, he’s regularly served as a low-level party officer, delegate or alternate, member of convention committees, and as a valued participant in various DFL candidate’s campaigns. Working as a non-partisan election official required Justin to keep his political engagement to a minimum but he does currently serve as an assistant precinct chair.

Justin has received candidate and campaign manager training from Wellstone Action! and is humbled and grateful to count dozens of elected officials and government professionals among his friends.

He is currently one of five candidates running for the seat. Elsewhere on his campaign site he writes,

Twelve years ago, he and his wife went to Canada to be married in protest of marriage inequality. They are parents to a Pillsbury Elementary student. The candidate is queer and polyamorous, and he has a romantic partner of 8 years that also lives in Northeast.

I went to his fledgling donation page and chipped in.

Minneapolis Ward 3 is a youthful, progressive district. Adams' rivals for the seat so far are other DFL candidates, a Green, and a Socialist Alternative.

Update Feb. 9: Adams is speaking at the 6th International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy in Berkeley this weekend, about himself and his candidacy. From his prepared remarks:

...If I am elected, I will become the first openly polyamorous elected official in the United States.

...I will share with you some information about my background in polyamory and in politics, about my city and the office I’m seeking, and about what I think it would mean to be elected the first openly polyamorous public official in the United States.



January 28, 2017

Yours Unfaithfully: a rediscovered poly play from 1933 becomes a thing.

A play that wins a stellar review and a Critics Pick from the New York Times is going places. Miles Malleson, an open-marriage advocate and practitioner with his wife, wrote Yours Unfaithfully [sic] in 1933, but it was never produced. Now it's finally onstage. From the modern poly movement's perspective it sounds rather conventional, dated, and uninformed, but this was 1933.

First, from a more historically oriented story in Time Out New York:

Yours Unfaithfully brings a 1930s depiction of polyamory to light

By Sandy MacDonald

In 1933... polyamory was a practice without a label: The term wouldn’t emerge for another half-century. But smart London was atingle with notions of free love, and Malleson... was an avid proselytizer, graciously sharing his spouse with Bertrand Russell, who happened to have a wife of his own. Malleson’s bio, synopsized in the production’s program, suggests a life story considerably more colorful than the tidy marital drama that unfolds onstage.

[We meet] a young, attractive couple at loose ends. As new parents unhappy with the religious orthodoxy espoused by local educators, they’ve started their own school (as the real-life Russells did). The project has sidetracked Stephen, an iconoclastic novelist, and Anne determines that he needs a diversion. What better pick-me-up than their recently widowed friend, Diana?

First, of course, the trio and their physician confidant must talk — and talk and talk — the whole thing over. It takes two months of importuning on Stephen’s part, plus a written permission slip from Anne, to get the ball rolling toward their arrangement’s “climax” in Vienna.

...The script offers a scrupulous examination of two warring impulses: the urge to explore versus the instinct to nurture and protect. Happily, we’re spared the wink-wink prompts of farce, though Malleson does allude to an extremely vulgar adage of the day, sanitized here as “Fresh kiss, fresh courage.” If only he had applied that tenet to his rather dry disquisition.

The whole review (January 26, 2017).

● From the New York Times review:

‘Yours Unfaithfully,’ on an Open Marriage and Its Pitfalls

By Alexis Soloskijian

...“Yours Unfaithfully,” now receiving its world premiere at the Mint Theater, is a refined, rueful and often shrewd comedy about polyamory, written decades before open relationships were quite so openly discussed. In some ways, it’s surprising that it went unproduced for so long.... But the shock of its content, the gentility of its form and its strong links to Mr. Malleson’s own life must have made it a chancy undertaking.

...When Anne sees Stephen mired in marital and intellectual doldrums, she encourages him to have an affair with their beautiful friend Diana. Stephen is persuaded, Diana is willing, and everything’s just dandy until it isn’t.

...Ultimately, the play’s insistence on the sanctity of open marriage, a stance that apparently reflected Mr. Malleson’s own beliefs and practices, isn’t all that persuasive. If the central claim, that to “live effectively” you must walk the line between “a great slope of complacence on one side” and “rather a mess-up of promiscuity” on the other, sounds reasonably plausible in the moment, that is a credit to the dapper Mr. von Essen. Does the road to moral enlightenment and matrimonial contentment absolutely lead into the beds of selected others? Is there really no other way? Separate vacations, maybe?

