Philosophy

Same-Sex Marriage Is “Expanding Our Sense of Possibilities”

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 06/25/2014

“Polyamorists are coming out of the closet,” according to the opening of this article by Celina Durgin. Acceptance of their lifestyle is increasing, but there are still legal obstacles to overcome:

Diana Adams, the other co-president of Open Love NY and a founding partner of a New York City law firm serving LGBTQ and non-traditional clients, has worked with polyamorous households. Sometimes she helps draw up agreements between married poly clients to prevent marital problems from arising because of their sexuality.

The policy concerns for poly community generally regard securing domestic partnerships among the members of a polyamorous relationship. Some of Adams’s poly clients want to opt out of the adultery ground for divorce and do so in out-of-court contracts.

“At this point, polyamorous people are not seeking to redefine marriage as a whole for all Americans,” Adams told NRO. “They are seeking to find stability within existing legal institutions, with creative use of the law as it is now.”

I can think of no consistent reason under the new definition of marriage (“people who intensely care about each other”) why these people should be denied what’s legally available to others. Why should only they have to use the law creatively in order to have their commitments recognized? This inconsistency in the law can’t survive. The reasoning will work itself out to its logical conclusion.

When you remove complementary genders from the definition of marriage, you also remove its natural boundaries (two sexes, two people; a union that creates children, a union that must be exclusive and permanent). Therefore, there’s simply no rational reason to deny polyamorists their “right” to marry under the new definition (even if you think practical problems could result).

As predicted over and over, despite the adamant protests of same-sex marriage promoters to the contrary, the eventual support of multiple-partner marriage will be one of the consequences of changing the meaning—and legal definition—of marriage.

“In almost all cases, I see parents who are exploring their own romantic and sexual possibilities on their own time, and that’s not affecting their children at all,” Adams said. “The same-sex marriage movement has initiated a lot of that conversation. Is it possible to have committed love and partnership without traditional marriage? The conversation is expanding our sense of possibilities.”

[Leon Feingold, co-president of Open Love NY] also acknowledges parallels between the LGBTQ movement and the polyamorous movement. Many consider polyamory an orientation rather than a choice. He called the broad acceptance of polyamory the “next big frontier for public perception to cross.”