POSITIVELY POLYAMOROUS: We Demand the Right to Legal Polyamorous Marriage
- POSITIVELY POLYAMOROUS: We Demand the Right to Legal Polyamorous Marriage
by Janet Kira Lessin, Chief Focalizer, World Polyamory Association
A few weeks ago Reporter Abby Ellin of the Daily Beast, interviewed husband Sasha and me about legal recognition of polyamorous marriage. We related our commitment ceremony with Shivaya, the third in our triad. We demanded the right to legally marry him.
Charles Coleson (of Watergate fame) wrote that poly marriage was part of a slippery slope leading to massive social change. Coleson's"Triads: Mr. & Mrs. & Mrs. &.... Or Whatever" appeared on BreakPoint. Then O'Reilly on Fox News took up our demand and said that if the U.S. allows optional same-sex marriage, as Maine just did, polyamous marriage would indeed be next and would, eventually lead to marriage with ducks and turtles.
Ok, laugh, laugh. But why not polyamorous marriages?
We find polyamorylegal marriage of more than two peoplein the Bible, the Vedas and the writings of ancient Sumer. People all over the world still practice plural marriage.
It's time to recognize polyamory as legal throughout America. Polyamory is a logical, rational, emotionally-fulfilling system of creating loving families in existence since the dawn of time, but not called "polyamory" until the 1980s. We want our country to recognize in law what we polys do in practice. Proclaim in law that we poly-married have all the privileges and duties of different-sex and same-sex spouses.
Legalizing polyamorous marriage in no way harms monogamous marriage. Though there'll always be some folks who marry only one person at a time, few will marry one person for life. Legal relationship choice would sanctify all our options. No longer would the various relationship styles be deemed out of the ordinary or something to be ashamed about. We could be who we truly are with whomever we wish whenever we want.
With legal marital options there'd be no incentive to sneak and cheat. Each person could proclaim his or her own relationship style and orientation. Finding the right matches for yourself at each stage of your life would become easier.
Imagine if individuals could be openly bisexual and have at least one partner of each sex without feeling guilt-tripped and shamed. If we were free to be ourselves, polyamorous people would no longer marry monogamously and try to get their needs met for more love through clandestine affairs that hurt and destroy lives.
Since polyamory would be a viable relationship option, an option as readily available as monogamy, more marriages could be saved as there would be more options for staying together when needs change and evolve over time for those who originally married monogamously. As polyamorous relationships and dating more than one became more socially acceptable and normal, irrational feelings of jealousy, insecurity and potential abandonment would dissolve as we, as a society, naturally gravitated into more healthy relationships that are less co-dependent and dysfunctional.
There would be more avenues for discussing feelings around jealousy and negative emotions since acceptance, tolerance, diversity and compersion (the opposite of jealousy) would become the norm and jealousy and other negative, lack-based emotions would be deemed unhealthy and unnatural. Jealousy and other lack-based, competitive and comparison fueled negative emotions would no longer be seen as normal and natural as they are in today's society, and as a result, jealousy-based rages, beatings, abuse and murders would become a thing of the past.
Children would have many parental models to nurture and love them, to assist them with their education, growth and development. More parents could teach children a broader range of skills that would better enable them to succeed. With more parents, there would be less strain on individuals who share child-raising duties. Co-parents could help parents balance giving to their kids and allowing more time for themselves. Children with more parents would no longer consume one or two parents live's completely.
Larger families with more parents and children connected through extended polyamorous families would not only allow parental members of the family to share child raising roles, but there would also be more members of the family to care for members who need elder care. Also, if a one member of the marriage dies, there are other members left to emotionally support them, so the person will not be left completely alone like in the case of monogamous relationships when their only partner passes.
Ally's, Coleson's and O'Reilly's debate tells me that time is finally catching up with the times and we may all live to see a time of tolerance, love and acceptance for individual expression and diversity. We see a time of freedom, choice and love of love for all reasons, all seasons, all ages, races, colors, creeds, orientations, genders and relationship styles, the spice of life for spouses who may someday refer to their multiple spouses as spice. Now wouldn't that be nice?
I look forward to the day when humanity will acknowledge that each member of its global (perhaps even universal) society of sentient beings has a birthright to live out their lives (existence) with dignity, beauty, grace and peace. This new universal society would honor consciousness, uniqueness, individuality, diversity and respect choices made through the practice of ahimsa (do no harm). In this new world of tolerance, basic birth rights universally accepted would allow no room for abuse because abuse would no longer be seen as something tolerated by anyone anywhere. Each individual would be encouraged to maximize his or her own natural abilities and contributions to society through the development of his or her own individual, innate uniqueness, optimizing creativity creating happiness and bliss for all in creations continuum.
To get to that optimum level of universal respect, I come back to the first step that must be taken in this reality (paradigm, program) and declare that I have a right to marry whom I desire. If I chose to marry more than one, it's really no one else's business but is a decision made between myself and the other mature, conscious, aware, consenting adults who make that decision to marry with me as we declare one another beloveds and family.
Honor choice and diversity. Otherwise we'd live in a boring world, all carbon copies of one another and we all know that doesn't work but rather leads to the extinction of species and deadens life itself.
In the meanwhile, I live my life with my two husbands. Politically and societal approval are not available for us at this time. Free in our hearts, we love whom we love.
Janet Kira Lessin is a featured presenter at the annual Harbin Hot Springs, California Polyamory Conference, September 11-14 (http://www.worldpolyamoryassociation.com)