But what is extraordinary about Mr. Malleson is his ability to create characters who are capable of feeling several things at once, or who don’t really know what they’re feeling at all. Both Stephen and Anne seem genuinely surprised that their hearts and minds aren’t as orderly as they had believed....

Read the whole review (January 26, 2017). Includes a video excerpt from the production.

● A review in the Times Square Chronicles:

A Delightful Look At Marriage and Fidelity

...Stephen and Anne (Max von Essen and Elisabeth Gray), have been blissfully happy for eight years of marriage and are the envy of all their friends. They are totally committed to living up to their ideals which include an open marriage.

...Stephen’s father the Reverend Canon Gordon Meredith (Stephen Schnetzer) discovers the affair between his son and Diana. Now Anne has to deal with not only her feelings of jealousy, but the fact that others know. This puts the marriage at stake, but in the end love saves the day.

...The cast is exquisite with just the right amount of everything. ... In a time when the world seems out of control, it was nice to be captivated and slip into another time and place. Make sure you catch this sublime endeavor.

The whole review (January 26, 2017).

Broadway World review (Jan. 31).

Update February 13: Review on the Huffington Post by Eric Uhlfelder: Between The Ideal And Reality With ‘Yours Unfaithfully’.



January 23, 2017

End of the line for 'Sister Wives' polygamy decriminalization case

The Brown family

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the Kody Brown family's case that they be allowed to challenge Utah's anti-bigamy law. The court did not address the merits of the case; it decided that an appeals court was correct in ruling that the family did not have standing to bring its case because it had not actually been charged with the supposed crime, merely threatened with possible charges.

In 2013, the federal court in Utah that originally heard their case ruled in their favor that the law was unconstitutional.

From the AP in USA Today:

Sister Wives' polygamous family turned away at Supreme Court

...The justices left in place a lower court ruling that said Kody Brown and his four wives can't sue over the law because they weren't charged under it.

A federal judge sided with the Browns and overturned key parts of Utah's bigamy law in 2013, but an appeals court overturned that decision last year.

The Browns sought to argue before the high court that the law infringes on their right to freedom of speech and religion. The family said they should be able to challenge the law because the threat of prosecution forced them to flee to Nevada and still looms over them when they return to Utah.

Utah's law forbids married people from living with a second purported "spouse," making it stricter than anti-bigamy laws in other states and creating a threat of arrest for plural families. But state officials have followed a long tradition of not prosecuting polygamists unless they commit some other crime, such as child or spousal abuse, domestic violence or fraud.

Police investigated the family after their show premiered in 2010, but closed the case without filing any charges. The family argued in legal briefs that the state should not be able to thwart a constitutional challenge to the law "by changing its enforcement policy during the pendency of litigation."...

The whole article (January 23, 2017).

More news coverage, including another AP story:

'Sister Wives' family says it won't end fight

An attorney for a TV's "Sister Wives" family says the U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal of Utah's law banning polygamy won't end the larger fight by plural and unconventional families for equal status.

Lawyer Jonathan Turley said Monday in a statement posted on his blog that he and the Brown family are disappointed but not surprised by the decision that was issued by the high court without comment....

From Turley's statement:

...The Browns remained steadfast in their commitment to equal rights and have become the voice for not just plural families but many families which do not meet the strict definition of monogamy practiced by the majority of citizens.


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January 22, 2017

Making history, and launching the resistance

Where have I been? Yesterday Sparkle Moose and I were making history in Washington, D.C. We were packed in with the hundreds of thousands well north of the official Women's March zone, far out of range of the jumbotrons or the sound system. We ended up in the flow that filled Pennsylvania Avenue and its sidewalks (outside the permitted limits, and almost a half mile north of the scene below) with solid, moving people from the Capitol to the White House grounds, with fresh masses coming on and on for hours.

A panoramic view of Independence Avenue from end to end, far south of where we were.
At one point we squeezed ourselves in front of the Trump International Hotel (and its police lines), holding up Moose's "Trump = Traitor" sign in front of the black-and-gold marquee, and getting photographed by waves of cell phones from the onward flow.

