Saturday, October 26, 2013
"Loving, committed multiple partner families"
The logic of the sexual revolution continues to play itself out in exactly the way defenders of "traditional" marriage and norms of sexual morality saw (and said) that it would. When I and many others noted that the abandonment of the idea of marriage as a conjugal union and its replacement with a conception of "marriage" as sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership would swiftly be folowed by the mainstreaming of polyamory and eventually demands for the legal recognition of "poly" parnterships and families, we were accused of "scare mongering" and making illicit "slippery slope" arguments. What we saw--and what anyone should easily have seen--is that the displacement of the conjugal conception of marriage left no ground of principle for supposing that marriage is the union of two and only two persons, as opposed to three or more ("throuples," "triads," "quadrads," etc.) in multiple partner sexual ensembles. With the sole exception of Jonathan Rauch, who at least tried to identify a principled moral basis for monogamy consistent with jettisoning the norm of sexual complementarity (though he failed), no supporter of redefining marriage, so far as I am aware, made a serious effort to address our challenge on this critical point. Today, fewer and fewer people on the liberal side of questions of marriage and sexual ethics are even pretending to have moral objections to polyamorous sexual relationships or their recognition. Increasingly, the pretense is not regarded as politically necessary. "Poly" groups no longer need to be pushed into the closet in order to depict redefining marriage as a "conservative" cause; "polys" are now even welcome to march in pride parades and the like. Polyamory is swiftly becoming one more hue in the multi-colored flag. We now even have the "conservative" argument for polyamory: these are people in "loving, committed multi-partner relationships." They have jobs and homes and mortgages and kids--just like everybody else. Moral objections to their "identity" and the sexual expression of their love is condemned as mere "prejudice." We must, we are told, fight the "bigots" who are stigmatizing them and "harming their children." When you have a script that works, I guess you keep using it.
CNN is about as mainstream as you get, right? Here are some passages from CNN's non-judgmental and, indeed, quite sympathetic treatment of polyamory and polyamorists:
It's not just a fling or a phase for them. It's an identity. They want to show that polyamory can be a viable alternative to monogamy, even for middle-class, suburban families with children, jobs and house notes.
"We're not trying to say that monogamy is bad," said Billy Holder, a 36-year-old carpenter who works at a university in Atlanta. "We're trying to promote the fact that everyone has a right to develop a relationship structure that works for them."
For the Holder-Mullins triad, polyamory is three adults living in the same home about 20 miles south of Atlanta. They share bills, housework and childcare for their 9-year-old daughter. They work at the same place, sharing carpooling duties so someone can see their daughter off to school each day.
Surrounded at the [Atlanta Pride] parade by drag queens from El Gato Negro nightclub, singers from a gospel choir and supporters of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, Billy Holder didn't stand out in his jeans, T-shirt and wide-brimmed, sun-shielding hat. That's sort of the point, he said: to demonstrate that polyamorists, or polys, are just like anybody else.
Read the whole story here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/26/living/relationships-polyamory/
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