My own sign urged, "Build your COURAGE, DARING, AND SMARTS." As inspiration for the... active times ahead.

I've been to giant DC demonstrations in the past and I have never seen anything like this in my life. For most of the day all directions were a mass of people as far as the eye could see, a great haze of pink from the pussyhats, under tens of thousands of hand-drawn signs. We filled, from end to end and north to south, nearly every area of the Capitol Mall, its flanking avenues, and the Federal Triangle district to the north that was not fenced off or blocked by cops. Who were quite friendly and low-key — I guess they know how to assess a crowd. Someday we can proudly tell our grandkids, "We were there."

But the most important part of this event, and the hundreds of others nationwide, was not about showing the world a demonstration. It was about finding ourselves and seeing our solidarity and strength.

Nope, the America we know and love is not lost yet.  The Resistance is launched.

Polyamory in the News will resume shortly.
The Capitol Mall, more of where we weren't.



January 11, 2017

"Audience Network’s polyromantic series ‘You Me Her’ gets brave in Season 2"

Last spring's Season 1 of You Me Her was, from what I gather, mainly focused on the triad's improbable getting-together (the premise seemed forced), and then on drawing the TV audience into a novel concept. In other words, an outside-looking-in perspective on polyamory.

Now, if we believe the Deadline Hollywood story below, writer-director Scott Shepherd has done more research and is shifting the camera to an inside-looking-out perspective: the viewpoint from a triad facing the world. The three now live together, they fret as a group about coming out, and as a group they declare to other people that they're a "throuple."

Season 2 premieres on DirecTV's Audience Network February 14th (at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT).

Audience Network’s Polyromantic Series ‘You Me Her’ Gets Brave In Season 2

By Anthony D'Alessandro

When it comes to the second season of Audience Network’s threesome romantic comedy series You Me Her, the honeymoon is over.

More specifically, after playing out the high jinks involved in a polyamorous relationship, and the whole “hiding” facet of it, creator John Scott Shepherd said at TCA today that Season 2 will deal with “what happens when they go home.”

In You Me Her, Jack (Greg Poehler) is a suburban husband who has a fling with escort Izzy (Priscilla Faia). But she also winds up becoming involved with Jack’s wife Emma (Rachel Blanchard).

Essentially, after researching everyday people with LGBT and polyamorous relationships, Shepherd decided that the series should deal with the reality of this trio coming out to their friends and family and dealing with the complexities that creates. In regards to the leading protags, Shepherd adds, “They needed to say this is our reality, which may not look like everyone’s happiness, but it had to be brave.

...“The biggest challenge in these relationships is that someone always feels left out or that they don’t have their place,” says Shepherd. Next season, Poehler’s Jack lights a fuse that blows up in his face.

Nonetheless, as complicated as a polyromantic relationship can be, for a comedy series, there’s plenty of material.

Says Shepherd: “Romantic comedies are hard to do as features, because it’s hard to figure out the roadblocks. But they’re baked in here. For the life of the series, there are forces pulling them apart such as going to a more conventional lifestyle or there’s a friend or family. The magic moment is where the romance sparks; they’re better than when they’re apart.”

Season 2 of You Me Her premieres, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day.

Original article (January 5, 2017).

● From an AT&T/ Audience Network press release:

Season 1 of “You Me Her” was a contemporary classic rom-com that just happened to involve 3 people, from meet-cute straight through the iconic race to the airport. Now that grad student Izzy is moving in with suburban couple Jack and Emma, season 2 is about the complex realities of polyamory and “throupling.”

What happens when this peculiar rom-com fades to black? Can they prove their best, truest, happiest lives really are together, even when more conventional alternatives beckon? They stood up to the outside world but now they have to face something even more formidable: themselves. Taking the leap was just the beginning. Season 2 is about holding on when letting go seems so much easier.

● A longer story appears at HiddenRemote:

5 Things We Learned from the Season 2 ‘You Me Her’ Teaser Trailer

By Sharina Davenport

Audience Network dropped the much anticipated Season 2 trailer on Wednesday and it has blown our minds. Admittedly, the first season blew our minds so much that we didn’t think we’d ever be prepared for a second season. An alternative lifestyle on prime-time television with an amazing cast; who knew that this is what we needed to fill our TV line-up?

...We’re wondering what the future holds for the three brilliant individual characters, so we’re dissecting the Season 2 trailer to try to put together the pieces!

Jack & Emma Aren’t Without Their Worries

Jack and Emma have a lot to learn about the Polyamory lifestyle; they’re no longer a couple when Izzy is involved. When Izzy is added to the equation that is their new life, she has input to give and her own choices to make with them. Can Jack and Emma find a balance in which Izzy is equal in their home, can they work through their jealousy issues and ensure that Izzy feels like she’s included in the marriage? It may not be an official and legal addition to their marriage, but there are steps Jack and Emma need to take to transition into the throuple lifestyle.

Emma Finally Has What Jack Couldn’t Provide

...From a few clips in the teaser trailer we see a happy Emma, a complete Emma, and even a thrilled Emma. When Emma married Jack, she didn’t just give up her bisexuality – it’s always been there and now she can finally explore that side of her in a comfortable yet dynamic relationship.

Izzy is Still Her Own Person

...How will she transition into the relationship? Will she maintain her anti-misogynistic ways and perhaps teach Jack a few more things on how to love and respect a woman?

The Three of Them Are on Cloud Nine

There’s so many smiles in the trailer that we can’t help but root for these guys! ...With new relationship energy flowing in their veins, the three of them are bound to crash back to the real world soon enough. The question is, how will they deal with that?

They Are Finally Official

In the trailer we see Emma stood in front of what seems to be a house party, the three of them come out to what seems to be their neighbors. They’re about to be judged at every corner, but we have a feeling there’s nothing the three of them cannot accomplish together!

What We Hope They Address in Season 2:

– Polyamory will not save your trashed marriage, but with a lot of communicating and sacrifice it may possibly be the right lifestyle.
– Living with 3 people under the same roof will not be easy, it will have its challenges.
– Hard work goes into maintaining long-term relationships; we’d love to see these three continue to thrive with love in their eyes though!
– The Unicorn aspect definitely needs exploring; there needs to be addressing of the couples privilege to completely woo the more picky members of the poly community. (We’re just thrilled to have it on prime time!)...

The whole article (January 6, 2017).

The filming of Season 2 is finished, and Audience Network already committed to a Season 3.



January 8, 2017

Kimchi wins the heart of the HuffPost relationships editor

If you don't already know Tikva Wolf's Kimchi Cuddles webcomic, the Huffington Post has made it easy to jump in — while introducing it to a much wider audience:

10 Comics That Show What Polyamorous Love Is Really Like

These illustrations are relatable, educational and so, so cute.

By Brittany Wong, Relationships Editor

The poly lifestyle gets talked about a lot more these days, but unfortunately, misconceptions about polyamory (mainly, that it’s all about sex) continue to persist.

In Tikva Wolf’s long-running comic series Kimchi Cuddles, polyamorous people ― meaning, those who have emotional and sexual relationships with more than one person ― are portrayed just like everyone else, only with more partners to steal their blankets.

Wolf launched the webcomic in 2013, and letters from all over the world began pouring in, mostly from other polyamorous people seeking relationship advice.

“When one of my partners suggested I create the comic, my first response was, ‘Nah, no one would read it,’” she told The Huffington Post. “I was quickly proven wrong!”

...“For me, polyamory isn’t about the number of partners you have,” she explained. “It’s about relating to everyone you come across more authentically and sharing from a place of deep mutual interest rather than obligation or expectation.”

See the editor's other 9 choices, out of the 669 Kimchi strips to date (Jan. 3, 2017).

Wolf has an impressively well-subscribed Patreon page, guaranteeing the strip's future. She's been speaking at poly conferences. Thorntree Press last summer issued a book of her comics, Ask Me About Polyamory, and she has a graphic novel on the way: Love, Retold. It's a deeper, more introspective rendering of her relationship autobiography. In fact, most of her comics are about her life with her friends and partners.

I've urged her to consider creating a purely fictional cast of characters, whom she can use however she wants to develop longer, continuing stories a la Doonesbury. Well developed plot lines, IMO, would be the necessary next step to holding and enlarging the strip's fan base. What do you think?